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Grenade, les 20 ans

Grenade, les 20 ans

Grenade les 20 ans

After having patiently, for years, mixed with contemporary dance the cultures and styles of neighbourhoods and thus created a “Grenade energy”, I felt a real need for openness. I then came up with the idea of proposing all the dancers of the Grenade company, adults and children alike, to choreographers accepting to rework or develop a piece from their repertoire. Names were obvious: Jean-Claude Gallotta, Angelin Preljocaj, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Michel Kelemenis, Philippe Decouflé, Abou Lagraa. And they all said “yes” to the project with the greatest simplicity. The project thus took on proportions that I hadn’t imagined at the start. The more we progressed in this artistic adventure, the more I realised how difficult the proposal really was. These choreographers all possess a highly personal and original style, meaning that the dancers of the Grenade company must be able to interpret a very broad panel of dance forms. 

In the works, they have to find a quality and a presence corresponding to the writing of each choreographer: the youngest must reproduce the fast, frenzied style of Jean-Claude Gallotta in Mammame as well as the madness of his interpreters; Philippe Découflé’s funny duet danced by Christophe Salengro and Cathy Savy has been entrusted to young interpreters;  Michel Kelemenis’s deep and moving Faune is interpreted by a teenager; Angelin Preljocaj’s jerky and repetitive work, Marché Noir, must maintain its right balance with preteen dancers aged 11 to 14; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s airy score Vers Un Pays Sage, combining technique, lightness and rapidity, will encourage the older dancers to excel themselves in a neo-classical approach to dance; the professional company will find cultural mixing and fluidity with Abou Lagraa’s jubilant Allegoria Stanza.

Grenade, les 20 ans

CODEX / 1986 

Choreography: Philippe Decouflé. Music: My baby's gone by Fats Domino. Solo dancer: Auguste N'ganta. Duet dancers: Lisa Rapezzi, Sofiane Merabet

Codex, created in 1986 in Amsterdam and presented at the Festival d'Avignon, is inspired by an encyclopaedia drawn at the end of the 1970s by a young Italian, Luigi Seraphini – Codex Serafinianus – populated by fantastic beasts, imaginary plants and live vegetables. 


MAMMAME / 1985 

Choreography: Jean-Claude Gallotta. Music: Henry Torgue, Serge Houppin. Extract dancers: Lilou Jouret, Blanche De Kerguenec, Emma Cappato, Maud Durand, Louis Seignobos, Victor Patrice De Breuil, Anthony Velay, Samuel Maarek. Duet dancers: Pierre Boileau, Camille Cortez. Schubert dancers: Lilou Jouret, Blanche De Kerguenec, Emma Cappato, Maud Durand, Louis Seignobos, Victor Patrice De Breuil, Anthony Velay, Samuel Maarek, Auguste N'ganta, Lola Cougard, Mylène Lamugnière, Sinath Ouk, Aurore Indaburu, Kim Evin, Michael Jaume, Rafaël Sauzet, Sofiane Merabet, Pierre Boileau

“In dance, says the choreographer, some of us like people to tell them stories, while others not at all.” Mammame seems to allow this approach. Through the story of the Mammame tribe, it is possible to tell (yourself) a story. Jean-Claude Gallotta does just this. “A Mammame garrison, in the Arkadine desert, on June 20th of a leap year. The dance opens with the fall of a man”. The imp Kröll and the witch Nizza are there. A kind of endangered species, the Mammames dance the Cabascholle.

FAUNE (inspired by FAUNE FOMITCH) / 1988 

Choreography: Michel Kelemenis. Music: L'Après-midi d'un Faune by Claude Debussy (interpreted by the new Philarmonia Orchestra directed by Pierre Boulez). Sound editing by Jérôme Decque / GNEM. Solo dancer: Rafaël Sauzet

In 1988, Kelemenis revealed his Faune Fomitch in the Biennale de la danse de Lyon, on the huge stage of the Ravel auditorium. Inspired by the work of Vaslav Fomitch Nijinsky and by Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem, the piece was the subject of an electroacoustic musical creation by the composer Gilles Grand. Josette Baïz can be thanked for the initiative of a transmission in 2011 to the young 17-year-old dancer, Thomas Birzan, to be incorporated into the programme for the 20th anniversary of her company project, Grenade. For this occasion, the dance was reconciled with the music written 100 years earlier by Claude Debussy for the Russian choreographer, the Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun)


Choreography: Angelin Preljocaj. Music: Marc Khanne. Dancers: Camille Cortez, Lisa Rapezzi, Axelle Anglade

The Ballet Preljocaj takes dance to places where nobody is expecting it! Created in 1998, the Groupe Urbain d'Intervention Dansée (G.U.I.D.) performs in a wide variety of public spaces and in unexpected places to allow as many people as possible to discover contemporary dance.

