Dominique Mercy Dancer

© Bettina St

Born in Mauzac in the Dordogne in 1950, Dominique Mercy entered the Corps de ballet of Bordeaux’s Grand Théâtre in 1965. In 1968 he joined Jean-Albert Cartier and Francoise Adret’s newly created Ballet Théâtre Contemporain where he met Manuel Alum, a dancer and choreographer of the Paul Sanasardo Company. In 1973, at the Saratoga Festival in the United States, Pina Bausch invited him to come to Wuppertal. Following the world premiere of Fritz (1974), he performed the principal roles opposite Malou Airaudo in the choreographed operas Iphigénie en Tauride (1974) and Orphée et Eurydice (1975). He left Germany for Paris where he worked with Peter Goss and participated in two productions by Carolyn Carlson at the Paris Opera, Wind, Water, Sand (1976) and The Architects (1980). Together with Jacques Patarozzi and Malou Airaudo he founded the La Main group. In 1980, he returned to Wuppertal and became one of Pina Bausch’s principal performers. As assistant choreographer, he has been a teacher at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen since 1988. He has also been the subject of a film by Régis Obadia: Dominique Mercy danse Pina Bausch (2003).

After the death of Pina Bausch, he assumed the co-direction of the company along with Robert Sturm from 2009 to 2013, while continuing to dance the company’s repertoire. During that time, he participated in Wim Wenders film / DVD Pina (France Télévisions Distribution, 2011). A Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, he received a Bessie Award in 2002 and the Légion d’honneur in 2013. 

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