Paul Les Oiseaux

Paul les Oiseaux was founded in 1987. Its name, which is borrowed from Renaissance painter Paolo Uccello, perfectly illustrates the importance given to perspective, to design and to a graphical insertion of bodies on stage by the company. It also pays tribute to migratory birds whose journeys are mirrored into the dancers’ ceaseless back and forth movements and their paths into the scenic space.


 What else can be said? First that this research work on poetical choreography has always used elements from painting, cinema, music and that through the years, texts have begun to prevail.


The force of Paul les Oiseaux lies into an exploration of the tension existing between a highly technical dance and everyday-life gestures with their disturbing oddity.


Paul Les Oiseaux’ dancing approach explores the expression of the unique character of bodies, in a way that has gradually resorted to an increasing use of words. These words are the ones of author Timothée de Fombelle ( in Océan Air and later in Chambres d’Hôtels), of poets such as Emily Dickinson, Richard Brautigan, Werner Lambersy among others. The voices saying those words are the ones of Cécile de France or Stéphan Wojtowitcz, of the dancers and of singer and musician Guillaume Siron in the latest show Toutes les Filles Devraient Avoir un Poème (2014).


All girls should have a poem: Valérie Rivière imagines her danced pieces as cinematographic fictions that explore sensitivity with a great care of lights and sets. Narration is central in productions such as in the choreographic thriller Chambres d’Hôtels.


Indeed, all girls should have a poem because female dancers at Paul les Oiseaux outstandingly say texts that seem written for them. They bring along singular images of femininity, highly different from stereotypes. They are cast and chosen for their ability to use and show their sensibility and their imagination.


Paul les Oiseaux has a taste for mysteries, those of our daydreaming, of our déjà-vus, of our bad dreams, of the clear stream of our memories. The company offers the audience to go back to sensations thanks to a dance that is freed from the modern abstract codes and that is meticulously created with lyricism and without any soppiness.


Its universe can be unveiled step by step by a slow understanding of all clues or instantaneously.


Productions by Paul les Oiseaux gather the intensity of haikus and the great power of fictions.


  Parallel to its creative work, the company has also built its identity around artistic workshops by valuing exchanges with different types of public (schools, future professional dancers, amateurs, etc.). The workshops have usually different shapes: ‘conference dansée’, chorographic workshops… They allow the company to create small choreographic pieces and to explore other forms of art with stage directors, musicians, video-makers or writers.


Each piece created by the company grows richer thanks to those smaller associated pieces that develop the same topics and aesthetics as the parent one.


For many years, Paul les Oiseaux has been involved with mobility-impaired persons such as the elderly living in long-term care structures. These participatory projects had led to the creation of very original choreographic forms and/or fictional or documentary films.


Artistic Team

Valérie Rivière,

choreographer of Company Paul les Oiseaux


Valérie Rivière has first trained in classical dance

and turned later to contemporary dance.

From her first training, she has kept a disposition

for excellence. During the time she spent studying

 in Brussels, at Mudra, she developed an open-mindedness that favours the use of other artistic



She began studying dance at the Conservatoire

National de Région de Bordeaux between 1974

 and 1978. Then, she went to the School of

Princess Grace at Monte-Carlo under the direction

of Marika Besobrasova and finally entered Mudra Brussel, school of Maurice Béjart, to become a

professional performer. While training in Belgium,

she discovered a deep attachment to choreography

and a strong interest in other artistic disciplines.


Back in France in 1987, she founded

Paul les Oiseaux with Olivier Clémentz.


During the four years following the creation of

the company, they both focused their work on

experimenting and learned to deconstruct and

rebuild a new language that has allowed them

to acquire a distinctive artistic identity. In 1992,

Valérie Rivière became the only choreographer

of the company.


Since then, she has directed twenty five

productions, every one of them exploring a

different visual universe.