The Centre for Choreographic Cooperation of Grand Sud-Ouest is an innovative project, proposing an unprecedented collaboration between three Ballets and three major figures who carry the aesthetics of classical dance from its roots to its most contemporary forms :
In addition to its geographical and artistic proximity, this project was born of several observations. The Ballet, more than ever, continues to enchant a wide audience with works from its repertoire and with new creations. Despite this popularity, there are only five hundred dancers employed on permanent contracts in France, few troupes in comparison with other countries and, in the end, relatively few young choreographers claiming an attachment to the academic vocabulary. This is all the more paradoxical given that this vocabulary, as well as ballet as a theatrical genre, received their ‘letters of nobility’ in France before fertilising Europe and then the whole world.
With the support of the French Ministry of Culture, the aim of the Pôle de Coopération Chorégraphique du Grand Sud-Ouest is to engage in a joint reflection on Ballet today: the creation and production of new choreographies, the economic model for touring, the conditions for the emergence of young classical/neo-classical choreographers, the professional integration and careers of dancers, etc.
The competition for young choreographers
At present, it is often difficult for a young classical/neo-classical choreographer to emerge or launch a creative project. Hiring a group of classically trained dancers who can be available for several weeks to create a piece, finding theatres where they can be programmed… are activities that are all too often out of reach.
As well as supporting the emergence of young choreographers and new talent, one of the challenges identified is to renew the ballet repertoire and give it a high profile in the national and international profession.
To support the emergence of young choreographers, Charles Jude and Thierry Malandain decided to set up a competition to identify, promote and then support two up-and-coming talents for three seasons, giving them the means to create for an ensemble of classical dancers and present their work to the public. In 2017, the Ballet de l’Opéra National du Rhin (artistic director: Bruno Bouché) joined the competition.
Another aim is to help create a ‘call for entries’ and stimulate those who until now have not dared to try their luck.
The aim is to support an “associate artist” at the Pôle de coopération chorégraphique, to prepare him or her for directing a ballet (artistic, team management, dissemination, relations with partners, fundraising, etc.).
Three prizes awarded by the jury
a) 2 creation and performance residencies
At the end of the competition, the jury will select two winners who will have the opportunity to create during the 2022-2023 artistic season in one of the following two ballets:
– Opéra National de Bordeaux,
– CCN Ballet de l’Opéra national du Rhin
The two Grand Prix winners awarded by the jury will have fifteen working days to choreograph a work lasting between 20 and 25 minutes maximum for 10 to 20 choreographic artists, which will be presented in the city hosting the creation and, if appropriate, could be presented in the cities of the three Ballets organising the competition.
b) Biarritz Prize / Caisse des Dépôts Group
The prize of €15,000 will be awarded to the candidate by the jury during the final.
awarded with the support of the Fondation pour la danse. This prize, worth €3,000, will be awarded to the candidate who receives the most votes from the audience at the final.
This prize, worth €3,000, will be awarded to the candidate who receives the most votes from the professionals (journalists, theatre directors, company directors, etc.) present at the final.
Developing cooperation between French and European ballets
So, since 2012, Malandain Ballet Biarritz has actively contributed to the development of this ‘professional’ cooperation, first via the Pôle de coopération, then with the four other CCN Ballets (Aix-en Provence, Marseille, Mulhouse and Nancy) and now with other Opera and Theatre Ballets. The aim is to respond to current challenges in terms of repertoire and artistic continuity, which are essential elements in the international reputation of French dance:
• Circulation of artists and works ;
• Dancers’ careers / integration / retraining ;
• Support for young choreographers;
• Identity, image and communication;
• Health programme for dancers;
• Common distribution charter.