Centre Chorégraphique National de Caen en Normandie.

Alban Richard

About – repertoire

Alban Richard was already pur­su­ing lit­er­ary and music­al stud­ies when he decided to switch to dance with the cer­tainty that he had found his true mode of expres­sion, soon fol­lowed by the desire to cre­ate shows. He went on to per­form for cho­reo­graph­ers as var­ied as Odile Duboc, with whom he worked from 2002 to 2010, Olga de Soto or Ros­alind Crisp among others.

He foun­ded Ensemble l’Ab­rupt in 2000, for which he cre­ated more than thirty works with the stated ambi­tion of invent­ing, with each new pro­ject, a new body and a new lan­guage. Alban Richard is a research­er who does not impose an eas­ily iden­ti­fied ges­tur­al sig­na­ture, meth­od and style, but exper­i­ments with each new piece, in close inter­ac­tion with a music­al score that is most often played live. Each pro­ject devel­ops into a schol­arly and sens­ory labor­at­ory, delving into struc­tur­al and form­al issues relat­ing to music, writ­ing and com­pos­i­tion. Nev­er repro­du­cing, always start­ing from scratch, even if it means mov­ing from expres­sion­ism, with a piece such as Luis­ance (2008), to more abstract objects such as Breath­is­dan­cing (2017) or Vivace (2018).

Invest­ig­at­ing form­al music­al struc­tures, peri­ods and works inev­it­ably leads to a very dif­fer­ent per­spect­ive”, states the cho­reo­graph­er. “One does­n’t dance in the same way to Xena­kis (Pléi­ades, 2011), medi­ev­al music (Nom­brer les étoiles, 2016) or Arnaud Rebotini (Fix Me, 2018). The pla­cing of the flows, the rhythmi­city, or even the body tech­nique, the rela­tion­ship to the beats, to weight, all this must be ques­tioned every time.” At the end of a fre­quently long and dense pro­cess, each new piece asserts itself as an autonom­ous object, con­struct­ing its own logic, its own life and its own organ­i­city. Alban Richard devises his pro­duc­tions in part­ner­ship with dif­fer­ent col­lab­or­at­ors, wheth­er old or new, weav­ing togeth­er dif­fer­ent par­ti­tions – ges­tures, music, light, cos­tumes – and thus edi­fy­ing a unique piece of work. The way he works with the per­formers, using restric­ted impro­visa­tions to devise the work dir­ectly on stage, allows every­one to devel­op their own dance through an act­ive presence.

Main­tain­ing a con­stant dia­logue with the world of music, the cho­reo­graph­er col­lab­or­ates with the Alla francesca ensemble, Les Talens Lyriques, Les Per­cus­sions de Stras­bourg, the Ensemble inter­con­tem­po­rain, IRCAM and the Cairn, Instant Don­né and Altern­ance ensembles, as well as with com­posers Arnaud Rebotini, Sebasti­an Rivas, Erwan Ker­avec, Jérôme Com­bi­er, Laurent Per­ri­er, Raphaël Cendo, Robin Leduc, Paul Clift, Wen Liu and Mat­thew Barnson.

A pro­lif­ic cho­reo­graph­er, Alban Richard is reg­u­larly invited by bal­lets and com­pan­ies to cre­ate com­mis­sioned works, both inter­na­tion­ally (Canada, Lithuania, Nor­way) and in France. He also works out­side tra­di­tion­al per­form­ance ven­ues – in places such as the Louvre, the Musée d’Art mod­erne de la Ville de Par­is, the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chir­ac and the Musée Guimet – to cre­ate in situ per­form­ances. A curi­ous and ver­sat­ile artist, Alban Richard con­siders his work as a craft that is nour­ished by encoun­ters and daily ques­tion­ing. Each new com­mis­sion gives him the oppor­tun­ity to search in unex­pec­ted dir­ec­tions, to dis­cov­er, and to keep learning.

Ensemble l’Ab­rupt has been in res­id­ence in some ten ven­ues (Théâtre de Vanves, Centre nation­al de la danse in Pantin, For­um du Blanc-Mes­nil, Théâtre Louis Aragon in Trem­bay-en-France, Scène nationale d’Orléans, Prisme centre de dévelop­pe­ment artistique in Saint-Quentin-en-Yve­lines, Chail­lot — Théâtre nation­al de la danse, Théâtre Paul Elu­ard in Bezons, Théâtre 71 in Malakoff) work­ing on very dif­fer­ent issues and contexts.

It was on the strength of all these exper­i­ences in res­id­ence that Alban Richard was appoin­ted artist­ic dir­ect­or of the centre choré­graph­ique nation­al de Caen en Nor­man­die in 2015, with a pro­ject based on both his prac­tice as an author and on con­nect­ing with the ter­rit­ory, centred on reach­ing out to a range of audiences.

List of works


Life is Bet­ter at the Beach | com­mis­sion | KLAP Mais­on pour la danse
Come Kiss Me Now
| show | théâtre de Caen


3 Works for 12 | show | La Fil­ature — scène nationale de Mul­house, Fest­iv­al Musica


La Belle et la Bête (can­celled) | com­mis­sion | théâtre de Caen


the depar­ted Heart | com­mis­sion | Stu­dio Carte Blanche, Ber­gen (Nor­vège)
Bolero ReCom­posed | com­mis­sion | Le Quai, CDN Angers Pays de la Loire
For ever Now | devised with loc­al res­id­ents | Opéra de Rouen Normandie
His­toire du sold­at — Strav­in­ski| com­mis­sion | Phil­har­monie de Paris
Egon Schiele, mis à nu | com­mis­sion | Théâtre de la Pépin­ière, Paris


Touch Me Lightly | com­mis­sion | La Scène nationale d’Orléans, les 20 ans de l’ensemble Cairn
Fix Me | show | Le Car­gö, scène de musiques actuelles de Caen, Fest­iv­al Nördik Impakt
Vivace | show | Théâtre muni­cip­al d’Av­ranches et Salle du Rex à Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët
Pareiškiu – Brandir | com­mis­sion | Klaipe­dos Dramos Teat­ras (Litu­anie)
The Loss of Your Embrace | com­mis­sion | Le Mer­lan — scène nationale, Marseille


Une Fantôme-Danse | devised with loc­al res­id­ents | Le Tri­dent — scène nationale de Cherbourg-en-Cotentin
Breath­is­dan­cing | com­mis­sion | La Pop, Paris


INSANE | devised with loc­al res­id­ents | Comédie de Caen – CDN de Normandie
Buées | activ­a­tion-per­form­ance | Cluny — Musée nation­al du Moy­en-Age de Paris
Prac­tice opus 1 / Prac­tice opus 2 / Prac­tice opus 3 / Prac­tice opus 4 | com­mandes | Théâtre 71 – scène nationale de Malakoff
Nom­brer les étoiles | spec­tacle | Théâtre 71 – scène nationale de Malakoff et Théâtre Paul Elu­ard (tpe) – scène con­ven­tion­née de Bezons


Suites dansées | show | Phil­har­monie de Paris
HOK — solo pour ensemble | com­mis­sion | CCN – Bal­let de Lor­raine / Opéra de Nancy
Dawnlight/Night:Light | re-création |


Trick­sters | com­mis­sion | Josette Baiz – Groupe Gren­ade / Grand Théâtre de Provence
Forever­more | devised with loc­al res­id­ents | Théâtre Nation­al de Chail­lot, Paris
Et mon cœur a vu à fois­on | show | Théâtre Nation­al de Chail­lot, Paris
Some­how myself sur­vived the night | activ­a­tion-per­form­ance | Musée d’Art mod­erne, Paris
Com­bus­tion | activ­a­tion-per­form­ance | Musée d’Art mod­erne, Paris


From afar | devised with loc­al res­id­ents | Prisme d’Elancourt


For each extat­ic instant | devised with loc­al res­id­ents | Scène nationale d’Orléans
The weird sis­ters’ pro­ject | activ­a­tion-per­form­ance | Abu Dhabi Art Fair (EAU)
Boire les longs oub­lis | show | Espace des Arts – scène nationale, Chalon-sur-Saône
Night:Light | com­mis­sion | IRCAM, Fest­iv­al Mani­feste


Pléi­ades, un con­cert de musique et de danse | show | Cité inter­na­tionale de la danse, Mont­pel­li­er Danse
It can’t be dying, it’s too rouge | com­mis­sion | Toronto Dance Theater


Shake that Dev­il ! | activ­a­tion-per­form­ance | CDC Par­is Réseau


With my limbs in the dark | com­mis­sion | IRCAM
Trois études de sépar­a­tion : Loin­tainLuis­ance – Lacis | spec­tacles | Fest­iv­al Automne en Normandie


A Con­spir­acy | com­mis­sion | Vif du Sujet SACD / Château de Vil­le­bois Lavalette
Luis­ance | show | For­um du Blanc-Mes­nil – scène conventionnée


as far as | show | MC93 Bobigny Ren­contres Choré­graph­iques de Seine-Saint-Denis
Loin­tain | show | For­um du Blanc-Mes­nil – scène conventionnée


dis­perse | show | MC93 Bobigny Ren­contres Choré­graph­iques de Seine-Saint-Denis


Down­fall | show | CND / Fest­iv­al Faits d’hiver


Sous Sur­veil­lance | show | Fest­iv­al Faits d’hiver


Häft­ling | show | Théâtre de l’Étoile du Nord, Fest­iv­al Mouve­ments d’automne


Blood Roses | show | Fest­iv­al de Sus­cinio
Come Out | in situ | Théâtre de Chartres