Marion Motin, choreographer: “As a teenager, I was looking for a place with raw energy and joy. This place is called hip-hop”

Marion Motin in Paris, October 1, 2015.

She may run between multiple artistic projects, Marion Motin welcomes us calmly and calmly, and takes the time to tell her story with sincerity. Her little boy and his mother gravitate around her in the Parisian apartment where they are passing through before returning to Normandy, where they live. In July, the 42-year-old choreographer will start working with the dancers of the Paris Opera, for whom she designed the piece The Last Call which will be presented there next fall. It’s a first for this self-taught dancer from hip-hop and an opportunity she “never dared to dream of” younger. At 20, Marion Motin is unleashed during hip-hop battles and soon follows Madonna on tour. She looks back on these years of hatching, but also of the quest for an ever more personal, freer movement.

Where did you grow up ?

My family is of Norman origin, from a village called Coutainville (Manche), where I returned to live when my son was born in 2017. But I grew up in Paris, we got there in the middle 1980s with my parents and my sister, I was in kindergarten. We first lived in the Les Halles district, which was still a bit underground at the time, then in the 13ᵉ arrondissement, which then looked like a kind of distant suburb. My father worked as a bank executive, he had learned on the job and loved what he did. My mother had several jobs, she managed clothing stores. She gravitated around artistic circles and always had a thousand projects with friends. It was the 1990s, it was about fashion and photography. When she separated from my father, she worked like hell, it was a bit difficult financially. Seeing her give so much determined me to do a job that I am passionate about.

Paris is therefore my whole childhood even if it is now a city that I associate with work. I haven’t had quite the same pace since my return to Coutainville. I work hard, but I also want to live, have a coffee, chat, read a book… If you work all the time, you no longer take the time to inspire yourself.

Was dancing already part of your childhood?

A story circulates in my family that my grandfather used to put on music after dinner and dance. I didn’t experience that, but I saw my parents throw huge parties, it was commonplace. And there was a lot of music every day. My mother played a few notes on the piano to lure us to the table. My dad was an amateur guitar player. They listened to Sade, Sapho, Genesis, Chet Baker as well as classical music. Me, I imitated Michael Jackson, James Brown, I had a sense of rhythm. I took lessons at a very young age, first simple body awareness sessions in kindergarten. I still remember the end of year show, the stage and the costumes, I was dressed up as a rabbit and my sister as a fawn.

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