Profile Image of Blanca Li

Blanca Li


Blanca Li, originally Blanca María Gutiérrez Ortiz (born January 12, 1964) is a Spanish choreographer, film director, dancer and actress. She has created choreographies for the Paris Opera Ballet, The Berlin Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, for filmmakers like Pedro Almodóvar and Michel Gondry or for musical artists like Beyoncé, Daft Punk ("Around the World" ), Paul McCartney, Kanye West and Coldplay, among others. Whether performance, opera, musical, museum installation, event, music video or feature film, she initiates and realizes a great number of projects: "I like to give life to all that’s in my brain". Never restricted to one style, she gets her inspiration from a broad spectrum of physical forms of expression (from flamenco to classical ballet and hip-hop). Blanca Li, originally Blanca María Gutiérrez Ortiz, was born in 1964 in Granada, in a nine-member family. She started to take Flamenco dance lessons during her childhood and participated in a contest to join the Spanish Rhythmic Gymnastics Team. She was accepted at the age of twelve, but she abandoned the team six months before the Olympics because of growth disorders. However, due to her need for physical activity, she decided to replace gymnastics with dance. She moved to New York at the age of seventeen, where she was trained for five years as a dancer and choreographer at Martha Graham’s School. She also studied with Alvin Ailey, Paul Sanasardo and Merce Cunningham. In New York she lived in Harlem, where she witnessed the birth of hip hop. Her first show took place in the East Village and it was a mix of different styles: classical, modern and hip hop dance. During those years, Blanca met Etienne Li, a mathematician who was also a Franco-Korean graffiti artist. He designed the pamphlets of her first show and would later become her partner. During her time in New York, she created Xoxonees with her sister, a flamenco-rap band in which they danced wearing flamenco dressed. They received an offer in Spain, where they released an homonymous album in 1989. In the late eighties, she founded her first company in Madrid, a company she performed with in the Universal Exposition of Seville in 1992, also known as “Expo 92”. Later that year, she moved to Paris. During her first year in the French capital, she worked in a cabaret at Place Pigalle where she introduced herself to singers and other artists. She settles in Paris in 1993 to install her own contemporary dance company, with 14 major pieces at her repertory since. She opens up her own dance studios in Paris in 1998. Fusion between disciplines and a very Latin sense of humor are present in most of her creations. Macadam Macadam, a hip-hop piece commissioned by Suresnes Cite Danse Festival in 1999, becomes the reference of the genre, while touring worldwide, from Avignon Festival to Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut. In 2006, in a series performed at the Théâtre Mogador of Paris, Macadam Macadam receives the Globes de Cristal for Best Musical. She creates her first one-woman show Zap! Zap! Zap!, which is successfully performed at Théâtre national de Chaillot in Paris and at The Kitchen in New York City for the France Moves Festival (2001). ... Source: Article "Blanca Li" from Wikipedia in English, licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.