Grande leçon de danse Ingeborg Liptay

Creation date : 2012

Recorded at the CND 10 January 2012


Grande leçon Ingeborg Liptay

Choreograpphy Ingeborg Liptay (2012)

The "Grandes leçons de danse" are a means for discovering the practice and the theory of a specific teaching, the universe of a “master”, pedagogical approaches and different aesthetics. The public is invited to participate, in close-up, in the work of professional dancers in a way that has never been seen before.

Ingeborg, body, sound, space, movement

“The body is greater than concepts. By listening to the body, we are set free from concepts. Certain music is vital for me when it hits on a certain sound, this sound that creates the link between substance and spirit. Sound in itself, is already a space. (...) Music is ever-so delicate, ever-so subtle... Opportunities are sublimely palpable”.

Music inspires me greatly, especially contemporary jazz. Today, certain approaches contemplate dancing as totally independent from music. Maybe, so that one does not fall into a mechanical trap. Or to create contrasts. It is an aesthetic choice that is possible. However, I believe that only the individual, who has achieved a genuine, lived musicality, can claim to overstep it. I believe that an in-depth musical education is indispensable.

... The magic of movement is elusive. It seems that no pedagogical system, no matter how advanced it may be, is able to capture it. We have to accept this, yet remain determined to learn the technical and practical possibilities relentlessly. Learning should make this fact clear. Regardless of the virtuoso that we may be, if the body, the soul and the sound do not join in unison, then the dance does not reveal its incredible essence.

Going far also means coming close. Dance is a path, a journey towards ourself.

Ingeborg Liptay, December 1989


artist - teacher Ingeborg LIPTAY
Ingeborg LIPTAY's assistant Agnès DE LAGAUSIE
performers, contemporary dance 4th year CNSMDPstudentsAlexandre BIBIA Kévin COQUELARD Federica GIOVANFORTE Nikita GOILE Ghislain GRELLIER Steven HERVOUET Valériane MICHELINI Clément RATAUD Sabine RIVIÈRE Joana SCHWEIZER
a film by Centre national de la danse

Further information

Ingeborg Liptay Website

Updating: June 2012

Liptay, Ingeborg

From Essen to Paris

1960. Ingeborg Liptay joined Karin Waehner, a disciple of Mary Wigman, at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. She was 26 years old. She had studied classical dance and the Laban method in Würzburg in Bavaria. At the Folkwang School in Essen, Kurt Jooss transmitted his “belief of the possible fluidity of the body” to her.

New York experience.

1963. In New York. She studied with Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey. With Claude Thompson, she discovered “playing with gravity, the engine of dynamic dance”. It was “the experience of the positive body gravity”.

In Bird Land, she discovered the great jazzmen. The intense musical experience during her stay in New York was decisive for her relationship to music, to sound and the comprehension that it developed. She felt that “music can actually dance you”.

1967, back to Paris. Ingeborg taught modern-jazz at the Schola, in Colombes and elsewhere.

From Africa to the French garrigue

1970. In Casamance, she saw children dancing sacred initiatory dances with great sincerity. When she left Africa for France, she had understood that “there are dances which, linked to music, enable you to survive when life in itself is too difficult”.

In 1972, to get close to the natural environment of the mountains of St-Guilhem-le-Désert, she moved to Montpellier. She set up a studio with Morton Potash, an American pianist, and created with him from 1971 to 1983.

From 1985 to 1989, she produced works that were accompanied by contemporary jazz music from Doudou Gouirand, Eberhard Weber and Jan Garbarek.

Terre du ciel (Earth from the Heavens)

1993. Her solo “Terre du ciel”, with music by Arvo Pärt, was acclaimed by the press as a masterpiece. “In Japan, Mrs Ingeborg Liptay would be qualified as a Living Treasure”.

Philippe Verrièle, Les Saisons de la danse, Sept. 1994.

“...a great lady in the silence of her glory”

Dominique Frétard, Le Monde, 20 July 1996.

Her current company took shape in 1999 with the creation of the trio “Insula Deserta”, with music by Erkki Sven-Tüür. Next came productions accompanied by jazz music, from Miles Davis to Annette Peacock, rock music by Jeff Buckley and classical by Dimitri Chostakovitch.

BIRD, pour les oiseaux (for birds)

In May 2010, at the age of 75, Ingeborg returned to the stage with her solo “BIRD, pour les oiseaux” (music by Chostakovitch), which was performed on the Esplanade of La Défense, Paris. She danced in the 2012 creation “NuageAnge” (AngelCloud), which included music by Eberhard Weber, Jimi Hendrix and Arvo Pärt.

Further information

Company Website

Dernière mise à jour : juin 2012

This video is also available on


Centre national de la danse

Centre national de la danse

Founded in 1998, the Centre national de la danse (CND) has advantages which make it a unique centre dedicated to dance. Its strengths come from its assets: the skills of its staff and the diversity of specialisation offered; a renovated and comfortable building in Pantin (Paris), twelve studios, three of which are open to the public for shows or performances, a multimedia library, a projection room, collections and a whole range of training courses, resources and services for professionals and companies. The Lyon/Rhône-Alpes CND provides continuity for all the projects in its region.

See collection