The G.U.I.D. presents a work in its totality: Marché noir, Angelin Preljocaj’s first creation that won the Concours de Bagnolet in 1985.


Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot. Music: Suite Française by Ivan Fedele (recording by Arnaud Moral). Duet dancers: Lisa Rapezzi, Pierre Boileau

"Take seven musical creations written by seven contemporary composers; these musics are the reflection of seven universes, seven specific and different imaginations; they have not been written for dance. Offer them, impose them on a choreographer without other constraints than to “compose” with… This is the rule of the game that I have set myself, according to the choice of Marc Monnet, the artistic director of the Printemps des Arts, who is behind the commissioning of these works. Seven musical miniatures associated with seven commissions to visual artists who highlight a single choreographic challenge. Out of generosity and curiosity, composers and visual artists have accepted to play along. They abandon their work, like pieces of a puzzle that they allow me to assemble into a choreographic work. They accept that their composition escapes them and that the choreographer who I am, free to enjoy them, imagines for them another life, another destiny.”

(Jean-Christophe Maillot)


Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot. Music: Fearful Symetries by John Adams (interpreted by the Orchestra of St Luke's). Dancers: Aurore Indaburu, Kim Evin, Lola Cougard, Louna Delbouys-Roy, Mylène Lamugnière, Nordine Belmekki, Pierre Boileau, Rafaël Sauzet, Sofiane Merabet, Sinath Ouk

Jean-Christophe Maillot created Vers un Pays Sage in memory of his father Jean Maillot, a painter and artist who died young. A workaholic, this renowned colourist is the author of near on 260 paintings, opera costumes and sets. The energy he dedicated to his painting and to life in general is the story line of this ballet of a rare physicality. Vers un Pays Sage adjusts itself to the frenzied music of John Adams and offers the dancers a challenge: will they manage to cross the finishing line of this ballet? If Jean-Christophe Maillot tracks down idle times, it is in order to better celebrate life, in the image of a father who burnt up for this life an insolent amount of energy.

Baïz, Josette

Josette Baïz, who was trained by Odile Duboc, has been teaching contemporary dance since 1978 in Aix-en-Provence, where she created her first choreographies for young dancers who took part in her classes.

In 1982, when she was a dancer for Jean-Claude Gallotta, Josette Baïz won first prize in the 14th edition of the Bagnolet International Choreographic Competition, as well as the public prize and the French Minister for Culture's prize. She went on to found her first company: The Place Blanche, and has since created over 40 works, for her own companies and for an array of national (Toulouse, Jeune Ballet de France of the Lyon Conservatory, etc.) and international ballets (Boston, Royal Ballet of Phnom Penh, Germany, Venezuela, The Netherlands, etc.).

In 1989, the French Minister for Culture invited her for a year as artist in residence for a school in the Northern districts of Marseille. This encounter with young people, from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, led her to reconsider the signification of her work and to radically modify her artistic approach.
The confrontation with proposals as diverse as breakdance, smurf, hip-hop, oriental, gypsy, Indian and African dance, obliged her to totally reappraise the physical and mental skills she had acquired.
She was totally unacquainted with the supports, the way the ground was used, the circular movements of the hips, the sharp strikes of flamenco and the loosened pelvis of African dances.

And so, a process of mutual exchange was initiated: Josette Baïz taught contemporary, classical dance and composition in research workshops; the young dancers taught her their way of asserting their origins and feelings.

It was, therefore, only natural for Josette Baïz to create the Groupe Grenade, which brought together over thirty young dancers, in 1992. In 1998, Josette decided to perpetuate the cross-cultural work undertaken with the Groupe Grenade, whilst continuing to pursue an intensely contemporary perspective. She created the compagnie Grenade which comprised five key dancers from the Groupe Grenade.

