Catherine Dénécy Biography
Catherine Dénécy was born in the French island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean where she started her professional training. She moved to New York City in 2004 to enter the Ailey School as the recipient of The Oprah Winfrey Foundation Scholarship. During her training, she had the privilege to study with great figures of American modern dance such as Denise Jefferson, Peter London, Jacqueline Buglisi and Elizabeth Roxas, to name just a few. She performed excerpts from Judith Jamison’s Divining in 2005 and a couple of months later joined the Urban Bush Women company. A permanent member of the company during five seasons, she had the pleasure to premiere and perform works of artistic director and choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar in the USA, in Europe, in South America and West Africa. She also worked with renowned choreographers such as Nora Chipaumire and Camille Brown. In 2008 and 2009 she also went to Senegal with the Urban Bush Women. Over there she collaborated with the choreographer Germaine Acogny and her company Jant-Bi on the creation of “Scales of Memory”. After a tour in the U.S.A and Europe the show was presented at the 3rd edition of the Festival des Arts Nègres (FESMAN 2010) in Dakar, Senegal.
In 2010, Catherine was also awarded the Grand Prix de la Création artistique de Guadeloupe for her dance project with set designer Soylé. The project “UnpeuBeaucoupAlafoliePasdutout” was to be co-produced by L’Artchipel, scène nationale de Guadeloupe (French West Indies). In 2011, she founded the BLISS Company to support her work and research on Contemporary Caribbean Dance on the international scene. In the meantime, she continued working with Jawole Zollar and Nora Chipaumire on “Visible” which premiered at Harlem Stage, NYC. She performed “Unpeubeaucoupalafoliepasdutout” in 2012 at CMAC, scène nationale de Martinique (French West Indies) for the festival “Fort de Danses”, at L’Artchipel, in Guadeloupe for the Festival Danse Arc En Ciel and in French Guiana for the 8th edition of the Rencontres des Danses Métisses.
Throughout 2013, she toured in Jamaica, Dominica, Saint Lucia, England and Cuba and later had her first season in Paris, at Le Tarmac, for the Festival Outre Mer Veille. That very same year, she made her debut as an actress with the leading role in the short film Bat Fanm aw mode d’emploi directed by Abel Bichara as part of a national campaign against domestic violence. In 2014, Catherine went to West Hollywood, Los Angeles to study at the Lee Strasberg Film and Theater Institute in West. While she was there, she played Velma Kelly in Chicago, The Musical at the Marilyn Monroe Theater. She later made her first TV appearance as one of the leading characters in Villa Karayib a Canal’s serial (international network). Her Mi-Chaud Mi-Froid…show was commissioned by L’Artchipel, scène nationale de Guadeloupe as part of its artistic project on political mythologies. It premiered at L’Artchipel in May 2015 and will be starting an international tour in 2016. With this new project, Catherine who has undoubtedly been influenced by her Afro-Caribbean origins obviously explores and works on the relation between the dancer and the musician, or the body and the instrument. While doing so, she challenges the codes and develops a refreshing and exalted contemporary dance