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Mylène Martel

biography

I started dancing when I was seven, fascinated by the display in a dance studio I went past one morning, and I’ve not stopped dancing since. I began by learning classical dance in Béziers, before going to Christiane Espitalier's school in La Valette-du-Var.

After that it all happened very quickly. At 16, I entered the Jeune Ballet de France, then Karin Vyncke's company and the Studio National des Arts/Le Fresnoy. Eventually I joined the Ballet National de Marseille in 2001, where I danced several pieces in the repertoire (Limon, Bournonville, Pietragalla, Carlson, Touzeau, Dawson, Flamand, Dubois).

If I have the feeling that it’s at the BNM that I really learned my craft, it’s probably down to the discipline it demands of its dancers. Since Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten arrived, I’ve enjoyed the meeting of classical and contemporary dance because I like being on pointes and moving around on the floor in bare feet as well. For me dance is instinctive, almost animal. It gives me the power to move forward.

Dancing in Extremalism, which is a very contemporary piece, has allowed me to enjoy a wonderful group effect within the ballet because we learn a huge amount from one another. We’re all very different and this mix is what gives the company its strength.