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Good Boy:The Book on Alain Buffard's Political and Intimate Work

Mathieu Doze interpreting Alain Buffard's solo Good Boy.

The choreographer Alain Buffard passed away in 2013 but his work remains firmly in our memories. The book Good Boy, named after his 1998 autobiographical piece on AIDS, published in English and in French by les presses du réel with the Centre National de la Danse and PI:ES brings together testimonies and a large selection of iconography and unpublished archival documents celebrating the work of this major figure. Good Boy immerses you in the world of Alain Buffard, a man fighting against AIDS, using his art to participate in important discussions and denounce many social issues such as post-colonialism. This work relates to Buffard's youth and his path to dance and choreography, paved with fertile collaborations including his work with researcher Laurence Louppe and American choreographers Yvonne Rainer and Anna Halprin. 

Good Boy invites you to discover and question the life-time work of one of the most political choreographers of his generation, of a great artist who reinvented the French dance scene with his complex and creative mind. 

About Alain Buffard

A major figure on the French choreographic scene, the dancer and choreographer Alain Buffard (1960-2013), assimilated to the avant-garde movement known as "non-danse." After founding the company PI:ES in 1998, he created about fifteen pieces, all characterized by a powerful relationship to the non-standard body. His pieces were both intimate and political, existing between humor and tragedy.
Trained in dance by Alwin Nikolais, Alain Buffard had a formative encounter with the American choreographers Yvonne Rainer and Anna Halprin. Performing for Daniel Larrieu and Régine Chopinot among others, he created Good Boy in 1998, a solo as radical and direct as a manifesto. Alain Buffard's work is in perpetual evolution, and since its beginnings, it has consistently shed light upon recurring problems. After a period of time marked by a societal propensity to question art, the body, and gender, the choreographer used his art to show, unequivocally, that the question of the body and its relationship to politics is at the heart of Dance. His last piece, Baron samedi, was premiered at the Théâtre de Nîmes in 2012.

Alain Buffard came frequently in the United States where his work was presented. Here are key dates:  

- March 2006:The solo Good Boy  at ODC Theater, San Francisco, then in April at Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York. Also in April 2006: Mauvais Genre at Danspace project with a mix of French and American performers such as John Jasperse, Miguel Gutierrez, Ishmail Houston-Jones, among others.

-October 2010: Les inconsolés at New York Live Arts (Press of the NYTimes here

-May 2014:  Tour of Baron Samedi, a production featuring an international cast including David Hamilton Thomson, Will Rawls, Dorothée Munyaneza, Nadia Beugré, and more, premiered in May 2014 at New York Live Arts, as part of DANSE: A Festival of Performances and Ideas, It went then went to On The Boards, Seattle.

And the film My Lunch with Anna shot in San Francisco with Anna Halprin was also presented in different theaters in the United States including Danspace Project. 

These performances were supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States as well as the FACE Foundation (trough the FUSED Program).