Johan Amselem


McKnight International Fellow 2012 Residency June 11-30
Cie la Halte-Garderie (The Nursery)

Northrop Concerts and Lectures selected Paris-based choreographer/dancer Johan Amselem as the first McKnight International Fellow. Amselem will be in residency June 11-30 in Minneapolis to develop a new work entitled Bon appetit! 

Bon appetit! Work in Progress Showing
Friday, June 29, 8:00 pm
Tek Box Theater, James Sewell Ballet, Hennepin Center for the Arts
Reservations required to Northrop

Johan will work with dancers Rachel Freeburg, Erika Hanson, Melanie Verne, Ryan Dean, Dustin Hawg, and Zachary Teska; video artist Kevin Obsatz; DJ Shannon Blowtorch; and dramaturgs Morgan Thorson and Karen Sherman.

"We're still going on exploring the dark side of pleasure. It will be particularly about the pleasure to consume and be consumed. I think of the piece like a recipe that principal ingredients will be your wonderful bodies. As I was thinking on a twisted pleasure that nobody should understand, I came to cannibalism. So we'll work on generating into the audience the desire to eat you. Kevin will increase the hunger with the video. It will also be about promiscuity, bodies against bodies, desire and fear, excesses-we'll be on a burning dance floor stove. And for that I count on Shannon's powerful music and personality live on stage." ~Johan Amselem

Johan Amselem, a 36 year old French choreographer, was born in Toulon, French Riviera, and lives in Paris. He began to learn ballet at 6 years old at Toulon Opera House Dance School, and then modern dance at the National Conservatory of Dance in Avignon and National Center of Contemporary Dance in Angers, directed by L'Esquisse Company - Joëlle Bouvier and Régis Obadia.

He worked for five years as a dancer with Laura Scozzi (known in France and abroad for her directions and choreographies of operas) and was also her choreographic assistant on tour on Platée, an opera-ballet produced by Opéra de Paris - Palais Garnier. Amselem also works as a dancer for Da Da Dans Company with choreographer Helle Bach in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Ameslem is a choreographer of many modern dance solos and duos, often performed in very atypical ways such as choreographic walks around gardens and others public spaces. He also choreographs for popular performances in theaters such as the musical Froufrou les Bains, which won the Moliere Award in 2002 for best musical. Ameslem has also choreographed and directed a musical produced by Vidy Theater in Lausanne, and participated in the first big national celebration of dance last September at the Grand Palais in Paris, organized by the famous Spanish choreographer Blanca Li.

He creates dance theater performances, participative events such as an electro couple dance ballroom with a DJ, gives workshops for professionals and amateurs, adults, teenagers, and children, and creates customized events for enterprises and municipalities.

Amselem has been working with Opera de Paris on a pedagogic program for schools. He works on raising public awareness of dance virtues. Notorious French institutions such as Atelier de Paris, directed by Carolyn Carlson, support him. His company, La Halte-Garderie (The Nursery), is sponsored by Paris City Hall.

Amselem is Mediterranean, and born of a North African Jewish family. His work is sharp and full of joy, rituals, flesh, and spirituality, along with emotions, pleasure, and greed.