Wilfride Piollet trained at the Paris Opera Ballet school and was given her first solo role by Maurice Béjart in “Noces” in 1965. She was made principal dancer in 1969.
Both at the Paris Opera and all over the world, she performed the great roles of classical and neoclassical repertoire. Jean Guizerix became her partner for dance and for life, and they performed the contemporary choreographies of Merce Cunningham, Lucinda Childs, Douglas Dunn, Andy de Groat, Félix Blaska, Dominique Bagouët and Daniel Larrieu, to name but a few. Piollet also danced the neoclassical works of George Balanchine, Serge Lifar, Roland Petit and Jerome Robbins, and threw herself into Belle Danse (historical dance) under the direction of Francine Lancelot. Since 1977 Piollet has choreographed her own works, which include “Le Prince de Bois”, “Huit danses hongroises”, “Renard”, “Lettera Amorosa”, “Dam'Oisel”, “Momerie”, “Ballet Figuré”, “Penthésilée” and “La Conjuration” among others. In 2003, the year in which she finished her performing career, she and Madeleine Lytton began working on the repertoire of Isadora Duncan. When Nadège Tardieu published her thesis on her method “Les Barres flexibles”, Piollet began working on a study of the image of gestures in dance (Les trois temps du corps), then with Francette Levieux (Giselle) and alongside Frédérique Liébaut on “Le corps-partition”, performed in Avignon in 2006.
Piollet choreographed new versions of the great repertoire ballets such as Coppélia, and continued to create new works in smaller form, such as “Le petit Atelier” and “Romance”. In 2005, she and Jean Guizerix choreographed “L'Amour médecin” and “Le Sicilien” for the Comédie-Française (French National Theatre), and “Anonymes” for the École nationale des Arts du cirque (ENAC – National Circus Arts School) in Rosny-sous-Bois (Seine Saint-Denis, near Paris).
From 1989 until June 2008, she taught at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP). In 1999, she published two works on the subject of her teaching: “Rendez-vous sur tes barres flexibles” and “Barres flexibles” (published by L'Oiseau de Feu).
In 1999, on the website lesbarresflexibles.net, Piollet made the series “Les gestes de Lilou” available online. It is aimed at dance teachers, primary school teachers, parents and educators who wish to teach their pupils or children some basic notions of dance.
In February 2009, Piollet took part in a performance in which both dancers and audience moved around the Chartreuse de Villeneuve lez Avignon - “La folie d'Igitur” – a work inspired by the work of French poet Stéphane Mallarmé and directed by Andy de Groat. Piollet also performed a tango with Jean Guizerix, reinterpreted by Andy de Groat and Martin Barré.
She passed away January 20, 2015.
Digital resource - Médiathèque du Centre national de la danse
Updating: January 2018