For four decades, this tireless traveler has been shaking up the codes and laying the foundations of contemporary dance, notably in France at the Paris Opera and in Italy at the Fenice in Venice. “I have created a century of pieces”, she recalls modestly from her residence near the Bois de Vincennes, in the Parisian suburbs, which she is particularly fond of. Choreographer, dancer, but also writer and designer, Carolyn Carlson, born in 1943 in California (United States) grew up in the countryside, in a bucolic environment, rocked by the gentle sound of a river bordering the family garden. “In the summer,” she recounted in a report, “we would go to our grandparents in Northern California, a typical Finnish house built by my grandfather, with a view of the lake, huge pines and rows of oaks, and hundreds of wild flowers on the hills. Of this childhood, deeply linked to nature, I felt life growing in all chosen and its continual movement “. Is it a natural landscape that will boost her vocation as a dancer and visionary? We can think so.
Multi-talented and innovative dancer and choreographer
This Tuesday, the last show of his company, “Crossroads to Synchrocinity” in Saint-Orens explores the highlights of life, its funny coincidences and its experiences. Inspired by the writings of Carl Jung, thinker and psychologist, he also dives into the America of yesterday and today. But beware, the last show does not mean the end of the activity of this 78-year-old artist: “The company stops in 2022 for lack of subsidies but I will continue to put on various pieces, in particular at the Festival d’Avignon in 2022”, explains the one who began classical dance in 1943 at the School of San Francisco Ballet. And whose professional destiny will be turned upside down by his meeting with the great dancer choreographer Alwin Nikolais: “He was my master. By joining his company, my vision of light, movement and music was greatly influenced”. A destiny marked by decisive encounters “I was very lucky”. Thus, for example, in 1973, with the director of the Hamburg Opera, Rolf Liebermann, who a few months later became the administrator of the Paris Opera. “He appointed me” star choreographer “of the Paris Opera, a status created especially for me”. At the time, the young Carolyn Carlson had already performed more than thirty pieces with Larrio Ekson, one of her most illustrious partners. Then opens for her, a fruitful period of great creativity achieved by pieces like “The Year of the Horse” or The Beguinning and the End. “” This allowed me to devote myself to the development of New Dance French “. In 1980, heading for Italy and meeting with Italo Gomez, artistic director of Fenice in Venice. This allowed him to form a new company: the Teotrodanza La Fenice and launch what would constitute the first generation of choreographers. Italian contemporaries: Caterina Sagna, Roberto Castella, etc. “In 1985, I returned to Paris at the Théâtre de la Ville with these faithful Italian dancers and new ones like Toméo Vergès or Lari Leong and we continued our path always strewn with new things” Over the years, Carolyn Carlson will know and live many other adventures: in 1999 the creation of Carolyn Carlson’s Workshop at the Cartoucherie with Pierre Barnier or her appointment as director of the choreographic center of Roubaix in 1985. “J I have never tired of creating, of inventing new codes for dance “. Imbued with philosophy and spirituality, the practice of dance is part of her approach to others: “I have also established many dialogues with musicians, composers or even plastic artists”, specifies the one who also wrote, drew: “calligraphy is a bit the skeleton of my work. It is the trace, what remains, while the dance is ephemeral: it only subsists in the memories of those who have it. seen”. Today, despite the years, his energy is still intact. She was also elected in 2020, at the Academy of Fine Arts. And even if the health crisis was for her very difficult to live: “as for many besides. But perhaps still for the artistic world which lived only by the means of the streaming, cutting terribly the life of the spectacles, especially emotion “.
This Tuesday evening at Altigone at 8:30 p.m. (Place Jean Bellière in Saint-Orens). Prices from 21 to 31 €. Info: 0561392739