5 January 2022

Malou Airaudo

Born in Marseille in 1948, Malou Airaudo began dancing at the age of eight, at the Opéra de Marseille. At seventeen, she joined the Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo, where she became a soloist working with Léonide Massine, before joining Françoise Adret and her Ballet-Théâtre-Contemporain in 1968.


Early 1970s, she moved to New York to work with Paul Sanasardo and Manuel Alum, the latter choreographing the solo “Woman of a Mystic Body” for Airaudo. It is there that she meets Pina Bausch for the first time.


In 1973, she was invited by Pina Bausch to join her in Wuppertal, Germany where the director of the city’s theatres Arno Wüstenhöfer had just appointed her at the head of the Wuppertal Ballet, which she soon renamed the Tanztheater Wuppertal. Airaudo became one of the key figures of the ensemble, creating major roles in various productions, such as Iphigenie auf Tauris, Orpheus und Eurydike, Café Müller and dancing The Rite of Spring as well as in many other pieces.


She was also a founding member of the Parisian dance company, La Main, along with Jacques Patarozzi, Dominique Mercy, Helena Pikon and Dana Sapiro, and worked with choreographer Carolyn Carlson at the Teatrodanza La Fenice in Venice.


From 1984 until 2018, she taught dance at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen- Werden, and in 2012, she became the Director of the university’s Institute of Contemporary Dance.


Her choreographic accomplishments include Le Jardin des Souvenirs, Jane, Je Voudrais Tant, Schwarze Katze and If You Knew, created from the mid-90s onward for companies such as the Folkwang Tanz Studio, the Ballet de Nancy, the Ballet de Geneva, the Ballet du Nord and the Venice Biennale. In the last decade, she has also worked with Pottporus Renegade Theatre creating work with break-dancers like Irgendwo and Verlorene Drachen.