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Enfance de Mammame (L')

Choreography Jean-Claude Gallotta
Dancers Camille Cau, Darrell Davis, Jean-Claude Gallotta, Benjamin Houal, Yannick Hugron, Ximena Figueroa, Philippe Lebhar, Kae Kurachi, Thierry Verger, Béatrice Warrand and Jean-Claude Gallotta


Dramatist point of view
Mammame is this choreography created into 1985 which will have traversed the world and which, become part of the repertory today, is the subject of recoveries or re-creations. Several generations of public managed. Jean-Claude Gallotta who has the childhood which itches it "My childhood runs in my knees become large" makes it say to Yvan Vaffan, wanted to excavate more still this idea of transmission between the generations by adapting his choreography for a public of children, version entitled "the Childhood of Mammame". To adapt a choreographic part for young spectators does not consist to simplify it nor to schematize it. That more precisely consists in giving to the spectacle a narrative form by which the children can better apprehend it. In dance as, the children like as them stories are told. It was necessary thus that the tribulations of the Mammame tribe is put in tale, that their adventure has a name, that the dancers become identifiable characters, that an storyteller-agitator (Jean-Claude Gallotta itself) comes to unroll on the scene the wire of the account. The Childhood of Mammame is thus the history of a band of Mammames which lived inside the theatre and made a passion for the projector. They were heated there, below all unit "One day, by mystery, known as Gallotta-storyteller, the projector dies out and disappears. Mammames then will face the cold and the sad one. There is however a solution, a legend tells that while creating certain dances, many and different, the projector will return. Mammames enter in scene and leave sharp, in their choreographic search, with the research of the disappeared projector. The Schiotto elf presents them while singing and launches the dance of the Mammames-children " "Ocht-oussil! "the choreographer in the language concludes even from Mammames. Is it necessary to translate? The dance is well enough large to be rendered comprehensible.
Claude-Henri Buffard


I often think of presenting certain choreographic forms at glances of children.
I think besides that all my spectacles can be seen by children.
However, with the company, I remember to have to improvise starting from Mammame for one morning school.
It was incredible sets of spirits and revealed characteristics. The duration, the tone, the rhythm, hangs it sequences were different.
It is this experiment which I will like to renew by organizing it and to propose this specific spectacle: the childhood of Mammame.


Mammames like the theatre and especially the projector.
Once lit, it becomes their regenerating sun.
One day, by mystery, the projector dies out and disappears.
Mammames then will face the cold and the sad one.
There is however a solution, a legend tells that while creating certain dances, many and different, the projector will return.
Mammames enter in scene and leave sharp, in their choreographic search, with the research of the disappeared projector.
The elf Schiotto the present while singing and launches the dance of the Mammames-children... Ocht-oussil!
Jean-Claude Gallotta


Choreographer Jean-Claude Gallotta
Assistant choreographer and rehersal Mathilde Altaraz
Costumes Jean-Yves Langlais, adaptation Jacques Schiotto assisted by Marion Mercier and Anne Jonathan for the new production
Lighting Sylvain Fabry and Jean-Claude Gallotta
Music Henry Torgue, Serge Houppin, Strigall
Dancers Camille Cau, Darrell Davis, Jean-Claude Gallotta, Benjamin Houal, Yannick Hugron, Ximena Figueroa, Philippe Lebhar, Kae Kurachi, Thierry Verger, Béatrice Warrand and Jean-Claude Gallotta
Production Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble - Théâtre National de Chaillot –Maison de la Culture de Grenoble

Last upload : October 2014


Gallotta, Jean-Claude

After a trip to New York in which he discovered the work of Merce Cunningham, Lucinda Childs, Steve Paxton, Trisha Brown, Stuart Sherman and Yvonne Rainer, Jean-Claude Gallotta – with Mathilde Altaraz – founded the Émile Dubois Group in Grenoble in 1979, which, in 1981, joined the Grenoble Arts Centre as a dance creation unit. This was where Ulysse was born, a playful ballet using both classical and modern vocabularies.

The Émile Dubois Group became the National Choreographic Centre and took up Ulysse again in 1984 for the Olympic Games Festival in Los Angeles, the American Dance Festival, the Holland Festival and the Avignon Festival.

This was followed by: Les Aventures d’Ivan Vaffan, Les Louves and Pandora. In 1986, Jean-Claude Gallotta was asked to be the director of the Grenoble Arts Centre – renamed “Le Cargo” -, thereby becoming the first choreographer to be appointed to run this type of institution.

In 1987, the ballet Mammame was performed at the Montreal International Festival of New Dance: the Canadian press (dance and theatre) awarded him the prize for the Best Foreign Performance of the Year. In 1989, after some ten audiovisual collaborations with, for example, Claude Mouriéras and Raoul Ruiz, Jean-Claude Gallotta produced his first full-length film: Rei Dom – La Légende des Kreuls. This was followed by Docteur Labus and Les Mystères de Subal. 

Jean-Claude Gallotta then resigned as director of the Grenoble Arts Centre and published his first book, Mémoires d’un dictaphone.

