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The spectator's moment : Josette Baïz

The spectator's moment : Josette Baïz

The spectator's moment

The Spectator's moment or how to discover an artist, a piece of work or a company in just two minutes. It is a collection of programmes produced by the Maison de la Danse in Lyon and presented by Dominique Hervieu. Each episode is devoted to an artist or a company that is programmed at the Maison de la Danse and offers the public keys or artistic benchmarks for better understanding and appreciating the choreographic art.

Directed by Fabien Plasson
A collection produced in partnership with TLM - Télé Lyon Métropole

© Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Baïz, Josette

Josette Baïz, who was trained by Odile Duboc, has been teaching contemporary dance since 1978 in Aix-en-Provence, where she created her first choreographies for young dancers who took part in her classes.

In 1982, when she was a dancer for Jean-Claude Gallotta, Josette Baïz won first prize in the 14th edition of the Bagnolet International Choreographic Competition, as well as the public prize and the French Minister for Culture's prize. She went on to found her first company: The Place Blanche, and has since created over 40 works, for her own companies and for an array of national (Toulouse, Jeune Ballet de France of the Lyon Conservatory, etc.) and international ballets (Boston, Royal Ballet of Phnom Penh, Germany, Venezuela, The Netherlands, etc.).

In 1989, the French Minister for Culture invited her for a year as artist in residence for a school in the Northern districts of Marseille. This encounter with young people, from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, led her to reconsider the signification of her work and to radically modify her artistic approach.
The confrontation with proposals as diverse as breakdance, smurf, hip-hop, oriental, gypsy, Indian and African dance, obliged her to totally reappraise the physical and mental skills she had acquired.
She was totally unacquainted with the supports, the way the ground was used, the circular movements of the hips, the sharp strikes of flamenco and the loosened pelvis of African dances.

And so, a process of mutual exchange was initiated: Josette Baïz taught contemporary, classical dance and composition in research workshops; the young dancers taught her their way of asserting their origins and feelings.

It was, therefore, only natural for Josette Baïz to create the Groupe Grenade, which brought together over thirty young dancers, in 1992. In 1998, Josette decided to perpetuate the cross-cultural work undertaken with the Groupe Grenade, whilst continuing to pursue an intensely contemporary perspective. She created the compagnie Grenade which comprised five key dancers from the Groupe Grenade.

Josette Baïz's wish is to continue to enhance this choreographic repertoire by continuing to partner artistically with French and international choreographers; by taking part in cutting-edge and original multidisciplinary projects and, as such, initiating encounters and exchange.

Source : Grenade - Josette Baïz Cie 's website

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Plasson, Fabien

Born in 1977, Fabien Plasson is a video director specialized in the field of performing arts (dance , music, etc).

During his studies at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (joined in 1995) Fabien discovered video art. He was trained by various video artists (Joel Bartoloméo Pascal Nottoli , Eric Duyckaerts , etc) .
He first experimented with the creation of installations and cinematic objects.

From 2001 to 2011, he was in charge of Ginger & Fred video Bar’s programming at La Maison de la Danse in Lyon. He discovered the choreographic field and the importance of this medium in the dissemination, mediation and pedagogical approach to dance alongside Charles Picq, who was a brilliant video director and the director of the video department at that time.

Today, Fabien Plasson is the video director at La Maison de la Danse and in charge of the video section of, an online international  video library, and continues his creative activities, making videos of concerts, performances and also creating video sets for live performances.

Sources: Maison de la Danse ; Fabien Plasson website

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Grenade - Josette Baïz

Artistic direction: Josette Baïz

Creation: 1998

Compagnie Grenade was created in 1998 by Josette Baïz, a logical follow-up to the work she began in 1992 with the Groupe Grenade (children and teenagers).  Its dance studios, located in Aix-en-Provence, France, comprise of a dozen professional dancers, most of who come from the Groupe Grenade. 

The dancers, including some who have worked with Josette Baïz for 20 years (and they’re still under 30 today!), have invented, with Josette, the characteristic cultural mix typical to Grenade, each bringing his or her own background – Eastern, Asian, African or urban – and integrating it into the contemporary world of the choreographer. 

Their creations are therefore a perpetual research where the leitmotif is to open ones mode of expression.

The style of Josette Baïz was built by the approach of other choreographers of her generation and American masters such as Nikolaïs and Merce Cunningham, the teaching experience of Odile Duboc and Susan Buirge and artistic collaborations with Jean-Claude Gallotta.

Over the years, the Compagnie Grenade has been further enriched by hosting several dancers from different choreographic horizons

Concurrently, some dancers from the Compagnie Grenade have continued their adventures with other companies (Maguy Marin, Dominique Boivin, Angelin Preljocaj, Compagnie Malka, Abou Lagraa, Carolyn Carlson, Pierre Droulers …), to discover other choreographic styles.

In this spirit, Josette and her dancers continue their research by being constantly open to techniques (contact – improvisation, Limon technique, Graham, Cunningham…), a good reason to regularly invite outside teachers and form artistic collaborations based on encounters and exchange.

Source : Compagnie Grenade 's website

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