Artists’ careers

Alwin Nikolaïs

50 min.

While for Merce Cunningham all dancers were a priori equal, Alwin Nikolais establishes an equivalence in qualities between dancers, costumes, sounds and lights; each element of the performance represents a unique medium with its own register of rhythms, which must be coordinated with the others. With Alwin Nikolais there is a body rhythm, a costume rhythm, a sound rhythm and a light rhythm. It is no coincidence that Alwin Nikolais has chosen to work with one of the most innovative filmmakers, Ed Emshwiller, to make his dance films. They share an attraction to the movement of colours in the air. For them, colour and light in space can also be as substantial as on a canvas.

Full movies
Fusion, direction Ed Emshwiller, choregraphy and music Alwin Nikolaïs, 1967, 7min.
Film with Three Dancers, direction Ed Emshwiller, choregraphy Alwin Nikolaïs, 1970, 21 min.
Chrysalis, direction Ed Emshwiller, choregraphy Alwin Nikolaïs, 1973, 22 min.


Moments of Pina Bausch


Montage directed by the Cinémathèque de la Danse, with the support of the Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand - Scène nationale and with the gracious permission of Éditions de l’Arche.

Pina Bausch’s method was based on choosing her performers for who they were and what they had experienced. At the beginning of rehearsals, she would ask the dancers a simple question about the themes of identity, memory, desire, the relationship between men and women, in order to enable them to plug into emotional experiences and gradually bring them towards what she wanted. This collective ritual, this introspective work with her dancers was a form of collective creation that was a long way from classical dance or contemporary dance. Another notable fact was the presence of 26 performers in the company, many of whom remained for many years. Pina Bausch’s works are simultaneously revues, operettas, happenings and performance art. Humour is very present, but things rapidly slide into hysteria, violence and eroticism. Her works are full of emotionally charged exchanges that express the inability of men and women to communicate with each other.

Répétition du Sacre (Probe Sacre), with Pina Bausch & Kyoni Ichida, 1994
Le Sacre du printemps (Das Frühlingsopfer) (choregraphy de 1975), 1978
Barbe Bleue (Blaubart), (choregraphy de 1977), 1984
Cafe Müller (choregraphy de 1978), 1986
Walzer, 1982
Nelken, 1982
Palermo Palermo, 1989
La Plainte de l’impératrice (Die Klage der Kaiserin), 1987-1989


Maguy Marin : Back to Umwelt


First performed in France and Europe in 2004, Umwelt has been widely admired in the dance world, while also having a stormy and occasionally violent public reception. However, since works like May B and Cendrillon, Maguy Marin has been one of the most important French choreographers, and one of the most popular with the public. The Cinémathèque de la Danse wanted to accompany Umwelt in images, to show the links between the pieces by Maguy Marin that are already classics of contemporary dance and this latest work. It shows the sketches that would culminate in Umwelt, and right throughout Maguy Marin’s career, resonating in particular with the idea that dance is not only a performance, but a form of engagement with the world.
Programme conceived with Maguy Marin.

Répétition du Sacre [Probe Sacre], with Pina Bausch & Kyomi Ichida, 1994
Le Sacre du printemps [Das Frühlingsopfer] (1975), 1978
Barbe Bleue [Blaubart], (1977), 1984
Café Müller (1978), 1986
Walzer, 1982
Nelken, 1982
Palermo Palermo, 1989
La Plainte de l’impératrice [Die Klage der Kaiserin], direction Pina Bausch, 1987-1989
Note : Set-up with special conditions


Moments of Lia Rodrigues

37 min.

Based in the Maré favela in Rio de Janeiro, the Companhia de danças Lia Rodrigues has created an intensely political body of work rooted in the real world. Minimalist forms, the product of a desire for simplicity and the absence of the spectacular, and the simplest materials – a large piece of plastic, ketchup, flour – become the tools for a representation of violence, and also an exploration of what a community is, through works in which the spectators can take part. The sequences from the works of Lia Rodrigues that make up this montage are juxtaposed with performances that have rarely if ever been seen in Europe. There are also glimpses of her collaborations with the artists Tunga and Gérard Fromanger.

La Jeune Fille et la Mort, with Christiane Glik & la compagnie Maguy Marin, direction Mirto Storni, 1979
May B, with la compagnie Maguy Marin, direction Charles Picq & Luc Riolon, 1981
Eden (duo), direction Jacques Kerhuel & Luc Riolon, 1986
Cortex, direction Luc Riolon, 1991
Ram Dam, direction Luc Riolon, 1995
Points de fuite, direction Luc Riolon, 2001
Répétitions d’Umwelt, Centre chorégraphique national de Rillieux-la-Pape, direction Xavier Baert, la Cinémathèque de la danse, 2006
Umwelt, creation and scenic exploration Maguy Marin, 2004


Solos, Carte blanche to Robyn Orlin

50 min.

This montage features solos by Sophiatou Kossoko, Seydou Boro, Vera Mantero and Ibrahim Sissoko, demonstrating how humour can be used as a political weapon and costume as a way of exploding archetypes.

Concours d’Isicathamiya à Johannesburg, direction Robyn Orlin, 2007
Dressed to kill… killed to dress…, 2008
Daddy, I’ve seen this piece 6 times before and I still don’t know why they’re hurting each other, 1998
Hey Dude… I have talent… I’m just waiting for God…, 2005
Beautés cachées, sales histoires, direction Robyn Orlin, 2004
Babysitting Petit Louis, direction Philippe Lainé, 2008
Sors, conception and performance Pedro Pauwels, choregraphy Robyn Orlin, 2013
The Future may be bright, but it’s not necessarily orange, 2002
Je suis venu… J’ai vu… J’ai mâché des malabars…, 2008
Call it… kissed by the sun… better still the revenge of geography…, 2010
Although I live inside… my hair will always reach towards the sun…, 2004