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Dance and visual arts



Massine, Léonide (France)

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2008 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Massine, Léonide (Russian Federation)

Video producer : Maison de la Danse

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

Take a look at this work in the video library

Le saut de l'ange

Bagouet, Dominique (Le saut de l'ange)



Mesa, Olga (France)



La Ribot (Switzerland)


100% polyester, objet dansant n°( à définir)

100% polyester, objet dansant n°( à définir) (100% polyester, objet dansant n°( à définir))


b.c, janvier 1545, fontainebleau.

Rizzo, Christian (France)

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2007

Choreographer(s) : Rizzo, Christian (France)

Video producer : l'association fragile;Maison de la Danse

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

Take a look at this work in the video library

Dance and visual arts

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2018 - Director : Plasson, Fabien

Choreographer(s) : Diaghilev, Serge Mesa, Olga (Spain) Monnier, Mathilde (France) Bagouet, Dominique (France) La Ribot (Spain) Rizzo, Christian (France)

Author : Marie-Thérèse Champesme

pt pl de es en fr


Dance and the visual arts have often been a source of inspiration for one another and have mutually influenced each other. This Theme cannot address all aspects of their relationship; it confines itself to showing the importance of the visual arts in certain choreographies. The visual artist is no longer merely a collaborator working with the choreographer. He is sometimes the co-author of the piece and, in certain cases, of the show's plan, which is considered as a work in itself and can also be exhibited as an installation in a suitable venue.


Parade - Serge de Diaghilev

Sergei Diaghilev, director of the Ballet russes, anxious to give equal importance to the dance, the music and the scenery assembled Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie and Léonide Massine for the creation of Parade in 1917. We know that Massine and Picasso worked together, each modifying his projects on the suggestions of the other. Parade is defined by its rejection of naturalism and psychology and by its references to forms of popular entertainment like the circus or the cabaret. This was at the height of World War I. The frivolity and nonconformist nature of Parade created a scandal.

Le Saut de l'ange – Dominique Bagouet

Le Saut de l'ange by Dominique Bagouet was created in 1987 in the Cour Jacques Coeur in Montpellier. Christian Boltanski, who was responsible for the stage design and the costumes but also the “conception” of the piece, divided the stage into two parts: one is left empty, the performers dancing on the floor istelf, the other is occupied by a red and yellow podium which evokes the circus, while also creating a kind of small theatre within the theatre. The show is performed at nightfall and, as soon as it gets dark, light bulbs are switched on and recall popular festivals or Christmas decorations. Boltanski's deceptively innocent stage design and his mistrust of the ballet tradition helped Dominique Bagouet to “loosen up [8]” his dance, to make it more spontaneous.

Soapera - Mathilde Monnier

For many years, Mathilde Monnier has enjoyed collaborating with musicians, authors, visual artists and other choreographers. In 2010 she created Soapera with the painter Dominique Figarella. Hidden inside this foam, they confront the thick, wet material, pick it up, move it, carve it and, every now and then, emerge from it. The slowness of their gestures allows the foam to retain its volume and to preserve its mystery for a long time.

Carmen/Shakespeare - Olga Mesa

Carmen/Shakespeare is a project in several acts by Olga Mesa and Francisco Ruiz of Infante. In 2013, for Act I, they created an audio-visual plan mixing recorded and real-time video and sound. Carmen/Shakespeare is a piece about seduction, desire, the tensions and the power plays within a relationship. The scene is a “battle field” [12], a metaphor for the chaos of love, where the two protagonists, who are directors, performers and characters simultaneously, are sometimes accomplices and sometimes rivals. Tables and chairs on various levels, projectors on tripods, speakers, computers, microphones, mixing desks, electric lamps and smoke machines all invade the stage. At every moment, the body must reaffirm its uniqueness, its freedom, its refusal to be an object, and the dance space must be regained.

Pièces distinguées - La Ribot

Since 1991, La Ribot has deliberately situated her work between dance, performance and visual arts. In order to change the relationship with the audience, to free herself from the formats imposed by the institutions and to work differently with the body in space, she usually presents her Pièces distinguées (Distinguished Pieces). La Ribot often performs naked. She uses everyday objects, taking a malicious pleasure in giving them unexpected, playful or violent functions. Some can be even transformed into instruments of sadistic pleasure or torture. Absurd rituals, the Distinguished Pieces oscillate between comedy and tragedy: the body is often brutalised, reified, a coveted commodity, measured, or mistreated. Standing or sitting on the ground near the dancer, the spectator is ill at ease, a reluctant voyeur of the violence he is witnessing.

