Carolyn Carlson collection

In January 2014, the Atelier de Paris launched the Carolyn Carlson Collection: a new collection which brings together films, recordings of performances, rehearsals, improvisations or master classes and documentaries from the 1960s to today. The selection for provides an outline of the choreographer's work in about thirty documents.


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Carolyn Carlson Collection

Carlson, Carolyn

California-born Carolyn Carlson defines herself first and foremost as a nomad. From San Francisco Bay to the University of Utah, from the Alwin Nikolais company in New York to Anne Béranger’s in France, from Paris Opera Ballet to Teatrodanza La Fenice in Venice, from the Théâtre de la Ville de Paris to Helsinki, from Ballet Cullberg to La Cartoucherie in Paris, from the Venice Biennale to Roubaix, Carlson is a tireless traveller, always seeking to develop and share her poetic universe.

She arrived in France in 1971 the beneficiary of Alwin Nikolais’s ideas about movement, composition and teaching. The following year, with Rituel pour un rêve mort, she wrote a poetic manifesto that defined an approach to her work that she has adhered to ever since: dance that is strongly oriented towards philosophy and spirituality. Carlson prefers the term ‘visual poetry’ to ‘choreography’ to describe her work. She creates works that express her poetic thoughts and a form of complete art within which movement occupies a special place.

For four decades, Carlson has had significant influence and success in many European countries. She played a key role in the birth of French and Italian contemporary dance through the GRTOP (theatre research group) at Paris Opera Ballet and Teatrodanza at La Fenice.

She has created over 100 pieces, a large number of which are landmarks in the history of dance, including Density 21.5, The Year of the Horse, Blue Lady, Steppe, Maa, Signes, Writings on Water and Inanna. In 2006, her work was rewarded with the first ever Golden Lion given to a choreographer by the Venice Biennale.

Nowadays, Carolyn Carlson is director of two organisations: the Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson, an international centre for masterclasses, residencies and creating new works, which she founded in 1999 and the National Choreographic Centre Roubaix Nord-Pas de Calais until December 2013, which produces and tours shows all over the world.


Leading figure in the Alwin Nikolais company

Etoile-Choreographer at the Paris Opera Ballet (GRTOP)

Artistic Director of the Teatrodanza La Fenice, Venice


Resident Artist at the Théâtre de la Ville, Paris


Residenct Artist at the Finnish National Ballet and the Helsinki City Theater


Artistic Director of the Cullberg Ballet, Stockholm


Artistic Director of the dance section of the Venice Biennale


Artistic Director of the National Choreographic Centre of Roubaix Nord-Pas de Calais
Since 1999

Artistic director-founder of the Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson


Le CDC Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson