Founded in 1984 in greater Paris, the Compagnie Maguy Marin benefited from the cultural development policies of the François Mitterrand government and became in 1985 the Centre chorégraphique national (CCN) de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne. From the outset, the company has presented strong, disturbing works that break the established codes of dance and clearly reflect a movement of protest against bourgeois society. Whether disparaged or praised, the performances leave no one indifferent. Pursuing rigorous artistic research and touring extensively, the troupe has been strengthened with the arrival of dancers such as Françoise Leick and Ulises Alvarez, whose collaboration continues today.
In 1998 Maguy Marin left the Paris region to assume the direction of the new CCN de Rillieux-la-Pape, in suburban Lyon. There she welcomed several companies in artistic residencies, and developed numerous dance awareness and outreach activities aimed at disadvantaged neighbourhoods. In 2005 when the company moved into a building specially designed for the CCN, the notion of the space as a place for exchange and cohabiting took hold, a mingling of perse presences all interacting in a shared space, ground that is “ours, and the proper time and place”, the effect being to strengthen the capacity to bring forth “those diagonal forces of resistance to oblivion”, as mentioned by the philosopher Hannah Arendt, forces that are at work in Salves and in many previous pieces.
Maguy Marin has made CCN de Rilleux-la-Pape a dance space of public poetics, a citizens’ laboratory for the inhabitants of the city. In schools and theatres, from art centres to social centres, in public spaces, research workshops and neighbour housing, she makes art come alive, revealing dance as a poetic force for making and remaking all sorts of worlds.
The 25 pieces she created up to 2010 are still powerful works that question in fairly direct fashion the role of dance and that of the inpidual in society. Influenced by its surrounding environment, the company explores issues such as immigration or the disenfranchised. Starting with Umwelt in 2004 her work took on a darker tone, emphasizing the catastrophic state of the world and the urgent need to wholeheartedly commit to real change. As was the case with Turba and Description d’un combat, Salves consists of a suite of theatrical tableaux choreographed to the millimetre. The most recent piece produced at CCN de Rilleux-la-Pape, it seems destined to become as iconic as May B which in 1981 solidly established the reputation of Compagnie Maguy Marin on the international scene. Installed since 2012 in Toulouse with a smaller company, the choreographer has already created nocturnes as well as Faces and Cendrillon, two commissioned works.