Born in Cannes, lives and works in Montpellier
Before becoming a dancer, Christian Rizzo formed a rock group and a clothing label in Toulouse, then studied visual arts at the Villa Arson in Nice.
Born in 1965 in Cannes, Christian Rizzo took his first steps as an artist in Toulouse, where he started a rock band and created a line of clothing before studying visual arts at the Villa Arson in Nice. Serendipitous encounters led him to the stage.
In the 1990s, he performed with numerous contemporary choreographers, sometimes responsible for their soundtracks or costume creation, for instance with Mathilde Monnier, Hervé Robbe, Mark Tompkins, Georges Appaix, and then with Vera Mantero, Catherine Contour, Emmanuelle Huynh, and Rachid Ouramdane.
In 1996, he created the “l’association fragile” and presented performances, dance pieces, alternating with other projects or commissions for opera, fashion and visual arts. Since then, over thirty productions have come to fruition. Christian Rizzo regularly teaches in art schools in France and abroad, as well as in institutions dedicated to contemporary dance.
On January 1st 2015 Christian Rizzo took over as the Director of the Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier, which has been renamed ICI (International Choreographic Institute). He supports a crosscutting vision of creation, training, artistic education and openness to the public. Based on various practices and territories, this project is primarily a forward-looking space dealing effectively with inviting artists, creating the choreographic gesture and studying the forms that it can take when shared.
Avec ICI—CCN Montpellier
After the trilogy devoted to the relationship between scripted dances and anonymous practices and a piece dedicated to young audiences, Christian Rizzo embarked on a new group experiment entitled une maison, a piece for 14 dancers.
In 2018, he began d'après nature, a long-term hybrid choreographic project combining installation, video and dance, seen as both a nomadic laboratory and a performance space. In a desire to question 'what' the pieces that have punctuated his career are made of, this project embraces the present, inviting a reactivated past into a universe of images and sounds. Each residency, conceived as a specific episode, will give rise to a unique experience involving a dialogue between film and live presence in the form of a performance installation.
As an image-maker, Christian Rizzo undertook a piece for all audiences in October 2017 in continuity of his work: d'à côté. After creating a trilogy of "dance pieces about dance": d’après une histoire vraie (2013), ad noctum (2015), le syndrome ian (2016), he continued his work on what has always driven him: an imaginary, hybrid dream world, made of plasticity and criss-crossed by strange figures.
In June, Christian Rizzo created le syndrome ian, a piece for 9 dancers that draws on memories of clubbing and the night. It corresponds to the third part, devoted to the exploration of anonymous dance practices confronted with the notion of authorship (sequel to d’après une histoire vraie and ad noctum).
In October 2016, he created avant la nuit dernière, an installation designed especially for the courtyard of the Hôtel-Dieu, as part of Nuit Blanche 2016 in Paris - at the invitation of Jean de Loisy (director of the Palais de Tokyo) and the Hermès Foundation, as part of its New Settings programme. This creation is an ephemeral in situ form: a six metre diameter disc combined with fragments of sound. The movements of the disc and the play of light on its surface make images appear and disappear: the diffracted silhouette of a dancer, the neo-classical architecture of the oldest hospital in Paris, at the same time as the moving bodies of the spectators... In the same month, he set up a new exhibition space at ICI-CCN: La chambre d’écho. These exhibitions are designed to bring audiences into contact with choreography, giving them the opportunity to experience oblique and broader viewpoints on current practices.
In March 2015, he curated Paysage, corps: contemplation, an exhibition on the theme of the body in landscape presented at the LUX National Theatre in Valence. The proposal is a cabinet of curiosities, with one of his works (the IL installation) and several artists at his side. Then in November, he created the duet ad noctum, a tribute to obscurity, drawing on the wide repertoire of dances for couples.
With l’association fragile / Christian Rizzo
In November Christian Rizzo presented leoš Janáček's Diary of the Disappeared which he directed and designed at the Opera in Lille. In March, he created Ou pas, a live installation (in collaboration with Caty Olive) specifically created for the National Ballet of Marseille. They also ran a lightlab for lighting designer/choreographer duos as part of Dances dialogues-Odia at The Point theatre in Eastleigh (UK). Christian Rizzo curated the Y es-tu ? exhibition of video art and new cinema by Fresnoy artists, co-organised by the French Institute of Japan in Yokohama and Redbrick Warehouse n°1.
In 2013, he created De quoi tenir jusqu’à l’ombre a piece for the Oiseau-Mouche company - Roubaix and d’après une histoire vraie for the Festival of Avignon, a piece for 8 dancers and 2 live musicians.
In November 2013, he directed Aïloviou, je l'écris comme je le prononce by Didier Galas for the Ensemble Lidonnes company (first performed at the Mettre en Scène festival in Rennes in 2013).
He created 2 pieces, le bénéfice du doute and the solo sakınan göze çöp batar , and directed the opera Tannhäuser , produced by Capitole - Toulouse Opera. In collaboration with Sophie Laly, he also created neo-fiction, commissioned by On the Boards in Seattle (USA), a piece featuring video and a guest musician for each performance. The Lille based group, Cercueil, was invited to perform the French premiere at the Automne en Normandie Festival.
