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Lila Magnin, founder of the les magnifiques dance company, is currently creating her new piece: Sāmara, which will be premiered in Brussels from 24 to 28 September 2024. 

A hybrid artist, Lila Magnin expresses herself through video, social networks and the stage. Her art explores complementary dualities and constantly seeks to express freedom and authenticity. She started dancing at the age of 3 and has been working on various projects since 2012. She has also collaborated with several international artists and created her own pieces, including “#roof is on fire” in 2019 and her solo “Azad” in 2022. 

Sāmara is a piece that explores the duality of the world through two main meanings: the place of war and the walk with the gods. Lila wishes to explore the hyper-awareness that emerged between the spring of 2020 and the autumn of 2022, and the inner turmoil that resulted. The piece highlights the sudden shift in perspective caused by unforeseen events, while expressing a mixture of anger and a desire to celebrate. It seeks to restore the body’s power, independence and freedom. In creating Sāmara, Lila reflects on what she will pass on to future generations and how creation can contribute to society. The choice of people’s first names, such as Sāmara (a friend’s daughter) and before that Azad (her great-grandmother), is intended to extend their lives through the work and pay homage to their significance and characteristics. The piece brings together five individuals who share similar and different emotions and explores how they manage to find a common language despite their different individual journeys.

The origin of the piece

Lila was working on a solo project, a very solitary process, but one that allowed her to create something very profound and achieve enormous freedom of expression. This solitude and understanding of how to allow herself to be herself and to shine, rekindled her desire to collaborate with other artists and to create in groups, to share these achievements, among other things. During her periods of incarceration, Lila observed stark contrasts in society: on the one hand, the isolation of individuals confined to their homes, and on the other, illegal demonstrations and parties that expressed an intense need to come together and express themselves collectively. These observations inspired her to explore these themes in her work. Lila noticed two emotional extremes during this period: anger and celebration. She saw these emotions coexisting in gatherings, whether demonstrations or festivals. This duality became a central theme in her project.

The name Sāmara came to her when a close friend gave birth to a daughter named Sāmara. She discovered that Sāmara means “protected by the gods” and “war zone” a duality that resonates perfectly with the themes of her play. The name symbolises the coexistence of opposites and the idea of divine protection even in chaos. Lila likes to give her pieces feminine names to honour women and extend their legacy

“She tells me that Sāmara means, among other things, protected by the gods and a battlefield.”


The play explores the emotions of anger and celebration, feelings that everyone can relate to and that were particularly intense during the imprisonment. Lila wants to show how these emotions are present in all of us and how they affect our lives.

Lila believes that anger and celebration are emotions that are best expressed through the body, whether through dance or the voice. She therefore chose dance as the main means of expression for this piece.

Lila organised auditions to meet new dancers, despite her aversion to the process. She wanted to create something harmonious with people from different backgrounds and walks of life. This reflects her desire to show that, despite our differences, it is possible to find a common choreographic language and create unity while preserving diversity.

In short, Sāmara is an exploration of emotional dualities and collective expression, seeking to create harmony in diversity

From a solo to a five-person show

On the set, 5 dancers share the stage: Lila as choreographer and performer, accompanied by Oumar Diallo, Marie-Laure Lesage, Matias Moura and Briana Ashley Stuart, performers. 

Lila has always had a vision of group work, influenced by her childhood and experiences in environments of collective gathering (travel, community, family, religious masses). She believes that singing and dancing in a group increases the power and impact of the emotion you are trying to convey. She wanted to capture this collective energy in her show.

Having explored her personal potential in her solo, Lila wanted to help other artists shine. She wanted to create a group dynamic where each dancer could express their individuality while still fitting into her artistic vision. Although Lila is the project leader, she values the contribution of the other dancers and incorporates their ideas and styles into the creation. She seeks a balance between directing and listening to create a cohesive and rich work.


Today’s world is chaotic and confusing, especially in recent years. Lila’s aim with this piece is to bring lightness, hope and a desire to dance and move. She hopes that the hearts and emotions of the audience will be touched during the performance and that they will leave with a sense of hope and lightness.

We hope that when you see Sāmara you will feel a renewed sense of hope, lightness and a desire to dance, even in the midst of chaos.

More about Lila Magnin

Copyrights photos: Romane Iskaria