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Dancing bodies


D'indicibles violences

Brumachon, Claude (France)

CN D - Centre national de la danse 2014 - Director : Centre national de la danse, Réalisation

Choreographer(s) : Brumachon, Claude (France) Lamarche, Benjamin (France)

Video producer : Centre national de la danse

Integral video available at CND de Pantin and at Maison de la danse de Lyon

Take a look at this work in the video library

Sans Titre

Hoghe, Raimund (Germany)

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2009

Choreographer(s) : Hoghe, Raimund (Germany)

Video producer : Maison de la Danse/Montpellier danse

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

Take a look at this work in the video library

Cygne - Daddy, I've seen this piece six times before and I still don't know why they're hurting each other

Orlin, Robyn (France)


The Spectator's moment (2013): Olivier Dubois

Dubois, Olivier (France)


Vif du sujet (Le) : Skull*Cult

Rizzo, Christian (France)


Collection particulière

D'Urso, Maria Donata (France)

Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2006 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : D'Urso, Maria Donata (Italy)

Video producer : Disorienta;Maison de la Danse

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

Take a look at this work in the video library

Zombie Aporia

Linehan, Daniel (France)


Dancing bodies

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

Choreographer(s) : Brumachon, Claude (France) Hoghe, Raimund (Germany) Orlin, Robyn (South Africa) Dubois, Olivier (France) Rizzo, Christian (France) D'Urso, Maria Donata (Italy) Linehan, Daniel (United States) Fontaine, Geisha (France) Cottreau, Pierre (France)

Author : Centre national de la danse

en fr


One of the issues in contemporary dance consists of seeing, approaching and working with the body differently than in the past. Contemporary choreographers and dancers seek to subvert an overly trained dancing body. They want to break away from the established ideals and to question what defines, but also limits, the “dancing body”. Moreover, the practice, the perception and experimentation with the body are decisive factors in the work of the contemporary dancer. They seek to cultivate the awareness of their own body, while the choreographer seeks to draw on the body's different competences. Depending on his style and his aesthetic concerns, he will not use the same bodies or thus the same performers.



D’Indicibles Violences - Claude Brumachon

In the performance d’Indicibles Violences, choreographed by Claude Brumachon, the body of the dancers are virtuosic, sporty and agile. The body expresses a virile animality which, according to the choreographer, “travels to the interior of a volcano of extreme flesh. This body also references Greek statuary; it is sculptural and falls within the criteria of “traditional” beauty. It is expert and admirable. It is a body ideal found in contemporary dance, but one from which other choreographers have wanted to emancipate themselves.

Sans titre - Raimund Hoghe

Raimund Hoghe wanted “to throw his body into the struggle”. He thinks that “physical handicaps shock people more than violence on stage”. He suggests “an appeal for imperfection”. Raimund Hoghe is a German choreographer and dancer. who has a hunchback. His body subverts all the ideals attributed to the dancer's body. In the show Sans titre, his body communicates with that of the Congolese dancer Faustin Linyekula. This choreography, which brings Africa and the West face-to-face, involves bodies that contemporary dance has gradually accepted. Here, black skin and a white hunchback become an artistic and poetic medium.

Cygne - Daddy I’ve seen this piece six times before and I still don’t know why they’re hurting each other – Robyn Orlin

Questioning representations of the body also concerns the South African choreographer Robyn Orlin. Orlin criticises the ideological use of physical criteria, in particular in Daddy.... In this piece, a dancer covers herself in flour to become an impeccable white swan – this is an unavoidable referent of the Western ballet culture. The ideal body of the dancer is thus put into perspective and questioned.

La minute du spectateur - Olivier Dubois

In his first creations, Olivier Dubois confronts the exhibition of his body and what this means for his sense of privacy. In his proposals, the body of Olivier Dubois is no longer characterised by its physical aspects, but by the artistic setting which it expresses. Any body can thus become a medium, an ally and the main symbol of an aesthetic engagement.

Skull*Cut - Christian Rizzo

In contemporary dance, the body of the dancer is sometimes also naked. Nudity is a means of restoring the dancing body to its original state. But the body can also be hidden. In Skull*Cut, choreography by Christian Rizzo, the dancer and choreographer Rachid Ouramdane looks like a motorcyclist. He thus becomes a silhouette, both human and undefined. It is a recognisable body whose volumes and postures are emphasised more than if the face and skin were visible. The figure of the motorcyclist is an archetype; but as it is employed here, it changes the elements relating to the dancing body. It results in a strange impression where we are disturbed by a moving body we can perceive, but without really identifying the person we see.

Collection particulière - Maria Donata d'Urso

In Collection particulière, Maria Donata d'Urso works with the plasticity of her body and creates astonishing images in which the contours of her body change radically. She particularly emphasises the role of the skin and the points of support. She questions “the concept of surface which she feels in the physical contact with the ground, but also in the visible space of the stage”. This material body becomes an abstract, moving sculpture that plays with asymmetry. Here the body is the subject of multiple metamorphoses which give it infinite outcomes.

Zombie Aporia - Daniel Linehan

When he is on stage, the dancer combines technical skill, method of interpretation andform of presence. However, the way in which the body subjects itself to the gaze of the audience varies according to the dancers, and the style of the choreographers with whom they work. In Zombie Aporia, created by Daniel Linehan in 2011, the three dancers, through their performance, generate a direct and childlike relationship with the spectators. They engage in the relationships between what you do, what you dance, what you say and what you hum, as if it's business as usual. This obviousness nevertheless ends up involving the spectators in much more complex stratagems, which gradually emerge from the piece. Indeed, “this apparently superficial musical proves to be a manifesto against the conditioning of bodies and minds”.

LEX - Geisha Fontaine et Pierre Cottreau

Geisha Fontaine and Pierre Cottreau conceived LEX while tackling the accepted expressions of choreographic criticism to refer to the body of the dancer. Would the best dancer be the most virtuosic, most moving, most beautiful etc.? The two choreographers connect the qualities of the “good” dancer and his place in the field of work and the laws which govern it. What criteria does a dancer need to meet for a successful audition? How does he then demonstrate his artistic competences while working with the choreographer? LEX takes on several assets given to the dancer and to recurring choreographic figures such as slow motion, sequence, unison, canon, solo, duet, quartet to question the function of the dancer-performer.


The Centre national de la danse (CN D) is a national art center dedicated to dance. It’s an instititution dependent on the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and devoted to dance in all its aspects: the promotion of shows and choreographers, the dissemination of choreographic culture, artistic creation, and pedagogy.


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 Centre National de la danse


Centre National de la danse

The "Dancing Bodies" Parcours was created thanks to the support of the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture and Communication - Department for the Coordination of Cultural Policies and Innovation (SCPCI).

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