Dancer, choreographer and actress to be – Manue is as eclectic and all over the map, as she is determined to express herself clearly through her art. We met up with her at Le Centquatre in Paris for a quick tête-a-tête on dancing, music and going out in Paname.
|WORDS & PHOTOS: MIKKEL INUMINEQ & MARIE BRANDT|
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Manue Soum and I come from Lyon but moved to Paris about nine years ago. I’ve been dancing professionally for about seven years. I move between two sides of dancing – I started getting jobs as a commercial dancer in videos, TV shows, musicals and so on, but it has always been very important for me to practice a lot to create my own expression which means I also do more contemporary styles as well.
I also do a lot of acting and I’m trying to pursue that at the moment. It all comes down to expressing something, one way of the other. And when combining the different sides of me I feel I can truly express myself and tell stories, both while dancing and acting.
What do you do in your spare time?
I really like to see my friends. They don't all work in the cultural world, which is something that's really important to me. It means I get input from other types of people as well. That helps to develop me as a person as well as creatively.
I’ve started to draw too, and I do that at home. It’s really nice to try out new forms of expression.
Other than that I just explore Paris. This isn’t my city, so I’m always discovering new places and new people, going to exhibitions, clubs and such.
And then of course I take dance classes – but not like when I work. Dance is a passion as well, and it’s hard to separate work from my spare time. Dance is a lifestyle. It’s my body so I could just start dancing right now if I wanted. It’s always there.
How would you define your personal style?
I always want to feel cool in what I wear because I could start dancing any minute! At the moment I wear a lot of second hand clothes, both from shops or through exchanges with my friends. I love to go searching for clothing, both here in Paris and when I’m travelling – it’s all about finding new pieces. When I found this coat I felt like I was in The Matrix. I kind of put on a character role or a mood when I dress. I love fashion but I don’t just follow a trend. Fashion is also what’s in your heart, and it depends on your mood. I really just wear whatever inspires me.
What is your relationship to music?
Through my dancing I’ve realised that every rhythm you take into your body can be a song or a sound, so for me everything is music. My relationship to music is very intense. I hear music both when I listen to it and when I don't. It’s my body that moves when I hear something, not me. I also try to be very open minded about what I listen to. As a dancer you get exposed to so many different types of music, and I want to listen to everything.
Where do you recommend people to go, if they visit Paris?
Whenever I have friends from Lyon come visit I always take them to Centquatre. You don’t have to be a dancer or an artist to come here. It’s a cool place for everyone. Also, go explore and hang around the area near Abesses – it's so beautiful and full of vibrant people and peculiar small places. For going out, La Machine is good, but I never pick a club because of the club, but by what's going on, who's going and who's playing. I regularly go to a bar called Orphée because many of my friends hang out there, and it's also run by one of my friends.
For eating, go to the area around Jacques Bonsergent and Republique, there are so many nice, small places and the Canal Saint-Martin is just to the east, which is a lovely place to be in the spring and summer. Also, go visit Parc de La Villette in the summertime – a lot of concerts, outdoor cinema and other playful stuff is going on up there. There are so many places in Paris and almost too little time in one's life to get through all of it.
MANUES TOP 10 FAVOURITE TRACKS
Current City Paris