Philippe’s creative work has always pushed boundaries and refused to conform to expectations, or to stay firmly in one frame. The development of the artistic language is a continual process of investigation and it is with this intention, of questioning and examining, that future work will grow.
The French born choreographer and dancer Philippe Blanchard began his studies in music and dance at the Conservatoire National de La Rochelle with Colette Milner where he stayed for seven years. He then moved to Cannes to join the Jeune Ballet de France in 1984 for a year, before joining the Netherlands Dans Theater for another four years.
After a transition as a freelance performer in Europe, he moved to Israel in 1991 to work with Ohad Naharin and the Batsheva Dance Company. The situation of the country with the gulf war, and the experience of working with Ohad, proved to be a rich and intense period, and very important to Philippe’s personal and artistic development.
In 1991 Philippe responded to Mats Ek’s invitation to join the Cullberg Ballet in Sweden.
A year later he began to make his own investigation into working as a creator rather than a performer, and was soon joined by Örjan Andersson and Lars Bethke to form a new structure. This lasted for a year, but whilst it was a short experience, it was a launch of new horizons.
The meeting with Lloyd Newson during a summer course for choreographers and composers in 1995 in Bretton Hall (UK) confirmed directing and choreographing as the new path for Philippe. It was during this time that Philippe began an exchange of ideas with the Dutch composer Michel Van de Aa and when they began to talk about a project, which would later become STARING AT THE SPACE. Two years later his journey led him towards “L’orchestre de contrebasses” which again linked him to collaborate with these six bass players in a project that, whilst exciting, proved difficult. The following period reflected on causes and consequences of fear where AIRBAG was to be the first work of a number of productions that related and responded to these questions and brought them into a new area.
In 2000 Philippe formed ADEKWHAT, shaped to be a flexible organization, which would respond to a diversity of projects and collaborations related to performing art. The work NOODLES (2001) was created through the structure of ADEKWHAT and was a critical and public success, which clearly showed Philippe’s artistic potential. Noodles toured internationally for the following three years.
However, Philippe didn’t conform to expectations and expressed that ADEKWHAT was as much a laboratory as a performing group, allowing him to research, elaborate and create a number of events and performances. A collaboration with Gemma Higginbotham began in 2003, which would extend itself to several periods of exploration, development and productions. The first collaboration came out of a period of research in O espaco de tempo in Portugal and in Pact Zollverein in Essen and led them to the creation of TOO MUCH NIGHT EGO.
Following on from that project Philippe and Gemma instigated a long-term project based on the theme of identity, which would deliver a trilogy.
ONE’S COMPANY, TWO’S A CROWD was the first part of this project, a duo performed by the two creators, showing a fusion and a clear idea of the source of their collaboration. In 2008 BITS OF BOB’S LIFE qualified the continuity of the collaboration found in the previous work. In 2009 the last piece of the trilogy HOW ABOUT YOU? Premiered at Dansens Hus in Stockholm, to later tour nationally and internationally.