François Chaignaud 

François Chaignaud lives and works in Paris. Dancer, performance artist, singer, he has been trained at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Danse de Paris and has collaborated with many choreographers.

From He’s One that Goes to Sea for Nothing but to Make him sick (2004) to Radio Vinci Park (2016 - in collaboration with Théo Mercier), he has created performances in which dance and singing intersect, in a wide variety of environments and at the meeting points of many inspirations. From this tension the possibility of a body takes shape, inhabiting the space between the sensual rigour of movement, the evocative power of singing, and the convergence of heterogeneous historical references - from erotic literature to sacred art (Dumy Moyi, 2013).

Since 2005, the artist has been focused on creating a steady dialogue with Cecilia Bengolea, through the company Vlovajob Pru, and the results have attracted widespread critical acclaim. Together, they created Pâquerette (2005- 2008), Sylphides (2009), Castor and Pollux (2010), Danses Libres, (M)IMOSA (co-written and performed with Trajal Harrell and Marlene Monteiro Freitas, 2011), altered natives’ Say Yes To Another Excess—TWERK (2012), Dublove (2013), DFS (2016). They have been commissioned to create works for major companies such the Lyon Opera Ballet, the Ballet de Lorraine, or recently the Tanztheater Wuppertal—Pina Bausch.

François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea are associated artists with Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy


Akaji Maro 

Akaji Maro was born in Nara prefecture, Japan in 1943.
In 1965, he co-founded Jokyo-Gekijo with renowned Japanese actor/director Juro Kara under the strong influence of Hijikata. In their productions, Maro was acknowledged as an actor who embodied Kara’s “privileged physical theory” with his own spectacular acting approach and inspired many performing artists during the 1960’s and 70’s.

In 1966, he studied under Tatsumi Hijikata who was one of the pioneers of butoh. In 1972, Maro founded Dairakudakan, where he brought his spectacular performing technique into butoh dance pieces. One of his basic teachings, Temp-Tenshiki, became controversial not only in Japan but also other countries after its shocking debut at numerous dance festivals in France and U.S. in 1982. Since then, butoh has been influencing the international dance scene. Maro practices the belief ichinin-Ippa (“one dancer, one school”- the idea that each individual should be able to express/create her/his own movement vocabularies) and has fosters emerging dancers, and has produced many butoh groups such as Ushio Amagatsu (Sankai Juku), Carlotta Ikeda (Ariadone) and Ko Murobushi and so on.

Maro has been challenged to cross the borders of different art forms as an actor, dancer and director/choreographer. He has also starred in such spectacular and independent and/or hit movies as Kikujiro no Natsu (director by Takeshi Kitano), Room (director by Shion Sono), KILL BILL (director by Quentin Tarantino).