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