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Les gestes de la danse : José Montalvo

Les gestes de la danse : José Montalvo

Les gestes de la danse

 Through these different episodes, "Les gestes de la danse" (Dance gestures) invites choreographers accustomed to Chaillot to question the gesture of their choice. 

With Carolyn Carlson, José Montalvo, Tatiana Julien, Jann Gallois, Noé Soulier, Abou Lagraa, Michèle Noiret and Olivier Dubois. 


 Some titles are genius as they transport you into a marvellous world: this is the case of Gloria, the next opus by José Montalvo. “Today, Gloria  is being created in a sort of dialectics of the planned and the  unforeseen. It is constantly changing. I would like it to be baroque,  bizarre, luxuriant, bulimic, inventive, passionate, but everything  remains to be done.” whispers the choreographer. José Montalvo sees  Gloria as the passionate manageress of a dreamlike cabaret that is  called L’auberge espagnole for the moment, but could also be called Le  cabaret Voltaire.” A cosmopolitan space, it will celebrate life as well  as its impetus, born from the hybridisation, the mix and the  transformation stemming from new and unexpected combinations between  human beings, cultures, ideas, dances, songs and music. This space would  bear a song of love, “rejoiced by the joyful bastardisation that is  within us” and would be frequented by extravagant characters like “as  many spots around which I would like to build my work and make the  ballet of the world dance,” indicates José Montalvo. Vivaldi will be the  musical companion of this piece. “As a challenge, as I believe that it  is absurd to oppose the knowledgeable and the popular, depth and  superficiality, genius and lightness.” Montalvo concludes: “Faced with  the predicted ecological chaos, faced with violence, terror, blind  cupidity, exclusion and extreme globalisation, Gloria carries a utopia  within it, a naivety, an antidote that remains fertile to me.” Glory be  upon it.

Philippe Noisette 

Montalvo, José

At the end of his teenage years, José Montalvo began studying history of art and plastic arts. He was fascinated by the Dada period and its countless inventions. Whilst continuing his university studies, he took dance classes with Jerome Andrews and Françoise and Dominique Dupuy – and joined their company, the Ballets Modernes de Paris – and continued his dance training with Carolyn Carlson, Lucinda Childs, Alwin Nikolais and Merce Cunningham.

José Montalvo's first creations were short fun-filled pieces, types of choreographic aphorisms, mini danced novels filled with emotions, for which he was honoured with a variety of international awards. One of his performers was called Dominique Hervieu: it was the beginning of an artistic adventure and profound complicity that would result in the creation of the compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu in 1988. In 1989, José Montalvo moved on to an innovational path with the creation of “in situ” events: Dances to see and to dance. In July 1993, invited to the Paris Quartier d'été Festival, he was one of the first choreographers to be associated with the Bal Moderne which was created at the Théâtre National de Chaillot at this time.

Another decisive moment the same year: “Double Trouble”, created with the complicity of the video artist Michel Coste, inaugurated a cycle of works where technological images and the physical presence of dancers were confronted with each other. This period led to the creation of a series of works that intertwine with each other and that, whilst being self-sufficient, could, one day, be applied together, like a great baroque-style fresco. This led to great success. In 1998, José Montalvo and Dominique Hervieu were appointed as directors of the Centre chorégraphique national (National Choreographic Centre) in Creteil, Val de Marne. In 2000, José Montalvo was also appointed as dance director of the Théâtre National de Chaillot which was then directed by Ariel Goldenberg.

In 2001, “Le Jardin io io ito ito” was awarded the Laurence Olivier Prize. In 2004, the choreography and the production of Jean-Philippe Rameau's opera “Les Paladins” won unanimous critical acclaim. The performance was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Prize and obtained the prize for the best live recording of an opera for the film produced by François Roussillon. It was also shown in Shanghai, Athens, Paris and Tokyo. Next followed “On danse”(2005) and a diptych devoted to George Gershwin in 2008, with a production of “Porgy and Bess”for the Opéra de Lyon and, echoing this, a luminous choreographic work created for the Biennale de la danse in Lyon: “Good Morning, Mr. Gershwin”.

In 2006, he was awarded the SACD Prize for all of his works. In June 2008, José Montalvo and Dominique Hervieu accepted the proposal to direct the Théâtre National de Chaillot. “Orphée” and “Lalala Gershwin” were created in 2010 and sealed their last joint creations before Dominique Hervieu left to become director of the Maison de la Danse and the Biennale de la danse in Lyon. José Montalvo continues his missions at the Théâtre National de Chaillot alongside Didier Deschamps, around his own creations and privileges events that contribute to renewing the relationship of the theatre with the public. In June 2013, he will be, in particular, the creator and coordinator of an event focusing on amateur activities.

Sources:  Théâtre National de Chaillot ; Maison de la Danse show program


Rollo, Thomas

 Audiovisual manager responsible for audiovisual productions at Chaillot - National Theater of Dance. 

Chaillot-Théâtre national de la Danse

The Théâtre National de Chaillot is  one of the five French national theatres (public institutions whose  missions are defined by the State) and the only one to have a project  built around and based on dance. Under the double supervision of the  Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Ministry of Budget, it has  been directed since 2011 by the choreographer and dancer Didier  Deschamps.

The legend of Chaillot

Installed at the heart of the Palais de Chaillot, the Théâtre  National de Chaillot, that became in 2016 Chaillot – National Theatre of  Dance, is one of the most prestigious cultural institutions of Paris,  not only for the unique place it has in the history of performing arts –  namely with the great adventure of the National Popular Theatre founded  by Firmin Gémier, then carried and developed by the mythical  personality of Jean Vilar – but also in that of France and the world as  it is in the big theatre room that the Universal Declaration of Human  Rights was signed on the 10th of December 1948. An  exceptional venue in the capital, the theatre can welcome each night  more than 1 600 spectators, in its three rooms (Salle Jean Vilar of 1  200 seats, Salle Firmin Gémier of 390 seats, Studio Maurice Béjart of  100 seats). Its Grand Foyer facing the Trocadéro Fountain, the Eiffel  Tower and the Champ-de-Mars, permanently offers one of the most famous  views in the world. The public spaces of the theatre are also host to an  important collection of sculptures, paintings, frescoes and pastels  signed by the greatest artists of their time: Paul Belmondo, Louis  Billotey, Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Brianchon, Roger Chapelain-Midy,  Maurice Denis, Othon Friesz, Henri Laurens, Aristide Maillol as well as  Édouard Vuillard.

Source: Chaillot-Théâtre National de la Danse

En savoir plus:

Les gestes de la danse

Artistic direction / Conception : Didier Deschamps

Choreography : Carolyn Carlson, José Montalvo, Tatiana Julien, Jann Gallois, Noé Soulier, Abou Lagraa, Michèle Noiret, Olivier Dubois

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Chaillot - Théâtre national de la Danse, 2022

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