Blanca Li: “Dancers are my brushes”

Crowned by a Golden Lion during the last Venice Dance Biennale, the Spanish choreographer Blanca Li relentlessly pursues a work that happily mixes classical dance and contemporary dance, with a predilection for hip-hop in all its components. A multidisciplinary artist, she is also artistic director of the Teatros del Canal in Madrid and has become, alongside Thierry Malandain and Angelin Preljocaj, one of the first members of the newly created “choreography” section within the Academy of Fine arts.

During a long-term interview, we look back on his journey, and are already sailing into the future in his company, with his latest creation “The Paris Ball“, a live and immersive show in virtual reality which she tells us about during the interview.

A hip-hop pioneer

What I like to do with hip-hop is to transmit this very strong energy that makes people who are in the theater want to rise up, get on stage to come and dance » Blanca Li

Macadam Macadam”, one of his emblematic pieces, created in 1999, recreated in 2006, then in a third version in 2011, has toured all over the world and enjoyed immense success. The choreographer tells us about the genesis of this work:

It was my first creation with hip-hop dancers. I was from New York and I saw this dance born […] In France, there was already a generation that was very interested in that and there were beginning to be very good dancers. I was very into hip hop, I wanted to do this show in which I mixed dance, but also other urban sports: rollerblading, BMX… […] It was a celebration of different arts, only the graffiti was missing. » Blanca Li




5 minutes

At the crossroads of disciplines

The dancers are my brushes. I paint with their bodies and I’ve never had a limit between the different dance styles. I can work with a flamenco troupe like I can work with a hip-hop troupe or a classical dance company. Because the important thing is what we want to tell with the dance. Afterwards, we have to find ways with the dancers to manage to tell and transmit to the world what we have in mind as creators.Blanca Li




59 mins

Le Bal de Paris, inventing the future of dance

“The idea of ​​the Bal de Paris was to create an experience, a live show but through a virtual world in which the public will be able to travel and become a spectator, actor and dancer.” Blanca Li

Thanks to animation, in virtual reality, I can have fun doing huge choreographies with very large groups. It’s something I tell myself when I see the great movies of the Hollywood musical era. There were scenes with hundreds of dancers with perfect choreography, whereas today it’s hard to do thatBlanca Li

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Blanca Li: “Dancers are my brushes”


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