Lacompagnie Lionel Hoche


La Compagnie MéMé BaNjO

Aged 52, Lionel Hoche is undoubtedly one of France's most promising and talented young choreographers. Since 1989, he has gleaned a wealth of experience both with his company and further afield, as guest choreographer for many of Europe's major international companies. This activity is not only due to his insatiable appetite for his work and passion for dance but also to his rich and atypical professional career. His debuts in classical dance at the Paris Opera Ballet School, his six years as an interpreter with Jiri Kylian's company in the Netherlands followed by Daniel Larrieu's French-based contemporary dance group... versatility combined with his acclaimed savoir-faire have made Lionel Hoche an extremely attractive trump card to play.
All these factors have lead him to collaborate on over fifty projects for some thirty companies (including MéMé BaNjO) in Europe and the Far East, and he is today one of France's most sought-after choreographers.
A few like to classify Hoche's dance, attributing a neo-classical label to his work, and his experience as a choreographer for many 'neo-classical' companies is probably to blame. However most (including Hoche himself!) are unanimous in their analysis: Lionel Hoche has used his wealth of experience, without denying his past, to create a choreographic vocabulary that is unique, personal and in constant evolution, therefore contemporary. His dance is often qualified as sensual, intimate, tender, and plays on a kinetic and a deconstructed or even dis-'jointed' vision of a sometimes too-vigorous perception of the body. His work demands an extremely high-level of technique from his interpreters, yet is always attentive and respectful of a human body all too often forced into shape.
A rigorous artist with an eye for form and volume (he sometimes designs the sets for his pieces), Lionel Hoche pays particular attention to the aesthetic environment of his pieces, his choices of performers, light and costume designers alike often referred to as astute and even outstanding.
In 1992, The company MéMé BaNjO was founded (in reference to his grandmother, a Parisian lady of character and influence in the Hoche family, and particularly so for Lionel).

Association MéMé BaNjO
42, rue de Maubeuge
75009 Paris

Mobile : +33 (0)6 84 73 82 90

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Agnès Izrine about Lionel Hoche

Lionel Hoche is a man of words - choreographically speaking of course. Throughout his career - from the Paris Opera to Daniel Larrieu via Jiri Kylian, he has constantly enriched his varied store of expertise and techniques to create a highly personal choreographic language.
Embarking on his choreographic career in 1988, he pursued the development of a finely tuned yet vigorous style, creating his own company, MéMé BaNjO, in 1992. His performers, though stemming from very varied backgrounds, are all equally fascinating : from contemporary choreographers like Alain Buffard, Cécile Proust, Alvaro Morell and Cyrill Davy to Christophe Wavelet (who has since turned to journalism and dance theory) to outstanding classically trained performers.
His highly personal language maintains a perilous balance, sliding from "contact improvisation" that slips into the most academic of dance steps, to contemporary styles that perversely contort the implacable beauty of a tightly choreographed whole, with a distinctive distorting of gesture that seems to warp space itself into a curve. His profoundly humanist pieces conceal a kind of humorous, affectionate irony towards his counterparts. From one dance to the next, he seems to be researching what might be called the grandeur and decadence of the dancer. There is undoubtedly a classical majesty in his vocabulary, along with an almost animal savagery that brings a disturbing twist to his highly controlled, even calculated movement. At times, his dance evokes the languid grace of a harem : sinuous lines, sensually rounded arms and suggestively arched bodies... Sometimes there is a harsh, inexorably geometric rigour to which the dancers step out in austere brilliance.
Thus within a single piece, Lionel Hoche succeeds in simultaneously evoking a vision of a glorious, triumphant physicality, abruptly collapsing into harassed, material humanity, even a disquieting eroticism. In this way his choreographies genuinely reinvent the classical vocabulary in the most unexpected ways. This is perhaps why so many major ballet companies have solicited Lionel Hoche'sw expertise, who, undaunted by such challenges, was called upon by Daniel Larrieu as his assistant at the Paris Opera before embarking on his own creation for that same ballet with Yamm. He knows how to compose energetic and fluid dances for ensembles with a subtly off-centred symmetry, as well as brilliant solos of typically French elegance that bring out all the qualities of his high-level dancers.
Lionel Hoche's exciting work with stage designers and composers produces results that stand out by their free-flowing tone. His acute vision, heightened by a thorough understanding of avant-garde pictorial trends, enables him to select talented painters with a discriminating eye. Their visual art brings a distinctive graphic quality to his pieces, choreographed to create the effect of a particularly attractive animated mobile. As for the music, his choices are eclectic : he will combine techno with an old-fashioned, slightly out-of-tune waltz, and his taste for peculiar and unusual instruments gives a disconcerting, bitter-sweet flavour to his work, gently distorting his audience's perception, lured into this maze of boundless possibilities !...
© Agnès Izrine
MéMé BaNjO



