The Beginnings

The French Ministry of Culture created the Centres Chorégraphiques Nationaux (CCN) in the early 1980s with the emergence of the Nouvelle danse française movement. Directed by choreographers with in-house companies, these powerful tools for the creation of new works now number nineteen and are spread throughout the country. The following years would see major change in the dance world, engendering other types of organizations – festivals, platforms, residencies, and so on. The first Centre de Développement Chorégraphique (CDC) was founded in Toulouse in 1995, followed by Uzès Danse in 1996. Like most such public institutions in France, the CDCs got their start with France’s cultural decentralization policies. Run by professionals who are not active dancers, they take a pragmatic approach to meeting local demand. Operating with a good deal of flexibility, their missions focus on the production and promotion of choreographic pieces – including performance seasons and quality festivals – and on dance education. They receive funding from national and local government, in varying proportions.

A National Seal of Quality

In 2009, after a period of national consultation known as Entretiens de Valois (The Valois Interviews), the services of the French Ministry of Culture, in an effort to clarify the state of performing arts institutions around the country, developed a set of administrative texts including one devoted entirely to the CDCs which allowed them to join the national network of government supported arts establishments.

Entirely autonomous organizations, each CDC runs its own locally tailored programs. They play an essential role wherever they happen to be located. They promise to inaugurate a new era in the way production is organized and promoted for an art as ephemeral and fragile as dance.

The CDCs have a unique, federating role and their strength is to serve as both a haven for dancers and as a public face for partners who see them as ambassadors for the development of dance. Often without a fixed venue, they are the cornerstones of the collaborative policies, dialogue, and reciprocity needed to stretch public funds devoted to the performing arts and to increase dance audiences.

Bureau de l'A-CDC

Joëlle Smadja
CDCN Strasbourg

Daniel Favier
La Briqueterie
CDCN - Val-de-Marne

Céline Bréant
Le Gymnase
CDCN Roubaix / Hauts-de-France

Siège social

LA MANUFACTURE – CDCN Bordeaux Nouvelle Aquitaine
226 boulevard 1er