Born in Marseille (France), Martine Pisani started her career in the 1980s as a self-taught dancer. Following a series of fertile encounters with American experimental dance artists David Gordon and Yvonne Rainer, as well as French choreographer Odile Duboc amongst many, she went on to become a national name as a choreographer in the early 1990s by setting up her own company. She regularly tours her work internationally, having created fifteen pieces, including sans (2000), which comes to Southbank Centre on Friday 5 March.
What do you fear the most ?
In a theatre, often the light goes down in the audience, then the sound and light are turned on stage, and I get scared.
Which mobile number do you call the most?
This is too indiscreet a question.
What – or where – is perfection?
I would say perfection can be found in nature.
Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
At the moment it’s Yorick, Lawrence Sterne’s character and pseudonyme in ‘A sentimental journey through France and Italy by Mr Yorick’
What’s your favourite ritual?
Sharing simple things and laughing with friends. Maybe ritual is not the right word, but I like to repeat some gestures every day.
Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
It depends. Often it’s an older person who has kept her/his ability to laugh at her/himself. If admiring means loving, I admire writers like Olivier Cadiot but he is not the only writer I love and he is not that old…
What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
Your question implies I already have talent – thank you.
So a missing talent would be to have a good sense of repartee.
If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
There would be quite a few artists I’d like to invite.
And there also would be a lot of work for the audience to be patient, not to be in a hurry, not to expect something extraordinary, not to be prejudiced, for the audience to be ready and able to listen, to feel free, just like the invited artists.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
What do I know ?
What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
I really like people who talk live on radio, who tell stories, fluff, say one thing then another, go quiet live. The music I play most on my itunes are Ma vie” (Alain Barrière), “Volare”, “Ishmael”(Abdullah Ibrahim), “Love Is A Losing Game” (Amy Winehouse), “Contrapunctus IV” (Glenn Gould/Bach), “Cant78 : duetto: sopra/alto” (Bach)