A 2003 graduate from the CNSM, Paris (National Superior Conservatory of Paris for Music and Dance), François Chaignaud has collaborated with numerous choreographers, including Alain Buffard, Boris Charmatz, Emmanuelle Huynh, and Gilles Jobin. Since the creation of his first piece in 2004, he has taken up a multiplicity of roles as dancer, choreographer, singer, actor, historian, and cabaret artist. His work—which weaves for dance the aspiration of a comprehensive expression delving into the porosity and potential of bodies—has been characterized since early on by the articulation of singing and dance (Думи мої, 2013). With a degree in history, he nourishes his art with in-depth research. The historical depth is reflected in his own pieces as well as in the numerous collaborations he has done, and continues to do, with cabaret artist Jérôme Marin (Sous l’ombrelle, 2011), Marie Caroline Hominal (Duchesses, 2009), and the artist Théo Mercier (Radio Vinci Park, 2016) among others. Between 2005 and 2016, Chaignaud created with Cecilia Bangolea a series of noteworthy shows that were presented worldwide, including Pâquerettes (2005–2008), Sylphides (2009), (M)IMOSA (co-written with and performed with Trajal Harrell and Marlene Monteiro Freitas, 2011), Dub Love (2013), and DFS (2016). In 2021, he founded the organization Mandorle Productions, which supports his desire to follow a line of artistic creation marked by numerous collaborations. With Nino Laisné, he created Romances inciertos, un autre Orlando (2017). This piece was presented at the 72nd edition of the Festival d’Avignon and brought together signing and dance around androgynous figures drawn from Spanish Baroque folklore. Together, they currently are conducting research around partner dances in South America.
In his ongoing relationship to music, Chaignaud presented Symphonia Harmoniæ Cælesitum Revelationum (2019) with Marie-Pierre Brébant, a piece in which he signs the complete repertoire of Hildegard of Bingen. In 2020, he co-created with the butoh pioneer Akaji Maro the duet GOLD SHOWER, presented at the Festival d’Automne in Paris. In the same year he performed Un boléro, a choreography developed in dialogue with Dominique Brun and the orchestra Les Siècles and based on Bronislava Nijinska’s oeuvre. In recent years, Chaignaud has developed a choreographic practice outside of his own work on stage. In 2018, he made Soufflette for fourteen dancers of the Norwegian ballet company Carte Blanche. Presently, he is preparing t u m u l u s, a work sung and danced by thirteen performers and made in collaboration with Geoffroy Jourdain (Les Cris de Paris), which will be premiered in May 2022. In October, Chaignaud will present a short piece, Blasons, created for the Madeira-based company Dançando com a Diferença. Chaignaud received the prize “Personnalité choréographique” [Personality of choreography] from the French Syndicate of Critique in 2021. A Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, he is Associate Artist at Bonlieu Scène Nationale, Annecy and at Chaillot — Théâtre National de la Danse, Paris.
Founded in 2020 to accompany François Chaignaud’s projects and collaborations, MANDORLE PRODUCTIONS’ vocation is to produce new works of live performance, to distribute these creations and all the pieces of the repertoire that the context makes relevant, to share experiences and techniques of creation with audiences and practitioners of all ages. The artistic project of MANDORLE PRODUCTIONS is motivated by partnerships and cooperations with other artists, and sometimes their production structures. This project promotes the ideal of a pivotal artist – blotter – link, weaving a network of signatures and shared writings, far from the still dominant image of the demiurge, authoritarian and solitary artist. Mandorle production seeks to produce choreographic works where dance leads to the possibility of total art: a kinetic, gestural, sonic, visual event. Collaborations with artists coming from the fields of fashion, music, singing, visual arts, or care enable a quest for a body gifted with infinitely extensible and renewable powers. The hierarchies between disciplines (dance, music) and positions (choreographer, performer) gradually disappear.