Jean Laurent Sasportes


Jean Laurent Sasportes is known as one of the most important dancers of our time. He has spent much of his artistic life working with the Tanztheater Wuppertal, the most important modern dance company in Europe. Its director, Pina Bausch is known worldwide and recently received homage in Toronto as the world’s most creative dance artist. Mr. Sasportes has also developed worldwide fame as one of the co-creators of Modern Dancetheatre as well as his own improvisation and structured improvisation dance techniques.

He was born in Casablanca in 1952, breaking off his studies in mathematics and philosophy in 1970 in order to study modern dance in Paris. He has also studied ballet with Suzanne Oussov and Nina Vyroubova; modern dance with Peter Gross, Hans Züllig, and Jean Cebron. He has received a French Diploma as a modern dance teacher.

In 1979 he became a solo dancer with the Pina Bausch Company and has maintained close association with it from that time. This has given him an opportunity to perform in repertory pieces all over the world.

Marie José Chartier, Newton Moraes and Jean Sasportes
Left to right: Marie José Chartier, Newton Moraes and Jean Sasportes

In 1996 he started working on his own as an independent dancer, choreographer and teacher as well as continuing his association with Pina Bausch. As an independent artist he has directed and choreographed plays and operas with Yoshi Oida and acted at the Düesseldorfer Schauspielhaus under Burkhart Kosminski. For fourteen years he worked with the musician Peter Kowald, who died of a heart attack in 2000. Since that year he has worked the musician Hans Reichel. With Peter Kowald he began work in improvisation and structured improvisation dance, and a number of small dance pieces, “Short Pieces” have been so created which was first presented in Toronto at the Festival “a Hommage to Pina Bausch,” and later (June 2002) in the U.S.A. at the Vision Art Festival in New York. This material was used as well at the “Folkwanghochschule in Essen” for a dancetheatre choreographic project to be called “Wumm Wumm, immer…” In 1999 he worked with the students of the Arnhem Dance Academie and EDDC in Holland to produce the dancetheatre piece “Meeting with an Angel.” In 2000, at the beginning of his work with the musician Hans Reichel and the director B.C. Kisminski he choreographed the theatre play “Dancer in the Dark” (from the film of Lars von Trier) and acted in the role of Enrique for the play “39,90” which was shown at the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus for the seasons of 2001-2002 and 2002-2003.