Dominique Bagouet

Jours étranges (1990)

Dominique Bagouet, Jours étranges © Christian Ganet, 1990
Dominique Bagouet, Jours étranges © Christian Ganet, 1990

23 > 25.03.23

CN D Pantin

Re-creation by Catherine Legrand (2023) for six performers

Catherine Legrand chose to revisit Dominique Bagouet’s Jours étranges to revive the choreographer’s legacy; the piece was created when Bagouet was first diagnosed, and for Legrand, it encapsulates the diversity of his inspiration and the wide range of his talent – in the performance he inspires in dancers, in the music, in his scholarly writing or in the games he developed. For this reprise, Legrand wanted to revisit the work with dancers who had worked with Bagouet, and draw from their passion for his work, their virtuosity in bringing it to life, and in bringing out its vitality and sense of urgency.

“I remember these “beatnik” evenings spent listening to the warm voice of Jim Morrison, the atmosphere of these “Strange days” echoed perfectly the confusion of our adolescent selves who were looking for their own values, in what has now become a sort of mythology, and who were experiencing an obscure and undefined longing for rebellion against the norms and established codes” (Dominique Bagouet, juillet 1990).

Dominique Bagouet received classical training in the Rosella Hightower academy in Cannes from 1965 onwards, and was first hired by Alfonso Cata in the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève in 1969. The following year, he danced with Félix Blaska’s company and began working with Béjart’s Ballets du XXème siècle in Brussels, where he stayed for two years. He came back to Paris in 1974, where he trained with Carolyn Carlson and Peter Goss. Then he left for the USA, where he trained in the American style. In 1976, he came back to France and choreographed his first piece, Chansons de nuit for the Concours de Bagnolet, and created his own company. He created 14 pieces between then and 1979, sometimes in a quick and unsatisfying way. Ribatz, Ribatz ! and Voyage organisé put him on the map, and he moved to Montpellier, where his company and his work found support, since he was invited to become the director of the Centre chorégraphique régional de Montpellier. He created the Montpellier Danse festival, which he directed until 1982; in this city, he created Insaisies (1982) and other pieces until Necesito, pièce pour Grenade (1991), the last piece that was commissioned to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Granada. Pieces like Déserts d’amour (1984), Le Crawl de Lucien (1985) o Assaï (1986) best encapsulate Bagouet’s style: they all share a striking set of subtle and sophisticated gestures, footwork and handwork, and particular tilts of the upper body, while always remaining precise and unaffected. He has worked with Christian Boltanski and Pascal Dusapin for Le Saut de l’ange (1987), or Tristan Murail for Déserts d’amour, as well as actress Nelly Borgeaud for Meublé sommairement (1989), a choreographic adaptation of a novel by Emmanuel Bove. Bagouet passed away in 1992.