Robinson, Jacqueline (1922–2000) By L’Hotellier, Sanja Andus
A Franco-British dancer, teacher, choreographer and historian, Jacqueline Robinson is one of the key figures of modern dance in France. Born in London, educated in music, art history, and dance with Erina Brady and Mary Wigman, Robinson founded L’Atelier de la Danse in Paris in 1955. One of the first schools to offer modern dance training, the Atelier soon became a hub for international artists. A prolific choreographer who created more than 200 works, Robinson was particularly important for the development of dance education in France structured around choreographic composition, improvisation, and music studies rather than a specific technique. She directed several companies – L’Ensemble de l’Atelier de la Danse, Le Thyrse, and Le Zodiaque – and trained some of today’s most accomplished choreographers and dancers. The translator of writings by Doris Humphrey, John Martin, and Mary Wigman, Robinson was the author of L’Aventure de la danse moderne 1920–1970 (Modern Dance in France, 1920–1970: An Adventure, 1990), a groundbreaking, now classic work of French dance scholarship. Head of the Fédération française de la danse from 1978–1982, she became a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1999 for her outstanding contributions to the field of dance.