A choreographer, dancer and thinker of dance, a contributor and shrewd observer of the history of art, Daniel Dobbels has traced with time a unique path between dance and writing. Whatever his medium – word or gesture – he constantly questions it to draw as close as possible to the sensitive part, in a poetic targeting of human experience. His works unfold as timeless crossings in a space reinvented by dance. With his company’s dancers, he conducts a meticulous exploration of gestures, scouring all the states of the body to bring out what he considers most intimate. From the solo to the septet, he invents an art of relationships – of that interval between the interior and the exterior, between oneself and the world – seeking a dance that would be “the justice of the body”.
He began his career as a dancer for Susan Buirge, going on to spend ten years in the company Arcor founded by Christine Gérard. Together with her, he choreographed his first works, while also preparing a personal collection that boasts some twenty opuses today. In 2000, he set up the company De l'Entre-Deux, first reviving some memorable pieces such as L'Enfer (created in 1987 / remodelled in 2000, a quintet), Est-ce que ce qui est loin s'éloigne de l'être humain ?, a trio inspired by Oskar Schlemmer’s work (created in 1999 / remodelled in 2003 at the Théâtre de la Ville de Paris), and She never stumbles, a solo danced by Brigitte Asselineau to Bob Dylan’s songs, that has been performed some sixty times since its creation in 1997. He then created D'un jour à l'autre (2000-2003, an irregular suite of five pieces), Ni/Et (2005, trio) and L'insensible déchirure (2006).
In 2007, he undertook the creation of Solitaires, a series of four solos: L'Echarpe grise, with Carole Quettier (a SACD commission for the Vif du sujet 2007), followed in 2008 by Parfois, la colère tombe with Anne-Sophie Lancelin, Un temps rare with Christine Gérard, and Les yeux blonds with Aurélie Berland. In autumn 2009, he created Danser hors de soi for Dominique Petit (a commission for the Scène Nationale of la Roche-sur-Yon).
On the initiative of Michel Caserta, he met the composer Gérard Pesson, with whom he created two works bringing together on the stage the dancers from his company and the musical ensemble 2e2m: L'épanchement d'Echo (2007, seven dancers, fourteen musicians) and Danser de peur (2009, four dancers and four musicians), both commissions for the Biennale Nationale de Danse of Val-de-Marne. In spring 2010, he created Une rencontre informelle, a commission for the festival Concordan(s)e, a poetic and choreographic piece with the writer Nicole Caligaris, and Les plus courts chemins, a three-part piece for five dancers. In July 2011, he created at the Festival d’Avignon À la gauche de l'espace, a piece for two female dancers inspired by the caryatids. In December 2011, he created Un son étrange, a solo for Adrien Dantou. Daniel Dobbels created La fille qui danse, a solo for Carole Quettier to a text by Alain Fleischer at the Festival d'Avignon in July 2012. Si(x) danseurs en quête d'auteur was to be created in autumn 2012 at the Forum du Blanc-Mesnil.
All these creations are the work of a long-standing association with loyal collaborators and partners. They punctuate a set of careers pursued in the long-term, between creation and transmission, within theatres that have hosted the company in residency: L'Apostrophe - Scène nationale de Cergy-Pontoise (2004), l'Espal - Scène conventionnée du Mans (2002-2010), the Centre de développement chorégraphique de Dijon-Bourgogne (2008-2011), Le Forum - Scène conventionnée de Blanc-Mesnil (as from 2009).
Alongside his choreographic creations, Daniel Dobbels has never stopped writing about art. He created the review Empreintes, revue pour la danse in 1977, joined the editorial committee of the review Lignes (1987-1999), was an art critic for Libération (1982-1992), and a commentator for the programmes Panorama (1987-1997) and Tout arrive (2003-2007) on France Culture. He has also published a number of works on art and dance such as Le silence des mimes blancs (2006), Des gestes non mortels (2006) and Un art indécomposable (2007).
Source: programme of the CND