Choreography: Dominique Bagouet
In 1967, Maria, a young American and a student like me at the Centre International de Danse directed by Rosella Hightower, brought back in her luggage from a family holiday the newly released second album, “Strange Days”, of a group nearly unknown at that time in France, ‘The Doors'.
I remember these sort of ‘beatnik nights' we used to spend, lulled by Jim Morrison's warm voice; the atmosphere of these ‘strange days' quite corresponded to the distress of our adolescence which was looking for its own values in what became now a kind of mythology. This age also experienced ill-defined and obscure desires of revolt against norms and established codes.
As I listened to this music a few months ago, I felt ready to face this page of my own past; maybe because this music, about which I have no real opinion except that it deeply moves me each time I listen to it, has already become a bit hazy and allows me now to feel again something which is not very far from what I can feel today, when my questioning and my search for adventure still come up against new conventions, systems which once more become burdensome and which need, apparently, to be shaken immediately.
So, let's say that with this play we try again to begin ‘to shake'.
Sources: Dominique Bagouet, “Programme of the Bagouet Company” – July 1990
Choreography: Dominique Bagouet
Dancers: Hélène Baldini, Hélène Cathala, Jean-Charles di Zazzo, Bernard Glandier, Olivia Grandville, Fabrice Ramalingom.
Music: The Doors
Assistant: Catherine Legrand
Scenery: Laurent Gachet
Stage lighting: Serge Dées
Images: Laurent Didier
Editing: Myriam Copier
Production: Les Carnets Bagouet
Date of creation: July 4th 1990, Cour des Ursulines de Montpellier
Performance recorded in July 24th and 25th 1993, Cour d'Honneur du Palais des Papes d'Avignon
Last update: December 2012
Angoulême, July 9 1951 - Montpellier, December 9 1992
From 1965, Dominique Bagouet received a classical instruction from Rosella Hightower in Cannes, and was firstly engaged in the Ballet du Grand Théâtre of Geneva at Alfonso Cata's in 1969. He danced the following year with the Félix Blaska's company and joined Béjart's 20th Century Ballet in Brussels. The experience lasted two years and continued with the Chandra group (where Maguy Marin also worked).
Back to Paris in 1974, Dominique Bagouet took tuitions with Carolyn Carlson and Peter Goss. He also danced in the Joseph Russillo's, Anne Béranger's and Peter Goss' companies. Then he left for the United States where he discovered with Jennifer Muller, Lar Lubovitch and others, the techniques of the American schools.
Back to France in 1976, he presented his first choreography “Chansons de nuit” at the Concours de Bagnolet and won the first prize with a mention for research. He then founded his first company. He created play after play, at a fast pace he deplored, in order to make his company survive. Until 1979, he created 14 plays, sometimes hastily and unsatisfactorily.
With “Sous la blafarde”, the young choreographer began to stand out and Montpellier became his haven: the town welcomed the company and gave it the resources to exist as Bagouet was asked to set up and run the Centre Chorégraphique Régional de Montpellier. Besides, he was to create in this town the Festival International Montpellier Danse that he would run until 1982.
Dominique Bagouet created then some of the most outstanding plays in French contemporary choreography, from “Insaisies” (1982) to “Necesito, pièce pour grenade” (1991), the last commission written to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Spanish town.
With plays such as “Déserts d'amour” (1984), “Le Crawl de Lucien” (1985) and “Assaï” (1986), Dominique Bagouet clearly established his own personality and style. All these plays registered his very particular style, sometimes referred to as ‘neobaroque', but above all very subtle and inventive. Bagouet's choreographic approach developed the dance movement with numerous short gestures (movements with hands and feet, special incline of the chest…) with terrific precision and no mannerisms.
Moreover, and this is another characteristic of Bagouet, the choreographer always managed to work with talented artists, such as Christian Boltanski, Pascal Dusapin for “Le Saut de l'ange” (1987), Tristan Murail for “Déserts d'amour” or the actress Nelly Borgeaud for the superb “Meublé sommairement” (1989) choreographically adapted from a novel by Emmanuel Bove.
He also directed two films with Charles Picq: “Tant mieux, tant mieux!” (1983) and “Dix anges, portraits”(1988), from “Le Saut de l'ange".
If a Bagouet style existed, it would also lie in this curiosity which influenced a whole generation.
His company's dancers founded in 1993 Les Carnets Bagouet, an association dedicated to preserving and passing on the choreographer's artistic heritage. They offer the repertoire to other companies and schools.
Source: Extract of “99 biographies pour comprendre la jeune danse française” in les saisons de la danse, summer 97, special issue.
More information: www.lescarnetsbagouet.org
Dominique Bagouet created The Company Dominique Bagouet in 1977, with some dancers (also his friends). He obtained the first prize of the choreographic Competition of Bagnolet thanks to his first choreography “Chansons de nuit”. As the company did not have a real workplace in Paris, the first seasons were difficult, nevertheless the company gets some commands of short pieces. The Company settled down in Montpellier in 1979, after the invitation of Georges Frêche, mayor of the city at the time. In 1980, the company became the regional Dance Centre.
In1984, Dominique Bagouet created “Déserts d'amour”, the piece which made the company internationally known. The work of creation constantly developed and numerous works were presented every year at the Festival International Montpellier Danse.
Dominique Bagouet often left his team of the Centre chorégraphique (which had become a national centre in 1984) to the hands of guest choreographers such as Susan Buirge, Trisha Brown, but also to his own dancers, who made their debuts as choreographers: Michel Kelemenis, Bernard Glandier, Olivia Grandville, Hélène Cathala and Fabrice Ramalingom.
In 1990, after ten years of presence in Montpellier, during which the company met with success, Dominique Bagouet asked for a better working tool and considered the development of the Convent of Ursulines to develop several axes: creation, repertoire, pedagogy and residences of invited artists. Unfortunately, the disease took him and his project was only completed after his death in 1992.
Sources : www.lescarnetsbagouet.org
Last update : December 2013
Choreography : Dominique Bagouet
Choreography assistant : Catherine Legrand
Performance : Hélène Baldini, Hélène Cathala, Jean-Charles di Zazzo, Bernard Glandier, Olivia Grandville, Fabrice Ramalingom
Scenography : Laurent Gachet
Music plus : The Doors
Video conception : Images : Laurent Didier - Montage : Myriam Copier
Lights : Serge Dées
Piece production : Les Carnets Bagouet