Presentation of the Groupe Grenade
History, training, career...
In 1989/90, The Ministry of Culture offers a one year residency to Josette Baïz in the northern neighborhoods of Marseille at the Ecole de la Bricarde.
With the help of the film director Luc Riolon she creates the film «Mansouria» with around one hundred children from various disciplines such a dance, singing, theatre… Josette discovers children from all types of backgrounds, entirely invested in these dance projects. The success of this first film and the children’s enthusiasm allows her to pursue this action.
A second residency at a school in Aix-en-Provence takes place. A second film « La Caverne des Nats» directed by Vincent Bidault, focusing more on choreography, brings together forty children from Aix and Marseille.
The work of Josette Baïz in the Aix and Marseille neighborhoods during these two successive years of residency culminates into an unusual experience in 1992, the creation of a group of young dancers from these neighborhoods: the Groupe Grenade.
During the first 10 years, the young Groupe Grenade dancers gradually mix their different choreographic origins to invent a unique and original language. From the outset this “blend,” stemming from contemporary to hip-hop, to multi-ethnic dances, has been the specificity of the group.
The success of the tours confirms Josette Baïz’s wish to develop an increasingly precise technique by widening the dancers’ training to other techniques including classical. These young dancers quickly become recognized as having a new choreographic style: the Grenade style, symbol of energy, cultural mix, openness to the world.
Currently, the Groupe Grenade is composed of approximately fifty children and teenagers from 7 to 18 years old. Groupe Grenade has also opened to other choreographic worlds by performing in two ballets by Jean-Claude Gallotta: “3 Générations” in 2003 and “Ulysse” in 2007.
It is with this spirit of openness, constant practice with improvisation-composition techniques and improving quality, that Josette Baïz and the Groupe Grenade work on their creations.
Each performance never exceeds fifteen dancers allowing Josette to deepen the quality of the dance, thereby creating professional repertoires like “le Sacre,” a very successful piece danced by teenagers, and developing a very precise technique.
These same teenagers are in charge of transmitting their know-how to young incoming dancers.
When they reach the age of majority, Josette offers some dancers with the necessary technical, quality and commitment characteristics to gradually integrate the professional company. Others choose to complete their training in national dance schools (Conservatory of Lyon, CNDC Angers, Epsedanse/ Anne-Marie Porras…).
This experience is unique to France; the Groupe Grenade has been welcomed all over France and abroad and now aims to become a true Youth Choreographic Center.
Training in the Groupe Grenade
The dancers of the Groupe benefit from a complete training program with:
1/ three courses per week alternating between:
- Classical dance with Elodie Ducasse, State certified teacher, former dancer for the Ballet National de Marseille - Roland Petit,
- Contemporary dance with the State certified Compagnie Grenade dancers,
- Hip-hop dance with outside qualified teachers,
2/ one contemporary dance class per week with Josetter Baïz,
3/ regular comparisons with other dance techniques by invited teachers and choreographers,
4/ free access to the open classes of the association (classical, contemporary),
The children and teenagers of the Groupe Grenade attend regular schooling, without tailored timetables for dance. Negotiations are currently underway to open a dance-tailored class in Aix-en-Provence. Children and teenagers create and rehearse their shows during their rehearsal time: 3 hrs on Wednesday afternoon, 2 hrs one evening per week or on Saturday afternoon. They create on average one show every two years in parallel to the tours.
1990 MANSOURIA, Bétacam SP, 32 minutes, film director Luc RIOLON
1991 LA CAVERNE DES NATS, Bétacam SP, 38 minutes, film directorn Vincent BIDAULT
1992 SECRETS d'ENFANTS, Bétacam SP, 26', film director Vincent Bidault
1992 : Le SECRET D'EMILE, Théâtre Toursky - Marseille
1994 : création de GUELWESCH, Théâtre de Fontblanche - Vitrolles
1995 : common creation "UN SOURIRE DANS LA LUNE" with Opéra Junior de Montpellier (Festival International Montpellier Danse)
1997 : RENDEZ-VOUS, common creation with Cie Käfig - Danse à Aix
1996 : DALANG, Théâtre du Merlan - Scène Nationale de Marseille
1998 : IMAGINE, Théâtre du Merlan - Scène Nationale de Marseille
1999 : TRAFICS, première partie, Festival de Marseille
2000 : TRAFICS, Théâtre du Merlan - Scène Nationale de Marseille
2001 : LA VIE EN ROSE, Dôme Théâtre d’Albertville
2002 : ZOOM, Théâtre des Salins, Scène Nationale de Martigues
2005 : ON N'EST PLUS DES ANGES, Festival International Danse à Aix
2005 : BARBE BLEUE, L'Équinoxe - Scène Nationale de Châteauroux
2007 : LE SACRE, Château Rouge - Annemasse
2007: ULYSSE, revival of Jean Claude Gallota's orginal choreography with the Groupe Grenade, MC2 Grenoble