The French dancer and choreographer Andy Degroat died Thursday in her 72nd year at Montauban. Author about the world of choreography, he has worked with Robert Wilson in the 1970s before founding Red Notes, his own company in France .

Born in 1947 in the United States to Paterson, New Jersey, Andrew de Groat began the education of architects. He met Bob Wilson and participates in the adventure of the Next to the deaf created by Bob Wilson in 1970. It will make his entire career in France, where he arrived in the mid-1970s, when Einstein on the Beach, of Philip Glass, is mounted by the director, texas at Avignon.

Marseille Goal Dance

Between the star Wilfride Piollet, wife of Jean Guizerix, and Andy Degroat, relationships, and lead to many creations such as New moon created in a scenography of clouds for the farewell of Wilfride at the Paris Opera, Giselle escaped in the Winter of Avignon, or Portraits of Dancers to which Jean Guizerix joined the company Red Notes Andy. It is for this company, founded in 1970, that Degroat created in 1978, his iconic Dance of the fans , walking in line on a music by Michel Galasso, punctuated by movements of the wrists where the fans open like suns.

“It will also be close to Jerome Robbins, the director of the New York City Ballet and choreographer of West Side Story . He attended his rehearsals in Paris and New York,” recalls Brigitte Lefèvre, former director of the Ballet of the Paris Opera. The two men shared such an immense ability to pay attention to the music. “It was a singular being”, says Brigitte Lefèvre. “It was like a bird, long fine legs and head of an absolute beauty. He flew on Thursday morning to the sky and the stars,” says Jean Guizerix, the star of the Paris opera house, which has a very well-known Andy Degroat. “The first time I’ve seen it in 1975 or 1976, he was in jeans and a red shirt in the foyer of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and performed movements of spinning, turning on itself indefinitely. It was very close to Bob Wilson for which he was going to choreograph the Einstein on the Beach , that Bob confided then to Lucinda Childs.”

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countdown — the dance of the fans from Ice&co. on Vimeo.

A “poet” concerned with “the present moment”

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“He was a poet who could choreograph all types of dance, dance in indian classical dance. He was never in the constraint. When we asked him if we were to put the arm like this or that, he replied laughing: a night like this and a night like this”, explains Jean Guizerix. “Everything that was important, it is the attention to the present moment.” Throughout his career, Degroat will keep his spirit, his imagination, and his sense of humor, very far from the modes. Sick for many years, he was the victim Thursday of a heart attack.