Mr. Chairman, dear Rémi Babinet,

Director General, dear Mathilde Monnier,

Madame la – future!

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,


I want to tell you how important it is for me to be here with you.

It is precious for me to say before you my commitment to the performing arts and especially to dance.

On this day when the candidates for the baccalaureate had the pleasure, perhaps, of working on the meaning of a work of art, this profound meaning is given by you.

You bring dance to life and give it body. You express through dance the movement you take the time to see and receive.

There are no philosophers who have omitted from their reflections those on dance.

But among them, there is not a philosopher who, as much as Nietzsche, understood and grasped this vital impulse that translates the dancer’s gesture, and who considered as wasted any day when he had not danced.

No philosopher who as much as Nietzsche, reveals what is too human in dance, and this part of chaos in itself that it takes to give birth to a dancing star ».

Commitment to dance is sometimes a passion, often a necessity: a commitment.

Here at the National Dance Centre, as in all the rehearsal studios, the stages, the National Centres of Contemporary Dance, you bring this art and this commitment to life.

For the past 20 years, the Centre national de la danse has played an essential role in France’s choreographic ecosystem.

- Accompanying artists and professionals.

- Guaranteeing access to this art to all audiences, especially youth.

- Supporting contemporary creation and what remains to be said.

- By allowing the dissemination of these works, in all territories.

- Preserving the memory of this art and extending its history.

I am therefore very pleased and honoured to be here with you to open the 5the edition of Camping.

Eleven days of shows, workshops, exhibitions, conferences, screenings. Here in Pantin, but also in Paris and Lyon.

Eleven days of celebration, experimentation and encounters.

Eleven days of dancing.

If I am happy to be here, it is also because there are Camping exemplary actions, which are in line with my priorities:

There are Camping kids, which allows young people to wake up to dance.

I am delighted: in accordance with the commitment of the President of the Republic, I want to make arts and cultural education a right for all. I want 100% of the kids to have access.

I am pleased that the NEC is helping to make this ambition a reality.

There is the Marathon des écoles, which showcases the vitality of our higher education in dance.

It is in order to allow this vitality to express itself even more that I asked that a working group be set up to make proposals to me on the higher education of dance.

Its objective is to take stock of the structuring of our fabric of national institutions.

Camping will be an opportunity for the Reflection Group to continue its work.

And in a few months there will be a first Camping outside France, with Camping Taipei Opportunity to strengthen ties with our country, our creation, and our cultural expertise, beyond our borders.

All of these initiatives are thanks to the outstanding work of the NEC teams.

You are doing a dazzling job alongside Mathilde Monnier and Aymar Crosnier, and I want to thank you for that.

I warmly thank Mathilde Monnier, without whom Camping probably never would have been born.

Thank you, dear Mathilde, for this great festival, and for all that you have contributed to the CND for nearly six years.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Catherine Tsekenis, who will take over in a few days…

I know your passion, your commitment, your experience. You have my full confidence.

Dear friends, I would finally like to share with you a conviction.

This belief that choreographic art is the art of freedom. That dance is an ode to freedom.

Dance is the distance between the body of the other and his own body that one steps over – in style;

Dance is the sublimation of the daily gesture, which is illuminated by a poetic movement – with grace;

Dance is that feeling that one struggles to express with words and that one says with the body – with passion;

Dance is about expending that energy that frees us.

Dance frees the bodies of rules, norms, everyday life, functionalism of movements, utilitarianism of our bodies, automatism of our gestures.

And here, within its walls and for the past 20 years, the National Dance Centre also guarantees complete freedom to the choreographic scene, which is constantly shaken, but always renewed.

The freedom I want to talk about is the freedom of bodies.

These bodies that express themselves, these bodies that show and show themselves, that invite the viewer to see and feel.

Today, this evidence of the freedom of the body, this evidence that the choreographic field must be free, this evidence is, in many countries of the world, attacked, denounced.

When the body as a means of stage expression becomes an ideological danger, it is accused, attacked, constrained and instrumentalized.

I unconditionally defend the promises of the National Dance Centre:

The promise of this complete freedom of creation and expression, even if this freedom disturbs.

The promise finally to dissociate, never to confuse the lives of artists with their work and the shows they stage.

I would like to pay tribute to the programming of the Festival Camping, which is a symbol of that freedom I’m talking about, of the freedom of dancers and dancers around the world; of those countries where the freedom of dance is no longer so secure, so guaranteed, so that one may want to turn away from it.

In France, we can be proud, and we must remain vigilant, of this freedom of expression. I know it is very popular around the world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Pina Bausch once said: «dance, otherwise we are lost».

For eleven days, in Pantin, Paris and Lyon, we will be saved.

Very beautiful festival to all!