Born in 1963, Emmanuelle Huynh studied both philosophy and dance. Having performed with Nathalie Collantes, Hervé Robbe, Odile Duboc, Catherine Contour and the Quatuor Knust, in 1994 she was awarded a prestigious Villa Médicis hors-les-murs grant to go to Vietnam, and upon her return she created her first piece, a solo, Múa, with the lighting designer Yves Godin and the composer Kasper T. Toeplitz. The creation of Múa was the first step in her ongoing creative collaborations with artists from different fields.
She continued her choreographic work with projects in which she encountered practicians from many different disciplines: the astrophysicist Thierry Foglizzo explaining his research on black holes onstage with six dancers in Distribution en cours (Casting to be announced) in 2000, as well as many plasticians: Erik Dietman for the performance piece Le modèle modèle, modèle; Frédéric Lormeau for Vasque fontaine/partition Nord; Fabien Lerat for Visite guidée/vos questions sont des actes; Nicolas Floc’h for Bord, tentative pour corps, textes et tables in 2001; Numéro in2002; La Feuille in 2005; Jocelyn Cottencin for Cribles in 2009.
She created several pieces based on literary works: Bord, tentative pour corps, textes et tables, a choreographic project based on texts by Christophe Tarkos, and A Vida Enorme/épisode 1, a duo based on texts by the Portuguese poet Herberto Helder (2003).
Emmanuelle Huynh creates choreographic vocabulary which is constantly changing, specific to each project. In Heroes (2005). a piece for seven dancers and a musician, she placed onstage heroic figures from our childhood; Le Grand Dehors (The Great Outdoors), a tale for today, created in 2007, is related to the “lost dances,” those phrases we give up, leave behind in the choreographic creative process, which evoke a certain state of affairs, of the time.
In 2009, Emmanuelle Huynh began an atypical collaboration with the ikebana master Seiho Okudaira in Shinbaï, le vol de l’âme (Shinbai, the stolen soul), in which ikebana – the Japanese art of flower arranging – and dance respond to each other, resulting in the creation and performance of a rikka (bouquet).
Her interest in Japan and Japanese artists had already brought her to choreograph the duo Futago (twin in Japanese) in 1998, under the auspices of The Monster Project, a dialogue of choreographic language created in Kyoto with the Japanese choreographer Kosei Sakamoto, based on the theme of the monster. Spiel, a duo with the Japanese performance artist Akira Kasai, was the first stage of work at the Festival Extra in Bonlieu in April 2011, then at the Morishita Studio in Tokyo.
In 2009, the creation of her piece Cribles at the Festival Montpellier Danse introduced a new relationship with music in the choreographer’s creative process: the score of the piece Persephassa (1969) by Iannis Xenakis became the principal protagonist of the work, with its 11 dancers. The version of the work called Cribles/live in 2010, with the musicians of the Percussions Rhizome, brought an even deeper appreciation of this relationship between the dancers and the musicians sharing the same space: the musicians were spaced around and outside the audience, according to Xenakis’ instructions.
Emmanuelle Huynh has developed over the past fifteen years her pedagogical work, targeting arts schools and training programmes for dancers, in the form of workshops and teaching at these schools, among others the ex.e.r.ce programme at the Centre Chorégraphique National of Montpellier. She has organised several work sessions involving artists from different fields: Hourvari, laboratoire instantané at the Centre Pompidou in 2001, Edelweiss at the CCN of Montpellier in 2003, and Ligne d’arrivée during a residency of her company at the Domaine départemental of Chamarande in 2004. As a collaborator for the magazine Nouvelles de Danse, she organised a series of interviews over many years with the American choreographer Trisha Brown, published in 2012 by the Editions Les Presses du réel, Trisha Brown/ Emmanuelle Huynh.
Emmanuelle Huynh also does performance work in museums. In July of 2004, she was the Artistic Director of the Festival Istanbul Danse, a cooperative project between Turkish and French artists involving touring, pedagogy and arts discussions. She rewrote the pedagogic plan for the École supérieure of the CNDC in Angers when she was appointed its director in 2004, where she also created the Essais training programme, now a master’s degree programme in dance, creation and performance, in partnership with the Université Paris 8 Saint-Denis and the Beaux- Arts School of Angers (Esba-talm). She mentored emerging artists, notably in the Schools Festival, a bi-annual international conference for dance schools.
From 2004 to 2012 Emmanuelle Huynh was the Director of the Centre national de danse contemporaine in Angers (CNDC), where she implemented her project for this national choreographic center which is also an institution of higher learning focused exclusively on contemporary dance. The two programs of the school were offered to young choreographic artists, performers (the FAC program) as well as young creators (the Essais program). The artistic mission of the CNDC consisted then of five different axes: creation, artists residencies, programming the dance season at the Quai, a forum for performing arts in Angers, the École supérieure of contemporary dance, and educational, community and audience outreach.
In 2013, Emmanuelle Huynh reactivated her Compagnie Mùa, continuing her creation and pedagogical work as well as international and transdisciplinary projects.
In October 2014 she created TÔZAI!... piece for 6 performers (whose her) at Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse.
At the same time, based on an invitation from the French Embassy in New York, Emmanuelle Huynh began a two year project, New-York(s), with Jocelyn Cottencin, consisting of film portraits and performance pieces which will create a portrait of the city of New York through its architecture, its spaces and its residents. The installation will be created at the Passerelle Centre d’Art in Brest in February 2016 and the performance which will launch the installation will be during the Festival Danzfabrik/ Le Quartz in March 2016.
Part of the preparation of New York(s) is a long term collaboration with the Japanese choreographer Eiko Otake, who emigrated to the USA 40 years ago – whom Emmanuelle met in 2013. This collaboration includes several public presentations (Brussels in May 2015, New York in June 2015 and February 2016, Berkeley in April 2016…).
Emmanuelle Huynh is also preparing a creation based on Formation, the autobiographical book by Pierre Guyotat.
Since 2014, she has been an associate assistant Master at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture in Nantes.
Source : website of the company Múa : http://emmanuellehuynh.fr/index.php/fr/biographies