May 31st, 2017
Salle Jesse Owen - Villetaneuse


4th and 5th of may 2017
Théâtre de Saint Nazaire

MOB (étape intermédiaire)

21st and 22nd of april 2017
Maison du peuple - Pierrefitte-sur-Seine


28th and 29th of march 2017
Théâtre Brétigny - Scène Conventionnée
16th to 18th of march 2017
Fontenay en Scène - Fontenay sous Bois
15th to 17th of february 2017
La Coursive - Scène nationale de La Rochelle
5th and 6th of february 2017
Le Rive Gauche - Saint ?tienne du Rouvray
6th and 7th of january 2017
L'Orange Bleue - Eaubonne
8th, 9th and 10th of decembre 2016
Théâtre de Vanves
10th of November 2016
Théâtre de Montmorency


October 2016, 14th and 15th
Maison du peuple - Pierrefitte-sur-Seine


10th and 11th, june 2016
Maison du Peuple - Pierrefitte sur Seine
22nd till 24th, may, 2016
Argenteuil - Le Figuier Blanc
30th, march, 2016
Jouy le Moutier - Théâtre de Jouy
22nd and 23rd, march, 2016
Fosses - Espace Germinal
20th and 21st, march, 2016
Enghien les Bains - Centre des Arts


20th, march, 2016
Enghien les Bains - Centre des Arts


March 7th/11th 2016
TEAT Champ Fleuri - Saint Denis - La Réunion
10th to 15th, february, 2016
Toulouse - Théâtre National de Toulouse
24th and 25th, january, 2016
Epinay sur Seine - Maison du Théâtre et de la Danse
December, 2nd, 2015
Villetaneuse - Salle Jesse Owen


26th till 28th, november 2015
Paris - L'Etoile du Nord


25th till 28th, november 2015
Paris - L'Etoile du Nord
8th and 9th, december 2015
Espace Sarah Bernhardt - Goussainville
2nd till 4th, november 2015
Le Mans - Les Quinconces


September 14th, 2015
Biarritz - Festival "Le Temps d'Aimer"


January 16th 2015 at CDA - Enghien les Bains
CDA - Enghien les Bains


june 14th and 15th juin 2014 in Enghien les Bains - Villa du Lac - For the Bains numériques
Villa du lac à Enghien les Bains

lundijeudi & Volubilis

May 17th, 2014
Centre des Arts - Enghien les Bains


February 14th, 2014
Scène Nationale - Saint Quentin en Yvelines

Improvisation - Vivaldi: Stabat Mater - Gérard Lesne et Il Seminario Musicale

February 7th, 2014
Centre des Arts - Enghien les Bains


January 25th, 2014
Art Danse - Dijon - Théâtre Le Colisée


The company MéMé BaNjO is now in a long term residency over two cities: Villetaneuse and Pierrefitte sur Seine, for three years. Creations, performances, outdoor events, and many other projects are part of this new adventure, bringing contemporary dance towards new audiences.
Lionel Hoche has just created a new work for the company in 2016, "MOB". This work will turn into a full evening piece in 2017.
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