100% polyester, objet dansant n°( à définir) – Christian Rizzo

100% polyester, objet dansant n°( à définir) is the first piece created by Christian Rizzo and l’association fragile. It was a piece without dancers, where the movement was created by ventilators blowing on clothing. It was either an installation or a show dealing with absence, a recurring topic for Christian Rizzo. Since then, he has written his pieces for the dancers' bodies, paying the greatest of attention to the spaces their gestures open up and to the design formed by the gap which separates them.

b.c, janvier 1545, Fontainebleau – Christian Rizzo

When Christian Rizzo writes a solo, he cannot imagine a body alone on the stage: there must at least be a prop in order for the body to resound. Stage design is the first thing he develops when he creates a show, b.c., January 1545, fontainebleau is performed in a box, inside which all the distances have been very precisely calculated. It is used as framework for this tableau in black and white, which the vibration of the light animates and which the finely honed movements of the dancer slowly transform. In Christian Rizzo's uncompromising plan, under the watchful eye of the choreographer himself, a strange ritual unfolds, where the geometrical and the organic, the living and the inanimate meet.

In more depth


BABLET, Denis. Les Révolutions scéniques du XXe siècle. Paris : Société internationale d'art, 1975. 395 p.

BANES, Sally. Terspichore en baskets, post-modern dance. Paris-Pantin : Chiron - CND (coéd.), 2002. 310 p.

BOISSEAU, Rosita GATTINONI, Christian. Danse et art contemporain. Paris : Nouvelles éditions Scala, 2011. 127 p. (Sentiers d’art).

CUNNINGHAM, Merce. Le danseur et la danse : entretiens avec Jacqueline Lesschaeve. Paris : Belfond, 1980. 250 p. (Entretiens).

FRIMAT, François. Qu'est-ce que la danse contemporaine (Politique de l'hybride). Paris : Presses Universitaires de France, 2010. 141 p. (Intervention philosophique).

GINOT, Isabelle. Dominique Bagouet, un labyrinthe dansé. Pantin : Centre national de la danse, 1999. 303 p. (Recherches – CND).

HUESCA, Roland. Danse, art et modernité : au mépris des usages. Paris : Presses Universitaires de France, 2012. 263 p. (Lignes d’art).

KUYPERS, Patricia. « Réinventer l'espace. Un entretien avec Lucinda Childs », in Nouvelles de danse. Danse et architecture, n°42-43. Bruxelles : Contredanse, 2000. p. 117-134

MACEL, Christine, LAVIGNE, Emma. Danser sa vie : art et danse de 1900 à nos jours. Catalogue d’exposition (Paris, Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne, 23 novembre 2011 -2 avril 2012). Paris : Centre Pompidou, 2011. 320 p.

MICHAUD, Éric. Théâtre au Bauhaus : 1919-1929. Lausanne : L'Age d'Homme, 1978. 201 p. (Théâtre années vingt. Série Etudes)

MONNIER, Mathilde, OLISLAEGER, François. Mathilde : danser après tout. Paris-Pantin : Denoël Graphic - Centre national de la danse (coéd.), 2013. 2 volumes, 175 p. (Denoël graphic). 120 p.

PERRIN, Julie. Figures de l'attention – Cinq essais sur la spatialité en danse : Xavier Le Roy, Yvonne Rainer, Olga Mesa, Boris Charmatz et Merce Cunningham. Dijon : Les presses du réel, 2013. 323 p. (Nouvelles scènes).

RIZZO, Christian. Quelque chose suit son cours... : une année d'entretiens avec Marie-Thérèse Champesme. Pantin : Centre national de la danse, 2010. 172 p. (Parcours d’artistes).

RONDEAU, Corinne. Lucinda Childs. Temps/Danse. Pantin : Centre national de la danse, 2013. 157 p. (Parcours d’artistes).

ROUSIER, Claire. La Ribot. Pantin : Centre national de la danse, 2004. (Parcours d’artistes).

ROUSIER, Claire (dir.). Oskar Schlemmer : l'Homme et la figure d'art. Pantin : Centre national de la danse, 2002. 173 p. (Recherches – CND).


ABEILLE, Anne (dir.), RODES, Christine. Dominique Bagouet [DVD]. Paris : La Maison d'à côté, 2010. 2 DVD + 1 livret (132 p.).

BENSARD, Patrick. Lucinda Childs [DVD]. Paris : CNC [distrib.], [DL 2010], 52 mn. (Images de la culture. Danse).

La Ribot. Treintaycuatropiècesdistinguées&onestriptease [DVD]. Madrid : La Casa Encendida de la obra social de caja, 2007, 149 min.

PETER, Luc. La Ribot distinguida : Images de la culture : Danses [DVD]. Paris : CNC, 2004, 63 mn. (Images de la culture).

Companies websites

Lucinda Childs Dance [online]. Available on :

Les Carnets Bagouet [online]. Available on :

Mathilde Monnier [online]. Available on :

Cie Hors Champ/Fuera de Campo [online]. Available on :

La Ribot (Maria Ribot) [online]. Available on :

L’association fragile / Christian Rizzo [online]. Available on :


Marie-Thérèse Champesme teaches the history of art and dance at the University of Littoral in Dunkerque. At the same time, she collaborates with contemporary artists (exhibition curators, project support, texts and interviews ...) such as Christian Rizzo or Peter Downsbrough.


Excerpts selection

Marie-Thérèse Champesme

Text and bibliography selection

Marie-Thérèse Champesme


Maison de la Danse

The "Dance and visual arts" Parcours was launched thanks the support of General Secretariat of Ministries and Coordination of Cultural Policies for Innovation.

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