|1976 to 1978|
engaged by Gigi-Gheorghe Caciuleanu at the Grand Théâtre in Nancy (France)
|1978 to 1991|
engaged at Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch
was born in Rolle, Switzerland, in 1953 and studied music from 1969 to 1973 at the Conservatoire de Lausanne (piano with Denise Bidal) as well as ballet with Philippe Dahlmann. In 1973 she began a three-year dance degree at Rosella Hightower’s Centre international de danse in Cannes. Her first work as a dancer was from 1976 to 1978 with Gigi-Gheorghe Caciuléanu at the Grand Théâtre in Nancy. When she first saw the work of Pina Bausch she immediately felt at home. In 1978 Pina Bausch invited her to join the company in Wuppertal.
A keen eye
Like most new members, she first learned the repertoire; Kontakthof was to be the first production where Anne Martin was part of the creative process. She dived headlong into the work. Much of the time she didn’t give too much thought to what she was doing, and to her surprise it ended up in the pieces. She liked the way you could be yourself in Tanztheater, but ‘within a larger context,’ as she puts it. Under the keen eye of Pina Bausch, and her personal and professional partner Rolf Borzik, you couldn’t lie – but you didn’t have to anyway. Thus a lot was devised spontaneously, arising out of the instant, precisely when you weren’t thinking about it. It was always about a moment of truth. Between then and 1991 Anne Martin contributed to many other premieres: Arien (Arias), Keuschheitslegende (Legend of Chastity), 1980 – A Piece by Pina Bausch, Bandoneon, Nelken (Carnations), Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehört (On the mountain a cry was heard), Viktor, Ahnen as well as the film Die Klage der Kaiserin (The Empress’ Lament). In 1981 she took Pina Bausch’s role in Café Müller. Martin repeatedly left her mark through quiet, gentle moments such as when she just stood there in a sleeveless dress, apparently without arms – smiling. Or when she stood for several minutes dressed only in underpants with an accordion strapped to her – and didn’t play a note. Or when she danced a self-engrossed solo – with only a garden sprinkler for a partner. Quietness otherwise dominated.
Dancer and musician
During her years based in Wuppertal she began collecting music on the extensive tours and from the mid-1980s she also began freelance work. She created two productions with the double bass players Joëlle Léandre and Peter Kowald. She devoted herself to the accordion, gave solo concerts of traditional Sicilian, Corsican and French songs in Germany, France and Italy. After she left the Tanztheater Wuppertal she trained her voice with Dorothea Hackenberg and Benoît Amy de la Bretèque. She appeared at international festivals with her programme of songs and contributed to choreographies by artists such as Raimund Hoghe, Malou Airaudo and Michel Kelemenis as both singer and dancer. She also regularly choreographed for theatre and opera productions. From 2003 to 2020 she was lecturer in modern dance at the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon and created pieces with her students. She has taught as a guest lecturer at the Conservatoire de Montpelier, the Marburg Summer Academy, at Pomona College, University of Claremont, California, and the Californian art school CalArts, as well as the Ménagerie de verre in Paris.
Text by Norbert Servos
Translated by Steph Morris