Yorgos Loukos was an architecture student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in
Paris when he decided to take his first dance class. His teachers were Boris
Kniasef and Raymond Franchetti. A year later he was offered his first
contract by Roland Petit, in Paris' Casino de Paris, where he stayed for two
years. He then joined Théâtre du Silence in Paris, where he danced the
neoclassical and modern repertoire, including works by Maurice Béjart,
Jacques Garnier, and Brigitte Lefevre. Loukos then danced the classical
repertoire with the Zürich Opera Ballet for one year.
Returning to France, Loukos rejoined Petit's National Ballet of
Marseilles as a dancer, and then as ballet master and assistant to Petit.
Loukos staged Petit's Carmen for American Ballet Theater and L'Arlésienne
for the London Festival Ballet. In 1984, he worked on the 100th Anniversary
Gala of the Metropolitan Opera in New York and taught movement to the
performers in Robert Wilson's Medea at the Lyon Opera. That year he joined
the Lyon Opera Ballet as associate director, and was appointed co-director
with Françoise Adret in 1988. Loukos became artistic director of the company
in 1990 upon Mme. Adret's retirement.
Since then he has been responsible for inviting many choreographers
including William Forsythe, Mats Ek and Christopher Bruce, to work with the
company, and for commissioning new dances from Lucinda Childs, Ralph Lemon
and Karol Armitage as part of Dancing Zappa, which was premiered at the 1990
Lyon Biennale de la Danse. In December of that year the Lyon Opera Ballet
presented the world premiere of Angelin Preljocaj's Roméo et Juliette. He
also commissioned new works from Bill T. Jones and Ralph Lemon, whose dances
were premiered in Lyon in April 1992.
In March 1994, Loukos created "An American Evening" which featured
commissioned dances by Susan Marshall, Bill T. Jones and Stephen Petronio.
In February 1998, he devoted an entire evening to Jiri Kylian¹s choreography
and in June of that same year to Mats Ek¹s with the company premieres of
Carmen and Solo For Two.
For the 1998-1999 season, Loukos commissioned new works by Frederic Flamand,
Meryl Tankard and Tero Saarinen. These dances were their first creations for
another company. Other commissions were given to Lionel Hoche and three
young members of the company: Alessio Silvestrin, Jo Kanamori and Andonis
In addition to his work with the Lyon Opera Ballet, Loukos has been Artistic
Director of the International Dance Festival in Cannes since 1992 and was
the Artistic Director of the France Moves Dance Festival in New York in
2001. Mr. Loukos was named Chevalier in the National Order of Arts and
Letters by the French Ministry of Culture in 1994.