Creation date : 1983

From graphic, minimal and abstract, Carolyn Carlson's dance became theatrical and narrative. Her "Blue Lady" solo is the beginning of this transformation.


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

Picq, Charles

Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d'art Contemporain (eLaC) and with the group «Frigo», and then in dance.
On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.

His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with «Le Crawl de Lucien» and co-directing with his films «Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux» and «10 anges». in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives:
- He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
- He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
- He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
- He oversaw the DVD publication of «Le tour du monde en 80 danses», a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.

More recently, he launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created the website, an international video library for dance online.

His main documentaries are: «enchaînement», «Planète Bagouet», «Montpellier le saut de l'ange», «Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces», «grand ecart», «Mama africa», «C'est pas facile», «Lyon, le pas de deux d'une ville», «Le Défilé», «un rêve de cirque».

He has also produced theatre films: «song», «Vu d'ici» (Carolyn Carlson),»Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux», «10 anges», «necesito» and «so schnell», (Dominique Bagouet), «im bade wannen»,»Flut» and «Wandelung» (susanne Linke), «Le Cabaret Latin» (Karine saporta), «La danse du temps»(régine Chopinot), «nuit Blanche»(abou Lagraa), «Le Témoin» (Claude Brumachon), «Corps est graphique» (Käfig), «seule» et «WMD» (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), « La Veillée des abysses» (James Thiérrée), «agwa» (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (antonio gades), Blue Lady revisted (Carolyn Carlson).

Source : Maison de la Danse

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CNC - Images de la culture collection

CNC - Images de la culture collection

Under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Images de la culture catalogue, managed by the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC - National Centre of Cinematography and the moving image), presents 300 of its films devoted to dance. Bringing together recordings of shows, dramas, talks and documentaries, this collection reveals the invaluable diversity of aesthetics and approaches of the choreographic art from the 20th century to today.

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