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Meet The Artists

Biography

Serge Bennathan

Dancemakers / Canadian Opera Company

(1957- )

French-born Serge Bennathan danced with the Ballet National de Marseille under the direction of Roland Petit. In 1978, he began to choreograph while still a member of the company. In 1985, he moved to Canada.

Bennathan was associated with Le Groupe de la Place Royale (later renamed Le Groupe Dance Lab) in Ottawa before making Vancouver his home. There he worked as an independent dance artist and choreographed for several of the local companies, including Ballet British Columbia and EDAM (Experimental Dance and Music).

In 1990, Bennathan was appointed the artistic director of Dancemakers,, Toronto's second oldest modern dance company. Originally structured as a repertory company for the work of a variety of choreographers, under Bennathan's leadership, Dancemakers has adopted a more choreographically unified approach and now primarily performs his work. This shift in choreographic emphasis has garnered international attention for the group through works such as Bennathan's Quand les grand-mères s'envolent (1992) and Les vents tumultueux (1994). Bennathan stepped down from the role of artistic director of Dancemakers at the end of the company's 2005/2006 dance season.

Bennathan has won numerous awards. The Satie Project (2003) received Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding New Choreography and Outstanding Performance. He has received commissions from companies in Canada and around the world, including the National Ballet of Canada,, Teatro San Martin Ballet Contemporaneo in Buenos Aires and Le Jeune Ballet International de Cannes.

Bennathan is also in demand for artistic collaborations. In 2002, for instance, he was commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company (COC) to work with director Atom Egoyan on the COC's production of Salome.

In addition to his collaborations with other artists, Bennathan has explored other creative media. Most notably, his book for children, Julius le piano voyageur, was published in October 2002.

Websites:

Dancemakers

Learn more:

Porter, Sara. “Digging into Dance: How Passion Works for Serge Bennathan.” The Responsive Body: A Language of Contemporary Dance. Ed. Brian Webb. Banff, AB: Banff Centre Press, 2002: 2-20.