by Céline Crespy
“Inspiration is everywhere around us, we just need to open our minds”
…And sure it is for Isabelle Clarençon, a talented French artist who mixes hip-hop dance and painting. Radar on a very innovative emerging artist.
Known on stage as Izza, this 26-year-old woman dances since her childhood: classical dance, jazz, contemporary; she did them all before starting hip-hop about 10 years ago. Moving to Paris from Grenoble in 2006, she took part in many hip-hop battles and won some like Section Show Time and Champs de Bataille. The dancer managed to grow and stand out in a hip-hop environment lead mostly by men thanks to her tenacity and creativity. Among her inspirations; she’ll talk about artists very diverse like Physs, Aminata Badiaga, Thierno Thioune, Joseph Go, Marvin, Sidi Lardi Cherkaoui and Pina Bausch.
As for the painting, her main source of inspiration is the French avant-gardist Yves Klein, and his work about body language and monochrome body painting better known as Les Anthropométries (Anthropometries). “I am very attuned to the combination of arts, Isabelle says. I am convinced that it is the future.” She also deplores that the French scene does not give enough way to such combination while both producing companies and the audience are more open-minded in other countries like Germany and the US. She never had the opportunity to go on stage abroad so far but she will perform her piece Hiphopaint in Geneva (Switzerland) next October and she also has some projects in progress in New York City.
Izza and a group of other hip-hop dancers organize a regular event (every 3 months) in Paris: Salade Composée (Salad Bowl). The aim is to gather different kinds of artists (dancers, musicians, painters…), who put on a performance all together. They improvise almost all the way through. The next Salade Composée is taking place on June 27th in La Vilette, Paris.
In addition to her performances, she launched her own brand of jewels, Mad Species, in 2009 and she is a model for Adidas, Ice Cream, Kalyss and 3ème oeil. You can follow Izza on her Facebook page or on her website .