Skip to main content
Back to search
  • Add to playlist



Improvisation (L')

Chopinot on Chopinot

In February 2012, Régine Chopinot agreed to take part in a filmed interview.

Looking back on her thirty-year career, but still firmly rooted in her present work, she gives us an honest insight into her world, with plenty of humour and sensitivity.

In this extract, Régine Chopinot talks about the term “improvisation”. She also discusses the problems of definition and the process of creation, as well a pot pourri and a revolt…

With extracts from:


Choreographed and directed by: Régine Chopinot; Costumes: Jean-Paul Gaultier; Dancers: John Bateman, Jeannette-Carol Brooks, Boris Charmatz, Régine Chopinot, Philippe Combes, Mervyn Francis, Josef Lennon, Samuel Letellier, Georgette Louison Kala-Lobe, Marianne Rachmul, Lin-Guang Song, Eric Ughetto; Production: Alain Renault Productions / Compagnie Chopinot, Centre Chorégraphique Poitou-Charentes


Image: João Garcia; Editing: Régine Chopinot and João Garcia; Sound: Nicolas Barillot; A Cornucopiae / Régine Chopinot project; BankART – Yokohama (Japan) from 10 -16 October, 2011.

Updating: March 2013

Chopinot, Régine

Régine Chopinot, born in 1952 in Fort-de-l'Eau (today known as Bordj El Kiffan), in Algeria, was attracted to choreographic art from early childhood. After studying classical dance, she discovered contemporary dance with Marie Zighera in 1974. She moved to Lyon where she founded her first company in 1978, the Compagnie du Grèbe, which included dancers, actors and musicians. Here, she created her first choreographies. Three years later, she was awarded second prize in the Concours chorégraphique international de Bagnolet (Bagnolet International Choreographic Contest) for “Halley's Comet” (1981), later known as “Appel d'air”. Her next pieces of work “Délices” (Delights) and “Via”, introduced other media including the cinema to the world of dance. In 1983 with “Délices”, Régine Chopinot began her longstanding partnership with the fashion designer, Jean Paul Gaultier, which would characterize the period, which included works such as “Le Défilé” (The Fashion show) (1985), “K.O.K.” (1988), “ANA” (1990), “Saint Georges” (1991) and “Façade” (1993). In 1986, Régine Chopinot was appointed director of the Centre chorégraphique national de Poitou-Charentes (Poitou-Charentes National Choreography Centre) in La Rochelle (where she succeeded Jacques Garnier and Brigitte Lefèvre's Théâtre du Silence), which went on to become the Ballet Atlantique-Régine Chopinot (BARC), in 1993. Régine Chopinot made a myriad of artistic encounters: from visual artists like Andy Goldsworthy, Jean Le Gac and Jean Michel Bruyère, to musicians such as Tôn-Thât Tiêt and Bernard Lubat.

At the beginning of the 90s, she moved away from – according to her own expression – “ultra-light spaces” in which, at a young age, she had become acknowledged, in particular through her partnership with Jean Paul Gaultier. She then became fascinated with experimenting on confronting contemporary dance with natural elements and rhythms and on testing age-old, complex body sciences and practices, such as yoga. In 1999, as part of “associate artists”, Régine Chopinot invited three figures from the world of contemporary dance to partner with her for three years on her artistic project: Françoise Dupuy, Dominique Dupuy and Sophie Lessard joined the BARC's troupe of permanent dancers and consultants-researchers, as performers, pedagogues and choreographers.

In 2002, she initiated the “triptyque de la Fin des Temps” (Triptych of the End of Time), a long questioning of choreographic writing and creation subsequent to her creation of a voluntary state of crisis of general notions of time, of memory and of construction. “Chair-obscur”, her first chapter, focused on erasing the past, the memory, whilst “WHA” was based on the disappearance of the future. “O.C.C.C.” dealt with the “time that's left”, with what is left to be done, with what can still be done, in that simple, yet essential spot called performance. In 2008, “Cornucopiae”, the last work created within the Institution, concluded the end of a form of performance and opened the doors to another approach to sensorial perception.

Concurrently to her choreographic work, Régine Chopinot worked, as a performer, with other artists that she was close to: Alain Buffard (“Wall dancin' - Wall fuckin'”, 2003; “Mauvais Genre”, 2004), Steven Cohen (“I wouldn't be seen dead in that!”, 2003). In addition, she trained and directed Vietnamese dancers as part of a partnership with the Vietnam Higher School of Dance and the Hanoi Ballet-Opera (“Anh Mat”, 2002; “Giap Than”, 2004). In 2008, the choreographer left the CCN in La Rochelle and created the Cornucopiae - the independent dance Company, a new structure that would, henceforth, harbour creation and repertoire, all the works of Régine Chopinot. In 2010, she chose to live and work in Toulon, by its port.

Since 2009, Régine Chopinot has been venturing, questioning and intensifying her quest for the body in movement linked to the strength of the spoken word, through cultures organized by and on oral transmission, in New Caledonia, New Zealand and Japan. These last three years have been punctuated by a myriad of artistic creations: choreographies and films resulting from artistic In Situ experiences were created as part of the South Pacific Project. A privileged relationship initiated in 2009 with the Du Wetr Group (Drehu/Lifou) bore its fruits with the creation of “Very Wetr!”at the Avignon Festival in July 2012 and went on to be reproduced at the Centre national de la danse (National Centre for Dance) in February 2013.

More information

Last update : March 2012

Caroff, Stéphane

Our videos suggestions

Réservé au personnel

Touzé, Loïc (France)

  • Add to playlist

Carolyn Carlson, Solo

Carlson, Carolyn (Italy)

  • Add to playlist

Carolyn Carlson et Michel Portal

Carlson, Carolyn (France)

  • Add to playlist


Lamotte, Sylvère (France)

  • Add to playlist

Improvisation Carolyn Carlson et Michel Portal

Carlson, Carolyn (France)

  • Add to playlist

Improvised choreography in cine-trance

  • Add to playlist

Perhaps she could dance first and think afterwards

Mantero, Vera (France)

  • Add to playlist


Diverrès, Catherine (France)

  • Add to playlist

Words of feet words of bodies

Carlès, James (France)

  • Add to playlist

Opal Loop/Cloud Installation #72503

Brown, Trisha (France)

  • Add to playlist

My lunch with Anna

Halprin, Anna (United States)

  • Add to playlist

Body Trail CCTV

Dorner, Will (Austria)

  • Add to playlist

Poetry Event

Poetry Event (France)

  • Add to playlist

Zoom on an interview with Trisha Brown

Brown, Trisha (United States)

  • Add to playlist

Tarkos Training

Charmatz, Boris (France)

  • Add to playlist

Wha - La capture

Chopinot, Régine (France)

  • Add to playlist

Moon looking dog

Sungyop, Hong (Moon looking dog)

  • Add to playlist

De la composition en temps réel - João Fiadeiro

Fiadeiro, João (France)

  • Add to playlist

Laisser frémir

Touzé, Loïc (France)

  • Add to playlist
Our themas suggestions
By accessing the website, you acknowledge and accept the use of cookies to assist you in your browsing.
You can block these cookies by modifying the security parameters of your browser or by clicking onthis link.
I accept Learn more