During the 1991-1992 season, two choreographic creations combining dance, words and music were performed: La Légende de Roméo et Juliette, performed in November 1991 for the Albertville Olympic Arts Festival, and La Légende de Don Juan, performed in June 1992 for the Universal Exhibition in Seville, as a joint production with the Avignon Festival. Jean-Claude Gallotta then shot his second full-length film: l’Amour en deux.

1993: publication of Les Yeux qui dansent (interviews with Bernard Raffalli).
In July of the same year, Jean-Claude Gallotta recreated Ulysse at the Châteauvallon Festival. This was followed by a long international tour.

1994: Prémonitions, a new choreography created in Grenoble. 1995: at the request of ‘Lyon Opéra Ballet’, Jean-Claude Gallotta composed La Solitude du danseur, four solos performed to music by Erik Satie. Gallotta then worked with Nicholas Hytner and Sir Charles Mackerras to produce La Petite Renarde Rusée, an opera by Leos Janacek, performed by the Théâtre du Châtelet.

At the Châteauvallon Festival, Jean-Claude Gallotta choreographed and performed the solo Hommage à Pavel Haas. In Grenoble, he created La Tête contre les fleurs for the company. This was followed in 1996 by Rue de Palanka, and in 1997, La Rue (an event for 3,000 spectators) and the creation of La Chamoule ou l’Art d’aimer.

A longstanding collaboration was set up with Japan, at the invitation of the director Tadashi Suzuki: from 1997 to 2000, Jean-Claude Gallotta ran the dance department at the new Shizuoka Performing Arts Centre, training and directing a permanent company of eight Japanese performers. In 1998, Jean-Claude Gallotta also directed Le Ventriloque by Jean-Marie Piemme and Le Catalogue by Jean-Bernard Pouy, and wrote Pierre Chatel for “l’Adieu au siècle”.

Jean-Claude Gallotta created Les Variations d’Ulysse for the Paris Opera Ballet, which was performed at the Opéra Bastille in 1995, and repeated in 1998. He also created Nosferatu in May 2002 to music by Pascal Dusapin; the ballet was performed again in spring 2006 at the Opéra Bastille.

In 1999, he created Presque Don Quichotte at the Douai Hippodrome; the piece was also performed in Shizuoka, Japan. In 2000, he created l’Incessante, a solo for Mathilde Altaraz, at the Avignon Festival as part of Le Vif du Sujet. In 2001, he created Les Larmes de Marco Polo for the Lyon International Biennial.

In 2002, he created 99 duos at the Chaillot National Theatre, the first part of a trilogy on ‘People’. In 2003, he prepared Trois générations for the Avignon Festival, which was eventually cancelled. The piece, which includes children, former dancers and the Company, was performed at the Rampe d’Echirolles in March 2004.

It was performed in May of the same year at the Chaillot National Theatre and was repeated in November 2005. The same year, he worked with the director Hans-Peter Cloos to produce a show combining dance, theatre and music, Les sept pechés capitaux by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. In 2006, he created Des Gens qui dansent, the third part of the trilogy initiated by 99 duos and Trois Générations and, in 2007, he repeated his flagship piece from the 80s, Ulysse, under the title Cher Ulysse.

In 2008, Bach dance experience with Mirella Giardelli and “L’Atelier des Musiciens du Louvre”; Armide by Lully with the conductor William Christie and the director Robert Carsen at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris; Chroniques chorégraphiques - season 1, a sort of “stage movie” that allowed him to pursue his poetic research into genres and people.

In 2009, he created l’Homme à tête de chou, with the original words and music by Serge Gainsbourg in a version recorded for the show by Alain Bashung. In April 2011, he performed a solo with Faut qu’je danse ! as a prelude to the recreation of his trio Daphnis é Chloé in Grenoble.

In October 2011, again in Grenoble and with a piece for thirteen dancers, he took on Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps, which he presented in April 2012 at the Chaillot National Theatre, Paris, along with Tumulte and Pour Igor in the first part.

At the end of 2012, he is to present Racheter la mort des gestes - Chroniques chorégraphiques 1 at the Théâtre de la Ville, then at MC2; in early 2013, his recreation of Yvan Vaffan (first performed in 1984) will enable him to continue his work on the repertoire, alternating with his creations and thereby pleading for a certain “continuity in art” and seeking patiently to share with his audience the same story: the story of a shared artistic history and future.

In October 2013, he directed the singer Olivia Ruiz in El Amor Brujo byManuel de Falla, a piece presented together with Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, a show on which he worked together with the conductor Marc Minkowski and the director Jacques Osinski.

For the 2014-15 season, he presented The Rite and its Revolutions (including the first performance of Xenakis’s Jonchaies and Six Pieces for Orchestra, op. 6 by Webern (Homage to Angela Davis) at the Philharmonie de Paris, and in June he gave the first performance of The Stranger, based on the novel by Albert Camus at the MC2 in Grenoble.

He is opening the 2015-2016 season with My Rock at the MC2 in Grenoble, and at the Théâtre du Rond-Point in Paris.

Source : Gallotta's website

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