Maguy Marin

Maguy Marin has never rested on her laurels, which, however, have been plentiful. With Jean-Claude Gallotta, Dominique Bagouet, Régine Chopinot, François Verret and Daniel Larrieu, she is one of the pioneers of new French dance, which came to the fore at the beginning of the 1980s. Inspired by Beckett's work, her play May B. was performed over 600 times in 40 countries, and continues to tour a quarter of a century after its premiere. A choice morsel of the contemporary choreographic repertory, it has kept, when it is seen again today, all its vigour and subtleness. Having started in classical dance, trained by Béjart at the Mudra school then at the Ballet du XXe siècle in Brussels, Maguy Marin founded her first company in 1978 with Daniel Ambasch: the Ballet Théâtre de l'Arche. The team moved to Créteil, then produced a succession of shows that renewed dance at the Festival d'Avignon, notably May B. in 1982, Jaleo in 1983, Hymen at the Cloître des Carmes in 1984, So What Does That Do for Me? in 1989 at the Cour d'honneur, then Ram Dam, once again at the Carmes in 1995, the year when the choreographer joined the Festival's artists to protest against the massacres in Srebrenica in ex-Yugoslavia. For if Maguy Marin is brimming with energy, it is because she is constantly seeking to "dance in the City", open to all the arts, tuned into the world that surrounds her, a society that is changing, a public that moves. First in Créteil, then in Rillieux-la-Pape, a new town in the Lyon suburbs where she ran the Centre chorégraphique national, provided with a beautiful wooden building open to everyone, Maguy Marin obstinately continues her crossing through dance. Her most recent shows have proved her capacity to create strong impressions in the spectator: shock, introspection, malaise, seduction, rejection, fusion. Umwelt and its strident rigour, Ha! Ha! and its worried laughter, Turba and the heady profusion of Lucretius' writing, a host of evidence that shows that Maguy Marin hasn't lost any of her audacity and vitality.

Portrait of Maguy Marin © Tim Douet