Claude Brumachon was born in 1959, in Rouen. After attending Fine Arts where drawing directed him down the path of bodies, he took up dance at the age of seventeen with « les Ballets de la Cité » led by Catherine Atlani, he stayed there for two years.
Benjamin Lamarche was born in Bures-sur-Yvette in 1961. At the age of seventeen, he took up – Did it happen by chance or was it his destiny ? – his first contemporary dance class with Claire Rousier.
In 1981, Claude Brumachon and Benjamin Lamarche met in Paris, they immediately started a collaborative and original research. Together, they explored that new world opening up through the dancing body.
Benjamin Lamarche took part in other creations with other choreographers, keeping on working with their company. From 1982 to 1984, he worked with Karine Saporta, they toured in the USA with Escale and Hypnotic Circus, where they met many French choreographers.
In 1984-85, he took part in the creation and in the touring of Tranche de Cake by Philippe Découflé and of Romance en stuc by Daniel Larrieu. Then in 1988, with Janine Charrat, he met Vladimir Dérevianko again to restage a ballet dating back from 1953, Adam Miroir.
Claude Brumachon between 1980 and 1983, as for him, worked with Christine Gérard (La Pierre Fugitive), Karine Saporta and Brigitte Farges.
As they belonged to no school in particular and as they rejected none, Claude and Benjamin sealed their agreement with a first duet : Niverolles Duo du col in 1982.
With their first group, the « Rixes » company in 1984, they invented a stylized, vehement and passionate choreographic writing : a sharp and brisk gesture, a tormented tenderness. They surrounded themselves with dancers, a composer, a makeup artist, a costume designer. Founding a troup and leading it to creation.
In four years’ time, the choreographer created ten plays with two major ones (1988) : Texane (award-winning at the Bagnolet contest) and Le Piédestal des vierges which set their style to a recognizable gesture. It quickly followed on sequences of cleat-cut and sharp movements cutting the body and the space .
The choreographer carved out a reputation. In 1989, Folie came to the fore and was a great success again. A success that was repeated 7 years later, in 1996 with Icare (presented at the 50th Festival d’Avignon) written for Benjamin Lamarche.
Sometimes groping, sometimes rushing headlong, Claude Brumachon and Benjamin Lamarche imagine and create new worlds. There‘s never any doubt between them, doubts are about dancing, about the ways of dancing, about the continuing questioning of this moving body the mind is obsessed with.
The teaching of their dance is made through training, lessons are made as much to pass on this brand new knowledge as to refine it. Moments to unite the group under a common body language. To understand is also to make understand.
As an expression of desire – passionate – and of an overflowing sensuality to a certain point that it was sometimes described as violent, their plays are tales of the inexpressible, they are mirrors of raging inner worlds, pushed beyond their own rules. Claude Brumachon and Benjamin Lamarche have become researchers in poetic and powerful movements. They’ve been creating a dance alternately full of energy and tormented, lyric and passionate, now high-spirited and romantic and now down to earth and meaningful.
Out of Molière’s wanderings, they made with Histoire d’Argan le Visionnaire (2007) a bright and facetious show as a tribute to the artist. Out of the consumer society, they made a Festin (2004), carnal and sensual where proximity bursts out at the face of the audience. With Phobos (2007), they ventured into irrational, universal or shallow fears.
Claude and Benjamin create from the body for the body and with the body.
Their dances are as much stories of different groups that share a space to live in as they are stories of loneliness facing the world. They all are a research around an irrational gesture that calls for the precise one, necessary and full of meaning.
A gesture, heavy with an unspeakable story that changes into the very moment and, in a sometimes bitter statement, offers a view of man in his complexity.
Claude Brumachon signed more than seventy original choreographies with his own dancers, dancers from other French or foreign ballets, with schools and with children as well.
Claude Brumachon has been directing the National Choreographic Center of Nantes since 1992 and Benjamin Lamarche has been co-directing since 1996.