Born in Buenos-Aires, Cecilia Bengolea studied urban dance forms, before to pursue studies in anthropological dances with Eugenio Barba, as well as Philosophy and Art History at the University of Buenos Aires. In 2001, she moved to Paris and followed the training EX.E.R.C.E. directed by Mathilde Monnier in Montpellier.
In dialogue with Levi Strauss’s œuvre Tristes tropiques, Cecilia Bengolea co-directed two videos in 2011: La Beauté (tôt) with Donatien Veisman and Cri de Pilaga with Juliette Bineau.
As a dancer, choreographer and performance artist, Cecilia Bengolea perceives dance and performance as ‘animated sculpture’ and welcomes the fact that these forms allow her to become both ‘object and subject at the same time’.
In 2016, Bengolea was commissioned by the ICA for London Art Night 2016 to present a video installation into holographic mirrors at Covent Garden Market and perform an outdoor participatory dancehall practice in the historical West Piazza of Covent Garden with ballerina Erika Miyauichi and dancehall artist Damion BG Dancerz. Bengolea also works with artists Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Monika Gintersdorfer, Knut Klassen as well as Jamaican Dancehall artists such as Joan Mendy and Damion BG dancerz. In collaboration with Jeremy Deller (UK), she co-directed the film RythmAssPoetry (rap) commissioned by the Biennale de Lyon 2015. Their second film, Bombom’s Dream, shot in Jamaica in 2016, commissioned by Hayward Gallery London and Sao Paulo Biennial 2016.
Since 2005, a steady dialogue between Cecila Bengolea and François Chaignaud has given rise to miscellaneous works.
Cecilia Bengolea and François Chaignaud collaborate since 2005. They created Pâquerette (2005-2008), Sylphides (2009), Castor et Pollux (2010), Danses Libres (based on choreographies from François Malkovsky et Suzanne Bodak, 2010), (M)IMOSA (with Trajal Harrell and Marlene Monteiro Freitas, 2011), altered natives’ Say Yes To Another Excess – TWERK (2012), Dub Love (2013), DFS (2016).
They have been commissioned by the Opera de Lyon to create How Slow The Wind (2014), a piece for seven dancers on point shoes. The following year, the Ballet de Lorraine also commissioned them to created Devoted (2015), a piece for nine female dancers on point shoes, on Philip Glass’s music “Another look on Harmony”. In septembre 2015, they premiered The Lighters’ Dancehall Polyphony, a polyphonic ballet for Pina Bausch’s TanzTheater Wuppertal.
Over the past few years, they have presented work at Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Kitchen, New York; Tokyo’s Spiral in Japan; the Biennale de la danse de Lyon; Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London; Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires; of fig-2 at ICA, London ; Festival d’Avignon; Festival d’Automne à Paris; Montpellier Danse; ImpulsTanz, Vienna; deSingel, Antwerp; Teatro de la Ribera, Buenos Aires; Panorama Festival, Rio de Janeiro; Centre National de la Danse, Pantin; SESC, Sao Paulo.
Bengolea and Chaignaud currently prepare an exhibition of old and new dances as well as video and performance works for Dia Art Centre Beacon and Chelsea for 2017 and 2018.
François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea are Associated Artists with Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy in France.