Olivier Besson

Headshot Olivier Besson

General Info



Olivier Besson joined the conservatory in 2004 and is an instructor of improvisation, contact improvisation, contact skills, improvisation in performance, and dancer's toolkit.

Most notably, Besson's work has been presented internationally at the National Institute of the Arts (Taiwan) in 1997, Die Pratze (Japan) in 2006, the Art of Movement Festival (Russia) in 2006, Canaldanse (France) in 2000-2007, Companie Vertige (France) in 2005-2010, and Lshva (India) in 2016. He has collaborated with many individuals in the U.S. and abroad, including Chris Aiken, Cathy Young, Jane Shockley, Lisa Schmidt, Debra Bluth, Ming Shen Ku, Toshiko Oiwa, Liz Roncka, Emmanuelle Peppen, Chandra Cantor, and musicians/composers Mike Vargas, Peter Jones, and Sharan Leventhal.

Besson's introduction to improvisation came through his exposure to contact improvisation, which he studied with Robin Field and Andrew Harwood. He furthered his study of improvisation and real-time composition with Juleyn Hamilton and subsequently started developing his own methodology. During that time, he also studied and performed Bugaku (court dance from Japan) with Arawana Hayashi. Other training includes Butoh with Maureen Fleming and Acton Theater with Ruth Zaporah and Sarah Hickler.

Recent Notable Works

  • Three Premieres (Boston Conservatory, 2007)—Choreographer
  • Coolsville, a rock musical (Boston Conservatory, 2015)—Choreographer

Chair Piece 6 6 14