Centre Chorégraphique National La Rochelle
Trained at the Paris Opéra (where she danced from 1981 to 1988), Olivia Grandville quickly gravitated towards contemporary dance. Between 1983 and 1988, in addition to the classical repertoire, she danced in works by Balanchine, Limon and Cunningham, and took part in creations by Alvin Ailey, Karole Armitage, Maguy Marin, Dominique Bagouet and Bob Wilson. She left the Paris Opera House due to the impossibility of effecting change from within and joined Dominique Bagouet's company in 1988. For four years, she immersed herself in his virtuoso, precise and tinted with humour. Then, when the choreographer died in 1992, she co-founded Les Carnets Bagouet with several of the dancers from the company, with the aim of preserving and passing on the choreographer's legacy.
While still with Bagouet, Olivia Grandville began her first choreographic projects, which she would dedicate herself to throughout her career. It's hard to summarise in just a few words the direction of this artist, who is guided by a diverse range of experimentations; her aesthetic has something elusive and undefinable about it. She dares to blend disciplines and tackle dense, complex and sometimes divisive subjects, such as Lettrism and Isidore Isou in Le Cabaret discrépant in 2011, the complex writing of John Cage's Ryoanji, which she set to dance in 2012, and the homage she pays to Native American culture in À l'Ouest in 2018.
Olivia Grandville is equally adept at solos, as seen in Le Grand jeu, a dialogue with the cinema of John Cassavetes, as she is with pieces involving large groups, such as Foules in 2015, which involved around a hundred amateurs. Several of her shows have a direct relationship with literature: L'Invité mystère (2014), adapted for the stage from a text by Grégoire Bouillier; Toute ressemblance ou similitude (2015), based on a text by Aurore Jacob; or La guerre des pauvres (2021), adapted from the novel by Éric Vuillard. Spoken word often emerges in the works, as evidenced by Klein (2020), based on Yves Klein's lecture Le dépassement de la problématique de l'art, or Débandade (2021), which shares the narratives of seven young men expressing their relationship with masculinity.
From 2011, Olivia Grandville was based in Nantes, where she became an associate artist of the lieu unique, a national stage, from 2017 to 2022. There she developed dance-based concepts such as Koréoké (choreographic karaoke) and the principle of a theatre of choreographic operations (Le Dance-Park in 2019, in collaboration with Yves Godin). At this time, she embarked upon a number of large-scale projects, including Jour de colère (2019), for twenty-one dancers from the Ballet de Lorraine, and began researching utopias with a group of students on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Woodstock, which would later become Nous vaincrons les maléfices (2020). This project served as the starting point for her work on Débandade. In 2022, she became director of the CCN in La Rochelle. The choreographer aims to infuse the centre with her enthusiasm for the polymorphism of dance, reflecting her own artistic journey.