Catherine Tsekenis
Catherine Tsekenis © Ville de Pantin

Catherine Tsekenis

Dance recounts the world, all while being indescribable; it forges a critical space through the manifest and has a sharp view of society.

Catherine Tsekenis is a former professional dancer who has built her career focussed on gestures and knowledge. Today she directs the Centre National de la Danse - CND (National Dance Centre), and provides unfailing support to arts and theatre creators.

Published on 03/06/2021

2 min

As a child, Catherine Tsekenis was already constantly dancing. After studying classic dance, she discovered the work of Carolyn Carlson who was directing the theatre research group at the Paris Opera. She started her career as a dancer, all while continuing to study philosophy and aesthetics.

Buoyed by these experiences, she joined the Association Nationale de Formation et d’Information de l’Action Culturelle to study Artistic and Cultural Project Management. She then assisted with the productions of major choreographers (Philippe Decouflé, Mathilde Monnier) and worked with Hervé Robbe for nine years.

Alongside that she took part in creating “Mouvement” magazine and sat on the SYNDEAC national board. Then she joined the Culture and Communication Ministry as an Inspector of Artistic Teaching and Creation. For 4 years, she was dance advisor for the live performance department.


Catherine Tsekenis supports artists in their reflections as close to their doubts, desires, creations as possible. This is how she joined Hermès in 2007, with the assignment of drawing up sponsorship policy. A year later the Hermès company Foundation was launched, with the maxim “Our gestures create us”. Catherine Tsekenis directs and works as much on the company’s identity as on the promoting its artisan expertise.

In this position, she intervenes in various areas: live performance, photography, contemporary art, but also solidarity and biodiversity. Through the “New Settings” programme, each year she assists with creating shows and their performance. Her “Manufacto” programme also provides a brand-new awareness-creating system for handcrafts in schools, at national level.


Catherine Tsekenis was named director of the French Centre National de la Danse (National Dance Centre) in 2019. She places developing choreographic culture at the centre of the establishment’s preoccupations, particularly by working on a new strategy for the dance film library, by using the media library’s collections, and reinforcing artistic and cultural education.

In order to make the CND resources accessible to as many people as possible, she is working on developing its digital offer. The creation of a specific platform is underway, with the objective of making the CND a must for professionals, and increasing its international reach.

  • 1995


    Took part in creating Mouvement magazine.

  • 1999


    Joined the Ministry of Culture.

  • 2008


    Took part in creating the Hermès company Foundation.

  • 2014


    Appointed to the presidency of the board of the CNSMD in Lyon.

  • 2019


    Appointed director of the CND.

The Institut français and Catherine Tsekenis

Catherine Tsekenis is member of the board of the Institut français and director of the Centre national de la danse - CND, a regular partner of the Institut français. 

L'institut français, LAB