He curated the exhibition "Traversée / projet fantastic" at La Malterie as part of Lille 3000, and ran a research laboratory for young artists organised by Le Fresnoy in Tourcoing, Le Phénix in Valenciennes and Le Manège in Mons with the support of the DRAC Nord Pas de Calais.
He created the installation/performance Tourcoing - Taipei - Tokyo at the Franco - Japanese Institute in Tokyo.
For the 2010 - 2011 season, he was an associate artist at deSingel - Antwerp - Belgium - offering exhibitions, events and performances. He also returned as a guest artist/teacher at Le Fresnoy (Studio National des Arts Contemporains - Tourcoing), running research workshops with the LʼOiseau Mouche company - Roubaix.
He created the piece lʼoubli, toucher du bois for 7 dances at the Lille Opera.
He directed three operas: Erwartung and Pierrot lunaire by A.Schoënberg and La Voix humaine by F.Poulenc, produced by the Capitole- Toulouse Opera at TNT - Toulouse.
In Japan, he designed the exhibition as me as a dog as ... - a series of photographs presented as part of the Yokohama France Vidéo (2010 Collection at the Red Brick Warehouse, curated by Stephen Sarrazin).
In 2009, Christian Rizzo created a new piece for the Ballet at the Opera of Lyon ni cap, ni grand canyon, and with Bernard Blistène designed the exhibition Le sort probable de lʼhomme qui avait avalé le fantôme, at the Conciergerie in Paris as part of the Nouveau festival at the Pompidou Centre.
He created mon amour, a piece for 7 dancers, 7 robots and 3 musicians. The mechanics/robotics used for the partly moving set design came face to face with the dancers as a partner in play and composition.
Invited as a choreographer by Taiwan's dance forum company to create a piece at Taipei's national theatre, he included Iuan-Hau Chiang, a multimedia artist specialising in 3D computer-generated images, in the creative process. This piece, Comment dire "ici"? concluded the "residency-exhibition-teaching-creation" programme initiated in 2006 in Taipei.
He also created i-fang lin / christian rizzo as part of sujet à vif at the Avignon festival.
Invited as an artist-teacher to Le Fresnoy for the 2008-2009 academic year, he initiated research into barcode reading interfaces and memory textiles with a view to a solo show. The project also presented the opportunity for collaboration where design (David Dubois - galerie Kréo), fashion (Christian Lacroix, Romain Kremer) and the visual arts (Takao Minami, Iuan-hau Chiang) come together.
For the dancer Julie Guibert he wrote the solo b.c, janvier 1545, fontainebleau.
Christian Lacroix invited him to work with David Dubois on an exhibition to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fashion house at Villa Noailles in Hyères. The exhibition will subsequently be shown again in Paris, Vienna, Taipei and Santiago de Chile.
He taught for 3 weeks in August at Taipei University and for 15 days in Montreal for the O'vertigo/Ginette Laurin company.
With the Via Kathléong company, he created toutes sortes de déserts for the Automne festival in Paris.
He created the concert right up to the last minute we hoped that some people wouldn't come at Les Antipodes in Brest.
In September 2006 he held an exhibition and a series of performances without you, with a view as you, as guest at the Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan.
He ran a workshop on the relationship between dance and fashion in collaboration with the designer Romain Kremer (winner of the 2005 Hyères Festival) at the Cnd-Pantin in partnership with Anomos.
He created either the well was deep, or they were falling very slowly, because they had time to look all around and as a skull, as a cult for Jean-Baptiste André at the Avignon Festival as part of the vif du sujet, in partnership with the SACD.
He held an exhibition at Museion - Bolzano (IT). "The death of the disco dancer" installation.
Christian Rizzo presented autant vouloir le bleu du ciel et m'en aller sur un âne, in collaboration with Caty Olive and Gerome Nox at Le Quartz in Brest.
He designed the scenography for the exhibition Le cas du sac for UCAD and Hermès at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, as well as a new piece, ni fleurs, ni Ford Mustang, for the Lyon Opera Ballet.
As artist in residence at Toulouse's Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, he was invited to present two solo exhibitions at the Espace des Arts in Colomiers and the Chapelle Saint-Jacques/ Centre d'Art in Saint-Gaudens.
He began working with Bruno Chevillon: ... /... (b) impromptu meeting.
He also designed a sculpture of dancing, proposed by David Rosenberg (May 2003) at the Galerie Michel Reins-Paris.
On 13 November 2003, he presented numéro 13, a performance at the Cartier Foundation as part of the Odorama nomadic evenings, on the theme of perfumes (repeated the following year in Luxembourg).
For + si affinités (Fiac 2002), he proposed appartement-temoins, a video performance.
At the Avignon Festival, he created the solo Skull*cult for Rachid Ouramdane as part of the "vif du sujet” programme.
At the Quartz in Brest, he created I’ll be back before a month and we'll go together in the morning, you know, to see the play I promised to take you to. (Critics’ Grand Prix 2002/2003, in the dance/choreographic revelation category at the Professional Syndicate for Dramatic and Musical Arts).
et pourquoi pas : « bodymaker », « falbalas », « bazaar », etc, etc...?, creation at the Danse(s) festival at the Quartz de Brest in February 2001.
The same year, in the Barbirey gardens, he created Un mensonge (deux nuits d'été), a solo piece accompanied by composer Gerome Nox for the entre cour et jardins festival.
He presented 100% polyester with lighting designer Caty Olive in France and abroad.