BIOGRAPHY: Malandain Ballet Biarritz and Thierry Malandain

BIOGRAPHY: Malandain Ballet Biarritz and Thierry Malandain 2014-06-27T15:04:59+00:00

Malandain-Ballet-BiarritzCreated in 1998 in Biarritz on the initiative of the Ministry of Culture & Communication, and the Town of Biarritz with the support of Aquitaine Region and the Atlantic Pyrenees General Council, Malandain Ballet Biarritz is one of 19 National Choreographic Centres (NCC) in France today.

The particularity of Malandain Ballet Biarritz is that it is made up of 22 permanent dancers trained in classical technique and whose expression in Thierry Malandain’s choreographies is contemporary.

Today Malandain Ballet Biarritz is one of Europe’s most widely seen companies with 80 000 spectators per season and almost 100 performances per year, including a third abroad.

As a National Choreographic Centre, Malandain Ballet Biarritz also works intensely in terms of public awareness of dance – with on average over 450 events per year – and support to artists and companies thanks to the ‘‘Accueil Studio’’ programme.

Its local presence has led it to forge fertile partnerships with numerous cultural players in the Euro-region. It has thus constructed the ‘‘Ballet T’’ project, a partnership between Malandain Ballet Biarritz and San Sebastian’s Teatro Victoria Eugenia, with support from Europe and the Aquitaine Euskadi fund. Its aim is to spread choreographic art in the Basque Country, by co-producing and disseminating choreographic works, and also through awareness campaigns and audience mobility within the Euro-region.

Malandain Ballet Biarritz last performed with La Jolla Music Society in the Dance Series on May 3, 2015.

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Thierry-MalandainAuthor of a repertoire of 80 choreographies, Thierry Malandain has developed a very personal vision of dance, closely linked to “Ballet,” where priority is given to the dancing body, its power, virtuosity, humanity and sensuality.

The search for meaning and aesthetics guide a powerful and sober style, which can be both serious and insolent, based on the pursuit of harmony between history and today’s world. Thierry Malandain’s troupe is comprised of dancers with classical dance training who express themselves in a contemporary way via Thierry Malandain’s choreography.

“My culture is that of classical ballet and I confidently remain attached to it. Because while I readily admit that its artistic and social codes are from another time, I also think that this heritage from four centuries represents invaluable resources for dancers. A classical choreographer for some, a contemporary one for others, I play with it, simply trying to find a dance I like. A dance that will not only leave a lasting impression of joy, but that will also restore the essence of the sacred things and serve as a response to the difficulty of being.”


1959 Born in Le Petit-Quevilly (Seine-Maritime)

Received the training of Monique Le Dily, René Bon, Daniel Franck, Gilbert Mayer et Raymond Franchetti.

1977 Dancer at the Paris National Opera, the Ballet of the Rhine and the French Ballet Theatre in Nancy
1986 Foundation of the compagny « Temps Présent » (Elancourt and Saint-Etienne)
1992 Settled in the Opera of Saint-Étienne as an «Associated company»
1998 Director of the new Centre Chorégraphique National in Biarritz
2006 Received his second nomination for the prize at the Benois de la danse with L’Envol d’Icare created for the Ballet of the Paris National Opera
2009 Artistic director of the Dance Festival in Biarritz «Le Temps d’Aimer la Danse»
2012 Award for Une Dernière chanson (A Last song) by the «Syndicat de la critique»
2014 Taglioni European Ballet Award «best choregrapher» in Berlin for the ballet Cinderella

© Johan Morin