Josette Baïz's wish is to continue to enhance this choreographic repertoire by continuing to partner artistically with French and international choreographers; by taking part in cutting-edge and original multidisciplinary projects and, as such, initiating encounters and exchange.

Source : Grenade - Josette Baïz Cie 's website

More information


Riolon, Luc

After studies of mathematics preparatory class and medecine studies, Luc Riolon begins to make films within the framework of his Faculty of Medicine, then met the famous choreographers of the 80s (Maguy Marin, Mark Tompkins, Josef Nadj, Daniel Larrieu Daniel, Odile Duboc, Josette Baiz, Angelin Prljocaj, etc.) with whom he shoots numerous films (re-creation for the camera, the illegal securements). In the 80s with the American choreographer Mark Tompkins he introduces the video on the stage, broadcasting live on big screens the images which he shoots with his camera by being on the stage with the dancers, mixing live images and pre-recorded images. With Daniel Larrieu he participates in the creation of the famous show WATERPROOF, the contemporary choreography which takes place in a swimming pool, by filming live) the dancers dancing in the water and mixing the live images with pre-recorded underwater images. This choreography has been shown in many countries (USA, Canada, Spain, England…)
Then he collaborates during 10 years with the famous french TV producer Eve Ruggieri for her programs" Musics in the heart ". He shoots with her of numerous documentaries about classical music, opera singers and dance. From 1999 he directs documentaries of scientific popularization, by following researchers attached to the resolution of a particular ecologic enigma. These two artistic and scientific domains which can seem separated are nevertheless, for Luc Riolon, connected by the same approach : the deep desire to understand the world, by the art or by the scientific research, and to restore it to the largest number. Among his recent scientific documentaries, we can quote for example " The Enigma of the Black Caiman ", Living and dying in the swamp " or " The Nile delta: The end of the miracle ". “Chernobyl, a natural history ? “ These documentaries of scientific popularization recently have been awarded in international festivals.

Source: Vimeo

Grenade - Josette Baïz

Artistic direction: Josette Baïz

Creation: 1998

Compagnie Grenade was created in 1998 by Josette Baïz, a logical follow-up to the work she began in 1992 with the Groupe Grenade (children and teenagers).  Its dance studios, located in Aix-en-Provence, France, comprise of a dozen professional dancers, most of who come from the Groupe Grenade. 

The dancers, including some who have worked with Josette Baïz for 20 years (and they’re still under 30 today!), have invented, with Josette, the characteristic cultural mix typical to Grenade, each bringing his or her own background – Eastern, Asian, African or urban – and integrating it into the contemporary world of the choreographer. 

Their creations are therefore a perpetual research where the leitmotif is to open ones mode of expression.

The style of Josette Baïz was built by the approach of other choreographers of her generation and American masters such as Nikolaïs and Merce Cunningham, the teaching experience of Odile Duboc and Susan Buirge and artistic collaborations with Jean-Claude Gallotta.

Over the years, the Compagnie Grenade has been further enriched by hosting several dancers from different choreographic horizons

Concurrently, some dancers from the Compagnie Grenade have continued their adventures with other companies (Maguy Marin, Dominique Boivin, Angelin Preljocaj, Compagnie Malka, Abou Lagraa, Carolyn Carlson, Pierre Droulers …), to discover other choreographic styles.

In this spirit, Josette and her dancers continue their research by being constantly open to techniques (contact – improvisation, Limon technique, Graham, Cunningham…), a good reason to regularly invite outside teachers and form artistic collaborations based on encounters and exchange.

Source : Compagnie Grenade 's website

More information :

Grenade, les 20 ans

Choreography : Josette Baïz, Philippe Decouflé, Jean-Claude Gallotta, Michel Kelemenis, Abou Lagraa, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Angelin Preljocaj

Choreography assistance : Elodie Ducasse

Set design : Dominique Drillot

Lights : Erwann Collet

Costumes : Philippe Decouflé (costumes originaux de CODEX), Philippe Guillotel, Philippe Combeau

Sound : Mathieu Maurice (régie)

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Cie Grenade

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Production Scènes d'écran - 24 images

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