The course of a life – Maguy Marin
There is a place of birth that is something other than a city. Toulouse. A place reachedafter a series of displacements provoked by political events in Spain. It’s there she grew up, in France at the beginning of the 1950s. The desire to dance would become something concrete through years of study, from Toulouse to Strasbourg then on to Mudra in Brussels. Maurice Béjart, Alfons Goris and Fernand Schirren… And include many important moments of meeting (as was the case with student actors from the National Theatre of Strasbourg). The desire first affirmed itself with the group Chandra and then the Ballet of the XX century. The creative work began alongside Daniel Ambash, while competitions in Nyon and Bagnolet (1978) only added to the momentum.
From 1980 to 1990, encouraged by the team at the Maison des Arts in Créteil, France, the research continued with Christiane Glik, Luna Bloomfield, Mychel Lecoq and Montserrat Casanova. A troupe was formed, reinforced by Cathy Polo, Françoise Leick, Ulises Alvarez and Teresa Cunha among others.
The research continued on with one essential constant: the company that would in 1985 become the National Choreographic Centre of Créteil and Val-du-Marne. The attempt to work collectively and be able to make a living from the work was further supported through a ubiquitous dissemination the world over. In 1987 the encounter with Denis Mariotte would lead to a long collaboration that opened up a vast sphere of experimentation based upon a mutual line of questioning and the inclination to search beyond the confines of one specific artistic form.
Make – undo – make anew
In 1998 a new setting in a new region for a new choreographic centre: Centre chorégraphique national in the Velette neighbourhood of Rillieux-la-Pape. Along with the necessity to reinvest the public space with a mix of presences in a shared space: an “us, in time and space”. And in this place the quest to embody the detachment needed to strengthen the ability to react and summon up “the diagonal forces that resist oblivion” (H. Arendt).
The work followed in multiple spaces – in the Studio, in the Velette neighbourhood, in partner cities and foreign countries. In the work multiple creations and interventions intertwined while the cultivation of an artistic exactitude opened up possibilities that surpassed any immediate convivial desire of simply being together.
In 2006 came a new building for the CCN in Rillieux-la-Pape, a place to inhabit and cohabit, a laboratory of the people, itself an embodiment of the performing arts and destined for an audience from the inner city from whence the poetic public gesture comes. That the part of existence that art imparts upon us be made and expressed through public address, from place to place, city to city and country to country; and to this end throughout the many different places, to share the means, the tools, the experiences and actions. To intermingle artistic disciplines, to create, to support different types of research and anchor artistic actions in diverse areas of social life: from schools to theatres, art centres to social centres, public spaces to open living spaces, places for research and community centres, by letting the artistic gesture live like a poetic force that is capable of making and refashioning different worlds.
2011 was a year for putting all the modalities involved in the Company’s research and reflection back on the working block. After the intensity of the years spent at the CCN in Rillieux-la-Pape, the necessity for a next step arose: to once again work as an independent company. That important decision corresponded to the very vital and imperative desire to experiment in other ways with all that the creative act demands, as a potential capable of prolonging itself through the diverse forms of which it is the root.
After three years spent in Toulouse – the city that hosted the company for a short part of their new adventure yet was unable to meet a permanent company’s stringent need for a sustainable workspace – the idea took hold of setting up in Ramdam, an ancient carpentry workshop (acquired in 1995 by virtue of royalties earned from precedent works). Located in Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, the space had already been active for 17 years and was run by an association that proposes artistic residencies, workshops and public showings. The ongoing project is still active and receives support from the Auvergne- Rhône Alpes region and the city of Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon.
The establishment of the company there in 2015 has permitted it to continue to open up the immaterial space of something shared that obstinately seeks to engage with the work and set in motion the deployment of a new ambitious project in cooperation with three other companies and artistic partners : RAMDAM, UN CENTRE D’ART.
Photo: Herve Deroo