Angelin Preljocaj was born in the Paris region of France, and began studying classical ballet before turning to contemporary dance, which he studied with Karin Waehner. In 1980, he went to New York to work with Zena Rommett and Merce Cunningham, after which he resumed his studies in France, where his teachers included the American choreographer Viola Farber and the French Quentin Rouillier. After that he joined Dominique Bagouet before founding his own company in December 1984.
Angelin Preljocaj works regularly with other artistes including Enki Bilal (Roméo et Juliette, 1990), Goran Vejvoda (Paysage après la bataille, 1997), Air (Near Life Experience, 2003), Granular Synthesis (“N”, 2004), Fabrice Hyber (Les 4 saisons…, 2005), Karlheinz Stockhausen (Eldorado - Sonntags Abschied, 2007), Jean Paul Gaultier (Snow White, 2008), Constance Guisset (Le Funambule, 2009)…
His productions have become part of the repertoire of many companies which also offer him commissions, notably La Scala of Milan, the New York City Ballet, the Staatsoper of Berlin and the Paris Opera Ballet.
He has made short films (Le postier, Idées noires in 1991) and several full-length films, notably Un trait dʼunion and Annonciation (1992 and 2003) and for which he was awarded the “Grand Prix du Film dʼArt” in 2003, the “Vidéo-Danse” First Prize in 1992 and the Prague Video Festival Prize in 1993.
Since then he has collaborated on several films presenting his own choreographic work: Les Raboteurs with Cyril Collard after the painting by Gustave Caillebotte in 1988, Pavillon Noir with Pierre Coulibeuf in 2006, Eldorado / Preljocaj with Olivier Assayas in 2007 and Snow White in 2009.
Several books have been written about his work, notably Angelin Preljocaj in 2003, Pavillon Noir in 2006 and Angelin Preljocaj, Topologie de lʼinvisible in 2008. In the course of his career, Angelin Preljocaj has received a number of awards, including the “Grand Prix National de la Danse” awarded by the French Ministry of Culture in 1992, the “Benois de la danse” for Le Parc in 1995, the “Bessie Award” for Annonciation in 1997, “Les Victoires de la musique” for Roméo et Juliette in 1997, the “Globe de Cristal” for Snow White in 2009. He is an “Officier des Arts et des Lettres”, a “Chevalier de la Légion dʼhonneur” and he was appointed an “Officier de lʼordre du Mérite” in May 2006. Since October 2006, the Ballet Preljocaj and its 26 permanent dancers are installed in the Pavillon Noir in Aix-en-Provence, a building entirely dedicated to dance, with Angelin Preljocaj as its artistic director.