An organic choreographer

— By Jean-Emmanuel Denave (JED)*

This article excerpt was originally published in Le Petit Bulletin de Lyon (November 2021).

An organic choreographic life

At fifty-one years old, Yuval Pick already has a successful career as a dancer (with Ohad Naharin, Tero Saarinen, Russel Maliphant…) and some twenty pieces to his credit. In 2011, he succeeded Maguy Marin as director of the CCN of Rillieux-la-Pape, and has taken on his commitment to dance in this complex city. “À bras le corps”, this is the case for this artist who, whether in his creations or in his functions at the CCNR, bases the essence of his practice on the body. A living, organic body, subject to gravity, burdened with history and memory, which is an essential part of everyone’s identity. According to Yuval Pick, the link with the other, as well as the relationship with oneself, would pass through the body and its affects, before words and narratives, or at least in an equally important way. It sounds like Spinoza in the text, but Yuval Pick is always reluctant to use references that are too strong or labels that are too restrictive. From piece to piece, from experience to experience, he traces his path without getting too bogged down in theories or models or counter-models, while taking the time, after the fact, to think and to reflect on his practice.


Whether it is for his own creations or for his transmission of dance, Yuval Pick has gradually developed a method and a philosophy of dance called Practice. Which proposes to each dancer (amateur or professional) a singular listening and attention of its body, body understood as a whole made of masses, muscles, organic strata, sensitive flesh… Rather than looking for the beautiful form and to escape the heaviness (epinal image of the dance), the movement is created from the intimate and organic subjectivity of the dancer. One does not forget oneself through dance, but one unfolds, reveals and reinvents oneself. Hence, sometimes, for the spectators of Yuval Pick’s pieces, a disturbing and unusual gesture. But it is a writing based on a long term, sincere and persevering research: a quest for our individual and collective creative potential.

JED — To rebuild society, we must practice. You insist on the notion of practice, with your method Practice for example…

Yuval Pick (YP) — To rebuild society, we must practice, and every practice of the body is welcome (yoga, martial arts…), all the body-mind connections. It is a matter of strengthening the human, enriching the human. We cannot rely on digital interfaces alone. The physical practice sculpts our expressiveness in the link with the other.

*Jean-Emmanuel Denave is a journalist and dance critic.