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jean-christophe paré



This is an edited version of the interview realised in the frame of the exhibition Déplier Baroque curated by Marina Nordera at Centre national de la danse (CN D) in autumn 2022. The integral version is accessible here

We thank the CN D for allowing us to use this material.

GENERAL KEYWORDS: Baroque dance, Interdisciplinarity, Interpretation (performance), Kinesthesia, Movement phrasing, Sensoriality / sensorial flow  / sensorial organisation of movement, Suspension, Stylistic vibration, Versatility

CHOREOGRAPHIC WORKS: Atys, Entrée d’Apollon, Eventail (III), Points in Space

PEOPLE: Boclé, Jean-Christophe; Carlson, Carolyn; Childs, Lucinda; Christie, William; Cunningham, Merce; Degroat, Andy; Dunn, Douglas; Guizerix, Jean; Lancelot, Francine; Larrieu, Daniel; Massin, Béatrice; Piollet, Wilfride; Raffinot, François

PLACES: Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, Ecole supérieure de danse de Marseille, French Ministry of Culture, Paris Opera

CITATION: ​Interview with Jean-Christophe Paré, Marina Nordera, Pantin, Date (13/07/2022). Project “Mnemedance”, Collection Mnemedance (#Mnemedance18) URL:<>, (accessed dd/mm/yyyy).


general info


Dancer and dance educator JEAN-CHRISTOPHE PARÉ and dance historian MARINA NORDERA discuss about the Baroque Dance, a genre that Paré encountered in the 80s during an era of political and cultural significance for France that saw the recognition and support by the French state not only of the “nouvelle danse française” but also of the “danse baroque”. Engaged in exploring unknown paths during his career, his way of dealing with memory is a very peculiar one; as he claims, “I love to know that I lose memory”. Going deeper into the specificities of the interpretation of different roles that marked his career, such as those of L’entrée d’Apollon by Guillaume-Louis Pécour and L’entrée du Sommeil in Lully’s Atys, Paré describes how his relationship with baroque dance was developed from being an established dancer at the Paris Opera to transitioning to an independent dance artist. After years of research and practice close to Francine Lancelot, today he approaches baroque dance as a creative form of expression that may vibrate in the present through sensorial flow and a kinesthetic organisation of movement. Referring to educational settings, he approaches baroque dance, and more generally all forms of theatrical dance, through the lens of interdisciplinarity, thus not as an isolated module to study separately from other practices but rather as a way to explore broader themes pertinent to contemporary choreographic composition. He sees in baroque dance the potential to become a space of synthesis where past and present may form a connected whole.

interview questions




What is your first dance memory? 


How has your relationship with dance developed throughout your career? 


Do you remember how you felt when you first encountered Baroque dance?


How did your training in classical, modern, post-modern and contemporary dance influence your interpretation of Guillaume-Louis Pecour’s Entrée d'Apollon?


How was the experience of interpreting the Entrée du Sommeil in Atys?



Did you have the opportunity to pass on the Entrée du Sommeil to other dancers?



Has your relationship with the interpretation of Baroque dance changed over time?


Could you talk about your recent work with the dancer and choreographer Jean-Christophe Boclé on the experience of memory in dance? 


What memories do you have of the early 1980s in France, a pivotal period when “danse baroque” and the “nouvelle danse française” emerged at the same time? 


Were the so-called “early dances” part of the training at the Paris Opera ballet school? 


What was your view of Baroque dance in the 1980s, and what is it today? 


Could you talk about your artistic experience with Wilfride Piollet and Jean Guizerix? 


Could you define the notion of style? 



When you pass on a dance piece, how do you include what you call the “stylistic vibration in the transmission of movement”?


Have you developed any mnemotechniques throughout your career as a dancer?


Do you carry the memory of the pieces that you danced from 1970 to 1980?


Have you always taken notes of the creative process?


When you were a dancer at the Paris Opera, did the institution take charge of the preservation of memory, whereas as an independent dancer, did you have to find your means to preserve memory?


What is the place of Baroque dance in the educational institutions where you have been engaged in different capacities?




JEAN-CHRISTOPHE PARE began his career as a dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet, where in 1984, he was Appointed Premier Danseur. Since 1981 he has been defending within the Groupe de Recherche Chorégraphique de l'Opéra de Paris the possibility of opening up new avenues of exploration in the work of interpretation. He has collaborated with numerous choreographers in modern and contemporary dance from U.S. (Taylor; Tharps; Cunningham; Gordon; Armitage; Dunn; Degroat; Childs; Nikolais; Carlson), France (Bagouet; Verret; Chopinot; Découflé; Larrieu), and Germany (Linke) and later, in renaissance (Francalanci) and baroque dance (Lancelot). He put this multiple knowledge bases in the service of the dance inspection committee of the French Ministry of Culture (2000–2007) and he also implemented the educational projects he designed when directing the Ecole supérieure de danse in Marseille (2007–2011) and the Choreographic Studies Programme at the Conservatoire national de musique et danse in Paris (2014–2018). Today, he mainly pursues activities as a teacher.

MARINA NORDERA is a dancer and a cultural historian (PhD at the European University Institute, Florence). She is Professor and member of CTEL (Centre transdisciplinaire d’épistémologie de la littérature et des arts vivants) at Université Côte d'Azur, where she is Head of the Arts Department and in charge of the PhD program in Dance Studies. She has published extensively on dance historiography, oral and written dance transmission, body and gender in early modern Europe. She is the co-editor (with S. Franco) of Dance Discourses: Keywords in Dance Research (2007); Ricordanze. Memoria in movimento e coreografie della storia (2010) and The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Memory (forthcoming). She also co-edited Les arts de la scène à l’épreuve de l’histoire (2011); Pratiques de la pensée en danse (2020) and three issues of the journal Recherches en Danse (2014, 2015, 2016). She is currently editing the volume A Cultural History of Dance in the Early Modern Period (1450–1650), part of the Bloomsbury series A Cultural History of Dance, and co-editing (with S. Andrieu) Traversées: carrières, genre, circulations.

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