California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) announced the appointment of Dimitri Chamblas—an international performer and choreographer, multidisciplinary artist and curator—as Dean of the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance Thursday.
The French artist most recently acted as the artistic director for the Paris Opera’s digital platform 3rd Scene, which showcases the opera’s programs and performers through films that include photography, videos, drawing and music.
“Dimitri has a world-wide reputation as both a performer and creative force in the world of dance,” CalArts President Ravi Rajan said in a statement. “He is a visionary who believes in innovation and collaboration. His ability to work across many genres makes him an ideal fit for CalArts.”
Chamblas was selected after a national and international search. He is expected to begin his position with CalArts in the fall.
“For me, CalArts represents a significant opportunity to influence the future of American dance,” Chamblas said in a statement. “All of the ingredients are there—amazing teachers, talented dancers and choreographers, and a learning culture that truly celebrates collaboration and new ideas.”
At 10 years old, Chamblas joined the Paris Opera’s dance school which inspired him to become a professional artist.
During his career he danced in commercials and worked with brands like Nike, Chanel, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs.
He also produced films with Xavier Veilhan, Giselle Vienne and Olivier Saillard, and collaborated with performers, visual artists and designers like Regine Chopinot, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Richard Alston, Andy Goldsworthy, Christian Boltanski and William Forsythe.
Chamblas also taught at the Dance Institute of Beijing, the French Higher National Conservatory and on the streets of Paris in urban workshops.
In 1992, Chamblas co-founded the dance company EDNA with choreographer Boris Charmatz. Their duet “A bras le Corps” has been performed on every continent and was entered the repertoire of the Paris Opera this year.
In 2011, he began collaborating with choreographer Benjamin Millepied and created film and media productions to bring dance and opera to artists.
Three years later, Chamblas became the artistic director of 3rd Scene, a digital platform he created with Millepied.
Recent projects for the artist include a duet with dancer Marie-Agnès Gillot, participation in the creation of Boris Charmatz for the Volksbühne in Berlin, and a creation, with architect François Perrin, for the Performa Biennial in New York.
Chamblas is known for his interdisciplinary focus and his ability to connect dance to visual arts, filmmaking, new media, digital production and architecture.
“Attracting an international talent like Mr. Chamblas speaks volumes about CalArts, and especially our dance program. The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance has an international reputation for innovation and collaboration across genres, which makes Dimitri the ideal hire,” Rajan said. “Our students will benefit greatly from a school led by such an accomplished international artist.”