Artist | Researcher | Teacher
Muriel was born on the enchanting Réunion Island, where dance and music are deeply ingrained in the vibrant Créole culture. From a young age, she immersed herself in a rich tapestry of rhythms and dance styles, including Maloya, Séga, Soukouss, and Coupé décalé. This early exposure nurtured her innate talent for dance, particularly in the realm of improvisation.
Building on her prowess in improvisational dance, Muriel embarked on the challenging journey of choreographing Maloya, an art form traditionally rooted in spontaneity. Her determination to codify and teach this captivating dance style showcased her dedication to preserving its cultural heritage.
In 2010, Muriel's artistic journey led her to Australia, where she delved into an eclectic array of dance styles, including Samba, West African dance, Bharatanatyam, and Flamenco. However, her heart yearned for the roots of her Créole heritage, prompting her return to Réunion Island to further cultivate her expertise in Maloya and Séga, the island's two seminal genres.
Muriel's artistic journey reached a pinnacle in 2022 when she completed her doctoral studies at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) at Edith Cowan University. Her doctoral research focused on the intricate realms of Maloya dance and music, solidifying her status as an authority in the field. Today, Muriel imparts her wisdom to aspiring artists, teaching improvisation and performance making, sharing her passion for dance, and ensuring that the cultural treasures of Réunion Island continue to thrive and inspire.
Some of her solo and group performances all styles taken together:
- Overall Award winning Music/Musicals Fringe World Festival 2023
- Goods Shed Arts 2022 - Maloya Moshpit
- Dancehouse Melbourne 2022 - Maloya Moshpit
- Fringe World Festival 2022 - From Maloya to Séga
- Perth Festival 2021 - Slow Burn Together
- Créole Festival 2019 - SégaLoya Maloya & Séga
- Perth Festival 2018 - with Kiltir from La Réunion
- Award winning show Fringe World Festival 2018 - with Danza Viva
- Fringe World Festival 2017 - with Beleza
- Fairbridge Festival 2015 - SégaLoya Dance Group Maloya & Séga
- Commemoration 20 Désamb 2014 in La Réunion - Maloya & Séga
- Sun City, South Africa 2013 - with Beleza
- International Women's Day Young UN Women 2012
- CHOGAM Perth 2011 - with Tendera
Until 2022, Maloya dance lacked a standardised curriculum, primarily because it thrives on improvisation, making it a dynamic and spontaneous art form. In contrast, Maloya music had enjoyed several decades of teaching and practice, albeit with limited research dedicated to the dance aspect. However, a pivotal turning point emerged when Muriel began performing Maloya alongside non-Maloya dancers on various stages. This experience unveiled a pressing need: the necessity to scrutinise and cultivate a structured Maloya teaching methodology.
Over the course of five years, Muriel not only honed her Maloya performance skills but also shared her extensive knowledge with fellow dancers. The culmination of this journey led her to take a bold step in her artistic career. Recognising the imperative to delve deeper into the subject, she embarked on a doctoral pursuit in Performing Arts at the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University in Perth.
During her doctoral candidacy, Muriel seized the opportunity to disseminate her research findings to diverse corners of the globe through participation in conferences. Additionally, her commitment to advancing the understanding of Maloya was underscored by her contribution to a book chapter on the intricate relationship between Maloya and identity.
Now, as a proud graduate, Muriel directs her energies toward both imparting her invaluable experiential insights and delving further into the nuanced facets of Maloya dance and music. Her research now delves into the rich tapestry of memories, lived experiences, and emotions that inform and infuse the practice of Maloya, ensuring the continued vibrancy and resonance of this captivating art form.
In 2010, Muriel embarked on a teaching journey in Australia, igniting a passion for sharing the art of Maloya dance. Over the years, she painstakingly crafted her own Maloya dance curriculum, which she delivered through immersive workshops and regular classes catering to both professionals and community-based groups.
In these engaging sessions, participants embarked on a holistic journey, where dance, song, and a deep exploration of the traditional instruments that grace Maloya music converged. Muriel's teaching approach encompassed a diverse array of methods to cater to the unique preferences and expressive styles of her learners. She skillfully encouraged her students to step beyond their comfort zones, recognizing that Maloya, with its distinctive 6/8 time signature, inherently transported people to a different realm of rhythm and movement.
Muriel found immense joy in guiding individuals along this transformative path of learning, re-learning, and reclaiming ownership of their bodies and experiences through the medium of Maloya. For her, Maloya is not just a dance; it is a profound expression of freedom and emancipation, a journey where each step and note becomes a testament to the unbridled spirit of self-discovery and cultural immersion.
“You are in prison. If you wish to get out of prison, the first thing you must do is realize that you are in prison. If you think you are free, you can't escape.”