Michèle Noiret

Dancer/choreographer

Michèle Noiret joined Maurice Béjart's Mudra School in 1976, where she studied for three years. It was there she met Karlheinz Stockhausen, who spoke to her in 1977 about a project for a solo dance performance incorporated into his music. After leaving Mudra, she went on to study the composer's system for the notation of gestures, and worked with him as a soloist for 15 or so years. This collaboration gave rise to three works. Forming part of the Donnerstag aus Licht opera, the three acts were performed together for the first time in 1981 at La Scala, Milan, with Luca Ronconi as director and Gae Aulenti as set and costume designer. It was next produced in 1985, at London's Covent Garden, with Michaël Bogdanov and Maria Bjornson. 

After meeting Pierre Droulers in 1981, Michèle Noiret worked on several projects, including La Jetée (1983). She set off to explore the New York dance scene in 1982, where she was suitably impressed with the members of the Trisha Brown dance company and their "contact improvisation". On her return to Belgium she set up her own company in 1986, creating and interpreting the solo La Crevêche, and a duo with the same name with Jean-Christian Chalon. At the same time, she continued to tour throughout the world with Karlheinz Stockhausen, performing pieces from the Donnerstag aus Licht opera. Comprising eight soloists – singers, musicians and dancers - this concert version of the work was produced in various cities, including France (Fondation Maeght in St Paul-de-Vence, Paris Autumn Festival, Salzburg Festival), Warsaw, Moscow and Rio de Janeiro. The work is used a great deal to teach the composer's system of notation. 

Michèle Noiret's chorographical skills became increasingly prominent as underscored by the solo Vertèbre (1989), Louisiana Breakfast (1990), danced and choreographed with Bud Blumenthal, with whom she worked for a dozen or so years, L’Espace Oblique (1991), Avna (1992), Tollund (1994), Les Plis de la nuit (1996), which for first time incorporated filmed images, Paysage promenade and Hisolo (1997). These were followed up by Solo Stockhausen (1997), which Michèle Noiret performed to the accompaniment of Stockhausen's Tierkreis score, as a tribute to the composer, and En Jeu (1998), where she and the composer Todor Todoroff investigated the opportunities offered by the interactive technologies of sound. Accepting Geneviève Druet's invitation in the year 2000 to become choreographer in residence at the Théâtre des Tanneurs in Brussels, she created In Between (2000) and Twelve Seasons (2001), while enlisting the aid of Paolo Atzori for the  images and interactive set designs and Todor Todoroff for the sound. She joined forces with Todor Todoroff again in 2002, plus the videomaker Fred Vaillant, to produce a project with a long-term legacy: "Prospectives" (2002-2004), which intensified the investigation into the decomposition of space and the incorporation of interactive sound and image technologies. This process gave rise to three works: Mes jours et mes nuits (2002), Sait-on jamais ? (2003) and Territoires intimes (2004), as opportunities for asserting an innovative choreographic language, while developing fresh complementary relationships between dance and technologies. She joined forces with the same team in 2005 to create Les Familiers du labyrinthe, at the request of Brigitte Lefèvre, the Paris National Opera's Director of Dance. This work for 15 dancers also involved Alain Lagarde as set and costume designer. Xavier Lauwers has been responsible for the company's lighting designs since 1989. 

She met the film director Thierry Knauff in 2002 and went on to produce two films with him: Solo (2004) and à Mains Nues (2006), described as cinematic, choreographic and musical poems. 

Next on the list of achievements was Chambre blanche (2006), a restrained, pared-down piece for female dancers. An associate artist since the 2006-2007 season with Belgium's Théâtre National, managed by Jean-Louis Colinet, she created Les Arpenteurs (2007), a production for seven dancers and the six musicians of the Percussions de Strasbourg, with original music composed by François Paris. Now, in 2007, she is reunited with Fred Vaillant and Todor Todoroff in De deux points de vue (2007), a duo for dancers from the Ballet de Nancy, where she relies on state-of-the-art interactive tools to develop a cinematic dance which takes us into the depths of the human being. In DEMAIN (2009), multiform choreographic piece for four assistants, one cameraman and a dancer, Michèle Noiret loans out her body to a character gripped by the unacceptable in the world. Her questions, her revolt, her interior life and her sensitive sensuality are at the heart of this choreography, which weaves through the various scenic writings. This performance has been awarded the Theatre-Dance critics prize of the French Community of Belgium for the best dance performance of the 2008/2009 season. 

In July 2010, she was commissioned by Bernard Foccroulle to write La primultime rencontre for the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. In 2010 Michèle Noiret also presented Minutes opportunes, a collaboration with dancers Dominique Godderis, Filipe Lourenço, Igor Shyshko, Lise Vachon and assistants Dominique Duszynski and Marion Ballester. In this piece for four dancers, she continues her investigations into moving spaces and temporal distortions, exploring suspense and humour from a new perspective. That was followed in May 2011 by Hôtel Folia, a piece, commissioned by Frédéric Flamand, for 10 dancers of the Ballet National de Marseille. Michèle Noiret also wrote a short solo for Thomas Lebrun, part of Six Order Pieces, danced by the choreographer and presented at Rencontres chorégraphique internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis. In the piece Hors-champ, Michèle Noiret continues to deepen the ties between performing arts and cinema through the question : “a hallucinatory reality?”. In 2014, the choreographer will immerse herself in the work for a new creation, which she will dance as a solo. Long-time present in her work, the theme of the labyrinth will become the principle subject of the new piece. Production in progress. 

Michèle Noiret is associated artist at Théâtre National de la Communauté française de Belgique, in Brussels, and member of the Académie royale de Belgique.

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