Catherine Diverrès
Carolyn Carlson

Pièces de répertoire de 1973 à 2012

Carolyn Carlson Immersion © Laurent Philippe
Carolyn Carlson Immersion © Laurent Philippe

27 > 29.03.18

CN D Pantin

This series showcasing the leading works of two creators was initiated last year at the CN D. After Monnier/Marin and Mantero/Triozzi, Carlson and Diverrès take pride of place this spring. In their work, bodies become calligraphies, emblems of a subterranean world that is tragic and mysterious. Their dance is all about women, the movement of a body not split up playing with gravity, the energy of urges, expressiveness and a certain violence of the emotions. They are Carolyn Carlson and Catherine Diverrès, two choreographers producing a world of images and energies that draw on other worlds and encounters. Catherine Diverrès’s career has been marked above all by her trip to Japan to meet Kazuo Ôno, one of the founding choreographers of butô dancing. As for Carolyn Carlson, she left Alwin Nikolaïs for France in the early 1970s and has influenced several generations of performers and creators. In this programme, the two choreographers bring to the surface of their bodies, not their memory, and still less a distant past, but the vestige of what was for them a foundational experience. In Ô Sensei, Catherine Diverrès, accompanied by Katja Fleig, takes us back to the origins of her calligraphy, in a dialogue with the spirit of her (Sensei) master Kazuo Ôno, who died in 2010. Imbued with tiny variations and incantations, throbbing with ambiguous incarnations, her gestures sketch out a farewell that is repeated infinitely in the manner of unfolding time. In Short Stories, Carolyn Carlson touches on the invisible. From her famous solo Density 21,5 – which revolutionised the dance world 42 years ago and was passed on to Isida Micani – to Mandala danced by Sara Orselli, Carlson conjures dreams out of the air. But the eternal Water Lady lends her intense presence to Immersion, plumbing the unfathomable depths of the soul.


Creator of around one hundred choreographies, as well as a calligrapher and a poet, Carolyn Carlson, a Californian of Finnish origin, began her career with Alwin Nikolaïs. In 1971, she chose Paris as the place to pursue more personal work. Selected by Rolf Liebermann, ‘étoile-chorégraphe’ (a title invented for her) at the Opéra de Paris following the creation of Density 21.5 in 1973, then director of GRTOP (Groupe de recherches théâtrales de l’Opéra de Paris), her dancing would then take her to Venice, Stockholm and Helsinki. She returned to Paris in 1999, where she created the Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson at the Cartoucherie while working as director of the Ballet du Nord, CCN de Roubaix from 2004 to 2013. Today, she continues to direct her own company, which in parallel with its own works, which form the core of its activities, explores new forms of creation, embracing exhibitions and films.

Catherine Diverrès studied classical dance, then at Mudra, Maurice Béjart’s school. She danced in particular for Dominique Bagouet in the early 1980s. She then visited Japan, where she studied with Kazuo Ôno, one of the founders of butô, in the company of Bernardo Montet. Together they created Instance (1983), a major work, followed by Rêve d’Helen Keller, which won a prize at the Concours de Bagnolet 1984. In 1994, after ten years of highly acclaimed choreographic works, they were appointed directors of CCN de Rennes et de Bretagne, a post that she would occupy on her own from 1998 to 2008. Since then she has been the director of her own company.