Mensen > Choreographers > Medhi Walerski
After his education in classical ballet, modern dance and improvisation, Medhi Walerski (1979, France) joined the Paris Opéra Ballet, the Nice Opéra Ballet and Ballet du Rhin in Mulhouse, France, as a professional dancer. In 2001 he exchanged France for the Netherlands and continued his dance career with Nederlands Dans Theater in The Hague. Via Nederlands Dans Theater 2 (2001-2003) he moved up to Nederlands Dans Theater 1, where he has grown into a dancer who is vital to the image of the company.
Although Walerski started making choreographies at a very young age, his real start as a choreographer was with Nederlands Dans Theater. He developed his skills by participating several times in Nederlands Dans Theater´s annual Choreography Workshops (now called Switch as of 2008). His talent was noticed, reason why Anders Hellström, artistic director of Nederlands Dans Theater at the time, invited him to make new work for the programme ‘UpComing Choreographers 2006’. With Moume the Frenchman produced an impressive work which was well received. As Dance Europe wrote about it: the most original voice came from the last choreographer, Medhi Walerski, who succeeded in making his dancers move in a very different way, with a physicality that is more raw.
The next year he made Buried Dead or Alive, together with freelance choreographer Alexander Ekman, for C-Scope (an initiative of Cora Bos-Kroese). In December 2007 he contributed to ‘Sharing Art’, a project for street children in Bangladesh initiated by choreographers´ duo Lightfoot León.
Walerski contributed to the Maximum Dance Course’08 (Nederlands Dans Theater’s summercourse for professional dancers) by making a new composition together with the participants.
It was with Mammatus (February 2008) for Nederlands Dans Theater 2 that he made his official debut as a choreographer in the regular season’s programme of the company. Soon after the premiere Mammatus was presented in Germany (Frankfurt am Main and Siegen) and Scotland (Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow). Mammatus was well received by the media: … out of this world, good, associative music by Dirk Haubrich and an incredible atmosphere…Together with the light design Mammatus is a dreamlike experience. A dream that you would never want to wake up from. (De Pers about Mammatus, 10 March 2008)
November 27th 2008 Walerski’s first piece for Nederlands Dans Theater I, Underneath, premiered. The media wrote: ’The really brilliant twist in this programme lies in the choice for Medhi Walerski. This young choreographer from the ranks of Nederlands Dans Theater for the first time produces a piece for the main company: Underneath. What an entree! …Walerski knows how to give a contemporary touch to the virtuosity and the dazzling physicality for which Nederlands Dans Theater is so renowned. Underneath fits perfectly in the tradition of the company and yet, at the same time, is firmly planted in today. (De Groene Amsterdammer, 5 December 2008)
Since the summer of 2009 (delete on) Medhi Walerski has been working as a freelance choreographer. For his choreographies Words failed me (Bern Ballet), LaLaLand (Götenberg Ballet together with choreographer Alexander Ekman) and Petite Cérémonie (Ballet BC) he received raving reviews. On September 29, 2011, Blink of an Eye premiered. ‘The world premiere of Blink of an eye shows the growth of NDT-dancer Medhi Walerski as (delete: being) a choreographer’ (Het Parool, December 2, 2011). ‘Blink of an eye has a rich vocabulary in the romantic-clownesque, flowing-stunning tradition of Jiří Kylián and Lightfoot’(Volkskrant, 26 November 2011).
Walerki’s most recent creation, Chamber, premiered on the 25th of October 2012. The media said about Chamber: ‘With an excellent eye for space, the choreographer shapes unisono percussions and wild round dance, with emotional loaded duets as a strong basis – and he does it all with seeming ease. A keeper, this Walerski’ (Trouw, October 29, 2012). ‘With this strongly build-up Chamber Walerski proves with what choreographic ease he can play the big ballet stage’ (Volkskrant, October 29, 2012).