Damien Jalet is an independent Belgian and French choreographer and dancer working internationally. He is interested in the capacity of dance constantly re-inventing itself in conversation with other media such as the visual arts, music, cinema, theatre and fashion. His works are therefore often collaborative.
He worked as a choreographer and dancer for companies such as Ballet C. de la B., Sasha Waltz and Guests, Chunky Move, Eastman, NYDC, Hessiches Staatballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Scottish Dance Theatre, Icelandic Dance Company and many more.
His latest works as choreographer include: Babel(words) co-signed with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui with set design by Antony Gormley, presented in 2016 at the Cour d’Honneur du Palais des Papes in Avignon, and which won 2 Olivier Awards; Les médusés, a choreographic installation for 30 performers in some of the main rooms of the Louvre in Paris; Yama for the Scottish Dance Theatre with set design by American artist Jim Hodges; Bolero which he directed together with Cherkaoui and the performance artist Marina Abramovic for the Paris Opera Ballet with costumes by Riccardo Tisci; inked for the British Kathak dancer Aakash Odedra; obsidian pieces for the Icelandic Dance Company in collaboration with Erna Omarsdottir (Icelandic national Performing Art Award Grimman 2015 for the best choreographer).
In October 2015 he choreographed gravity fatigue, conceptualised by fashion designer Hussein Chalayan at Sadler’s Wells in London. thr(o)ugh was created for Hessisches Ballett, where Jalet again collaborated with Jim Hodges, Austrian composer Christian Fennesz and designer Jean-Paul Lespagnard. thr(o)ugh was nominated for the German theater award Der Faust in 2017, and it also received nominations for “Best choreographer” and "Production of the year" in the magazine Tanz Critics' Choice. thr(o)ugh is an important piece for Jalet, as it represents a personal attempt to translate the feelings brought up by the traumatic events he witnessed in rue de Charonne, Paris on 13 November 2015.
He created the ferryman with the director Gilles Delmas, highlighting the relation between his works and existing rituals practiced in Bali and Japan, this film gets the exclusive participation of Marina Abramovic and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. It is presented during the whole Venice Biennale at Palazzo Fortuny starting May 2017.
He directed vessel together with Japanese visual artist Nawa Kohei, a collaboration initiated during a four-month-long residency at Villa Kujoyama (Japanese medics villa in Kyoto). The performance for seven dancers has been presented in many important venues in Japan such as Rhom Theater Kyoto and Naoshima’s Art Site and will be played next march at the Perth international festival in Australia .
He is the 2017 artistic director of the UK National Youth Dance Company, for which he created tarantiseismic premiered at Sadler's Wells. Since 2017 he has been resident artist at the “Theatre national de Bretagne (TNB) directed by Arthur Nauzyciel.
Damien Jalet choreographed consequent sections of the upcoming film Suspiria directed by Luca Guadagnino, starring Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, Ingrid Caven with an original score by Thom Yorke.
In February 2018 he will direct his first opera “Pelleas and Melissande” together with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Marina Abramovic, with costumes by Iris Van Herpen at the Antwerp Opera.
As a teacher Jalet has also taught his specific technique using centrifugal force in many companies and institutions including Pina Bausch Company, ImPulsTanz Vienna, Atelier de Paris, and Architanz Tokyo.
In 2013 Damien Jalet was named Knight of Arts and Letters by the French government.