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Montpellier Danse 1987 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Bagouet, Dominique (France)

Present in collection(s): Montpellier Danse , Collection Bagouet

en fr


Montpellier Danse 1987 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Bagouet, Dominique (France)

Present in collection(s): Montpellier Danse , Collection Bagouet

en fr


Choreography: Dominique Bagouet

I had been interested for a long time in Pascal Dusapin's music and his different compositions, a few of which I became familiar with (“Pièces fugitives”, “Tre scalini”…). However, I used to consider that music hardly compatible with choreography, but by this very fact, all the more attractive.

I had to create a play for the Biennale Internationale de la Danse de Lyon, and Musica wanted to present Pascal's works. This situation and my desire to work with him did the rest. After having seen my last three shows, he offered me “Assaï”, a new compositon presented in Venice, which had given its name to a complete opus and which was in a way its prelude (1st act). Then I ordered from him a play especially written for us, “Haro”, in three parts which could be considered as three other acts, distinct but matching at the same time.

So, I did not really choose “Assaï”, nor “Haro”, but anyway I felt completely confident, even if I felt sometimes a bit dizzy due to the balance of power between this music's lyrical strength mostly designed for concerts and played by a philarmonic orchestra of 63 musicians, and the company's ten dancers.

My sensations were numerous right from my first listenings and, at last, I let myself follow an impulse – even before creating the movements – of spaces of shades and monochrome lights, deep and powerful, as if they had come back from my old passion for the pictures in expressionist films.

So I first imagined a kinetic division from the musical scores, and after that, I progressively drew a kind of ‘story board' with its main lines, and a series of ‘takes', one at a time. I went on to detail in each drawing the stage-lighting, the scenario, and the dancers' main locations and routes.

At last, I had to admit that putting into dance the music that had provoked inside me quite a melancholy that I also wanted to preserve was really difficult.

The risk of overdoing it, of burying the choreography in the signifying of symbols made my conception of the show change to a very shaped, non-narrative playwriting, mostly emphasizing the dance's different states, natures, looks and behaviours, while dance and music were constantly communicating:  it was a relationship going back and forth, either staying close to the score and the melodic line or, on the contrary, straying very far from them, allowing very free and even sometimes humorous developments.

Sources: Dominique Bagouet – June 12th 1986



Choreography: Dominique Bagouet

Duration: 23'

Dancers: Jean-Pierre Alvarez, Christian Bourigault, Claire Chancé, Sarah Charrier, Bernard Glandier, Michel Kelemenis, Catherine Legrand, Dominique Noel, Sonia Onckelinx, Michèle Rust.

Music: Pascal Dusapin

Scenery: Dominique Bagouet and Christian Halkin

Stage lighting: Dominique Bagouet and Laurent Matignon

Costumes: Dominique Bagouet and Dominique Fabrègue

Direction: Charles Picq

Production: Les Carnets Bagouet

Date of création: Septembre 20th 1986, Opéra de Lyon.

Performance recorded in January 1987, Cratère, théâtre d'Alès

Last update: December 2012

Bagouet, Dominique

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:

Dusapin, Pascal

Picq, Charles

Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq (1952-2012) entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d'art Contemporain (ELAC) and with the group « Frigo », and then in dance.
   On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.

His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with Le Crawl de Lucien and co-directing with his films Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux and 10 anges. in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives:
       - He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
       - He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
       - He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
       - He oversaw the DVD publication of Le tour du monde en 80 danses, a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.

       - He launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created Numeridanse.

His main documentaries are: enchaînement, Planète Bagouet, Montpellier le saut de l'ange, Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces, grand ecart, Mama africa, C'est pas facile, Lyon, le pas de deux d'une ville, Le Défilé, Un rêve de cirque.

He has also produced theatre films: Song, Vu d'ici (Carolyn Carlson), Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux, 10 anges, Necesito and So schnell, (Dominique Bagouet), Im bade wannen, Flut and Wandelung (Susanne Linke), Le Cabaret Latin (Karine Saporta), La danse du temps (Régine Chopinot), Nuit Blanche (Abou Lagraa), Le Témoin (Claude Brumachon), Corps est graphique (Käfig), Seule et WMD (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), La Veillée des abysses (James Thiérrée), Agwa (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (Antonio Gades), Blue Lady revistied (Carolyn Carlson).

Source: Maison de la Danse de Lyon

Compagnie Bagouet

Compagnie Bagouet

Dominique Bagouet created The Company Dominique Bagouet in 1977, with some dancers (also his friends). He obtained the first prize of the choreographic Competition of Bagnolet thanks to his first choreography “Chansons de nuit”. As the company did not have a real workplace in Paris, the first seasons were difficult, nevertheless the company gets some commands of short pieces. The Company settled down in Montpellier in 1979, after the invitation of Georges Frêche, mayor of the city at the time. In 1980, the company became the regional Dance Centre.

In1984, Dominique Bagouet created “Déserts d'amour”, the piece which made the company internationally known. The work of creation constantly developed and numerous works were presented every year at the Festival International Montpellier Danse.

Dominique Bagouet often left his team of the Centre chorégraphique (which had become a national centre in 1984) to the hands of guest choreographers such as Susan Buirge, Trisha Brown, but also to his own dancers, who made their debuts as choreographers: Michel Kelemenis, Bernard Glandier, Olivia Grandville, Hélène Cathala and Fabrice Ramalingom.

In 1990, after ten years of presence in Montpellier, during which the company met with success, Dominique Bagouet asked for a better working tool and considered the development of the Convent of Ursulines to develop several axes: creation, repertoire, pedagogy and residences of invited artists. Unfortunately, the disease took him and his project was only completed after his death in 1992.

Sources :

Last update : December 2013



























Choreography : Dominique Bagouet

Interpretation : Jean-Pierre Alvarez, Christian Bourigault, Claire Chancé, Sarah Charrier, Bernard Glandier, Michel Kelemenis, Catherine Legrand, Dominique Noel, Sonia Onckelinx, Michèle Rust

Set design : Dominique Bagouet et Christian Halkin

Original music : Pascal Dusapin

Video conception : Charles Picq - Spectacle filmé en janvier 1987 au Cratère, théâtre d'Alès

Lights : Dominique Bagouet et Laurent Matignon

Costumes : Dominique Bagouet et Dominique Fabrègue

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Les Carnets Bagouet

Duration : 23 minutes

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