Séverine Chavrier

It’s essential for young directors to experience other forms of art

Both a musician and a stage director, Séverine Chavrier places mixing the arts to explore human relations at the heart of her work.

Updated on 27/04/2022

2 min

A piano gold medallist at the Geneva Conservatory in 1994, Séverine Chavrier's career began with music. But the solitary nature of being a pianist led her to turn to theatre and more collaborative projects.

Having studied at the Cours Florent school of performing arts, she collaborated with Jean-Louis Martinelli in Schweyk by Bertolt Brecht, and created her first show in 2009, Épousailles et représailles (Marriage and Reprisals). In 2014, Les Palmiers sauvages (The Wild Palms), inspired by the work of William Faulkner, took her on a tour of the major French stages.

In 2017 when she became head of the Orléans National Centre for Dramatic Art, she began developing dramatic works and supporting young directors. She encourages them to work with mediums other than theatre by collaborating with Maud Le Pladec – who runs the Orléans National Centre for Choreography – or with the Higher National College of Fine Arts.

Séverine Chavrier claims to work with different art forms to better highlight the intimacy of characters, the challenges of our society and the literary work of authors.

Her play Plage ultime (Ultimate Beach) created in 2012 and selected the same year at the Avignon Festival, mixes text, music and video to explore the language of the futuristic writer J. G. Ballard. In it, she reflects on the relationship with images and new technologies, the brutality of our world and how humans can resist it.

This literary work and these reflections on humanity can also be found in Les Palmiers sauvages. In it, she unravels William Faulkner's writing through an interplay of sounds and lights that surround speech, and questions isolation, the relationship with the earth and the place of the body in our society.

While Séverine Chavrier is currently mainly working in France, she collaborates with artists from all over the world. In 2015, her choreographic piece Après coups, Projet Un-Femme (After the Blows, A One-Woman Project), highlights young circus artists from Cambodia, Palestine, Denmark who met at the National Centre for Circus Arts where she teaches. With this play, Séverine Chavrier gives voice to women in exile in France, working on the relationship between their personal history and the history of the world, as well as on this delicate transition from young woman to adult, from student to artist. 

Whatever form her creations take, music is never far away. In 2016, Séverine Chavrier staged Mississippi Cantabile, a duet with Congolese bassist Mel Malonga, where music from Africa and Europe came together to question exile.

  • 2010


    Séverine Chavrier presents her first play, Épousailles et représailles, at the Nanterre-Amandiers Theatre.

  • 2012


    The artist performs her creation Plage ultime, inspired by the writer J. G. Ballard, at the Avignon Festival.

  • 2015


    She stages Après coups / Projet Un-Femme, a choreographic piece about five women from all over the world.

  • 2017


    Séverine Chavrier heads up the Orléans National Centre for Dramatic Art.

  • 2020


    Her new play, Aria da Capo, will be staged in April at the Théâtre de la Ville.

The Institut français and the project

The recreation of the Palmiers Sauvages at the Santiago A Mil in Chile in January 2020 is supported by the Théâtre Export programme. Find out more on the Théâtre Export programme

L'institut français, LAB