Born in Buenos-Aires, Cecilia Bengolea studied urban dance forms, before to pursue studies in anthropological dances with Eugenio Barba, as well as Philosophy and Art History at the University of Buenos Aires. In 2001, she moved to Paris and followed the training EX.E.R.C.E. directed by Mathilde Monnier in Montpellier. In dialogue with Levi Strauss’s œuvre Tristes tropiques, Cecilia Bengolea co-directed two videos in 2011: La Beauté (tôt) vouée à se défaire with Donatien Veisman and Cri de Pilaga with Juliette Bineau. As a dancer, choreographer and performance artist, Cecilia Bengolea perceives dance and performance as ‘animated sculpture’ and welcomes the fact that these forms allow her to become both ‘object and subject at the same time’.In 2016, Bengolea was commissioned by the ICA for London Art Night 2016 to present a video installation into holographic mirrors at Covent Garden Market and perform an outdoor participatory dancehall practice in the historical West Piazza of Covent Garden with ballerina Erika Miyauichi and dancehall artist Damion BG Dancerz. Bengolea also works with artists Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Monika Gintersdorfer, Knut Klassen as well as Jamaican Dancehall artists such as Joan Mendy and Damion BG dancerz. In collaboration with Jeremy Deller (UK), she co-directed the film RythmAssPoetry (rap) commissioned by the Biennale de Lyon 2015. Their second film, Bombom’s Dream, shot in Jamaica, commissioned by Hayward Gallery London and Sao Paulo Biennial 2016.
Born in Rennes, François Chaignaud studied dance from the age of six. He earned a diploma in 2003 from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Danse de Paris, collaborating soon after with several choreographers, notably Boris Charmatz, Emmanuelle Huynh, Alain Buffard, and Gilles Jobin. From He’s One that Goes to Sea for Nothing but to Make him sick (2004) to Думимо - Dumy Moyi (2013), 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the space between the sensual rigour of movement, the evocative power of singing, and the convergence of heterogeneous historical references - from erotic literature (Aussi Bien Que Ton Cœur Ouvre Moi Les Genoux, 2008) to sacred art. Also historian, François Chaignaud published L’Affaire Berger-Levrault: le féminisme à l’épreuve (1898-1905) with PUR. His curiosity for history has driven him to initiate various collaborations, notably with legendary drag queen Rumi Missabu of the Cockettes, cabaret performer Jérôme Marin (Sous l’ombrelle, 2011), artist Marie Caroline Hominal (Duchesses, 2009), fashion designers Romain Brau and Charlie Le Mindu, visual artist Theo Mercier, photographer Donatien Veismann and videast Cesar Vayssié. Chaignaud has been commissioned to create a film installation for 24 FRAMES per second in CarriageWorks Sydney. He is currently doing research on polyphonies Georgian, pre-Christian and medieval.
Cecilia Bengolea and François Chaignaud collaborate since 2005. They created Pâquerette (2005-2008), Sylphides (2009),Castor et Pollux (2010),Danses Libres (based on choreographies from François Malkovsky et Suzanne Bodak, 2010), (M)IMOSA (with Trajal Harrell and Marlene Monteiro Freitas, 2011), altered natives’ Say Yes To Another Excess – TWERK(2012), Dub Love(2013), DFS(2016). In 2014, the Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon commissioned them to create a ballet for seven dancers on point shoes, set to Toru Takemitsu music composition How slow the wind. In 2015, Bengolea and Chaignaud were commissioned by the Ballet de Lorraine to produce a new work set to Devoted, a music by Philip Glass. On the same year, they premiered a new piece, entitled The Lighters’ Dancehall Polyphony – for Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal. The performance Sylphides, written for vacuumed bodies in latex fetish envelopes, won the Award de la Critique de Paris in 2009 and the Young Artist Prize at Gwangju Biennial, Korea in 2014. Over the past few years, they have presented work at Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Kitchen, New York; Tokyo’s Spiral in Japan; the Biennale de la danse de Lyon; Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London; Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires; offig-2 at ICA, London ; Festival d’Avignon; Festival d’Automne à Paris; Montpellier Danse; ImpulsTanz, Vienna; deSingel, Antwerp; Teatro de la Ribera, Buenos Aires; Panorama Festival, Rio de Janeiro; Centre National de la Danse, Pantin; SESC, Sao Paulo. Bengolea and Chaignaud currently prepare an exhibition of old and new dances as well as video and performance works for Dia Art Centre Beacon and Chelsea for 2017 and 2018. François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea are Associated Artists with Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy in France.