Marie-Gabrielle’s interdisciplinary works traverse the mediums of live performance and visual arts. For the past 30 years, she has worked as a performer, dancer, choreographer, movement director and producer. She gained a conservatoire training in Fine Art (Painting: BA Hons First Class) at Wimbledon School of Art, during which time she rejected painting and became interested in Installation art, Performance Art, Feminist Artists and philosophers.
A focus on developing her physical presence as a performance artist, led to training in Tai-Chi and then dance (Martha Graham, Somatics, Contemporary Dance, Roy Hart voice training, and singing with Meredith Monk and Frankie Armstrong) and finally, she encountered Butoh. Through several scholarships, she undertook specialist study in Europe and Japan with Ko Murobushi, Kazuo Ohno, Atsushi Takenouchi, Carlotta Ikeda, Masaki Iwana, Natsu Nakajima and Yumiko Yoshioka and many others. This led to a long and successful career in movement-based work, movement direction (for Theatre and Opera, including Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre) and choreography commissions, touring nationally and internationally.
Current performance work is site-specific, involving documentation via photography and film of interventions, presences and physical traces in the landscapes of North and West Wales. She is also a passionate gardener, spending the last four years transforming a neglected 1-acre plot in Cambridgeshire, and she sees this as another area of her artistic practice.
She has taught nationally in major acting and dancing conservatoires including E15 Acting School, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Dartington College of Arts (University of Falmouth), Mountview Academy, Trinity Laban, Northern School of Contemporary Dance. She has also taught on design-based courses, spending five years as consultant and movement director for the MA Costume Design for Performance at London College of Fashion. International teaching includes in Singapore, Italy, Denmark and Germany. She has also undertaken numerous community projects, particularly for Chisenhale Gallery and Chisenhale Dance Space and the Royal Festival Hall/South Bank Centre. Central to her teaching is the firm belief that everyone is creative and everyone can dance. Her teaching methods feature in alongside Forced Entertainment and Goat Island in ‘Creating Physical Theatre’ (Bristol, Pumpkin Interactive, 2008, DVD)
Marie-Gabrielle is very much a pioneer in the highly specialized world of Butoh, and was the first female western Butoh dancer/choreographer in the UK to challenge of the male-dominated confines of the ‘Butoh festival circuits’ and to establish herself firmly in the world of international contemporary dance, receiving extensive funding from the Arts Council of England and British Council. She developed her own choreographic language and aesthetic, which has moved well beyond the limits of the label ‘Butoh’ and crosses the terrains of performance art, theatre, dance and visual arts. She created over 30 touring productions for her own company for venues such as Royal Opera House, The Place Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, Royal Festival Hall, Trinity Laban, Exeter Phoenix, Artsadmin and many others. She is the Academic link for Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore for both Dance and Acting BA courses. She was External Examiner for the University of Lancaster for the MA by Research and MA in Arts. Chapters on her solo work feature in: Fraleigh, Sondra Horton (2010). Butoh: Metamorphic Dance and Global Alchemy. Urbana: U of Illinois, and Midgelow, V., & Stewart, N. (2019). Moving In Medias Res: Towards a Phenomenological Hermeneutics of Dance Improvisation, in The Oxford Handbook of Improvisation in Dance: Oxford University Press.