Focus Danse is an event designed specifically to help foreign professionals discover the choreographic scene in France. Initiated in 2008, Focus Danse has been held three times with growing success, bringing together many professionals from 40 countries worldwide. For this fourth edition, Focus Danse wishes to extend even further its role as the international springboard for French dance. Organised by the Dance Biennale and Onda (France’s national office for the dissemination of performing arts), this edition offers professionals a four-day programme with 11 shows (including new works); platform sessions with artists; debates; and the presentation of European professional networks. The theme of this year’s event is openness. The programme blends the disciplines that address the question of movement – dance, circus, visual arts – and expands its geographical horizons.
The focus of the Lyon Dance Biennale covers a diverse array of aesthetics. It combines new and established dance works, performance and circus... This year, we propose an even broader vision of dance – in terms of time as well as aesthetics, by giving people the chance to see a cult 20th-century piece: Relâche by Picabia/Satie. This product of the Dadaist revolution lets us create an aesthetic link with French artists heavily influenced by this history of performance. Several works in the Focus Danse programme – such as those by Noé Soulier, François Chaignaud and Loïc Touzé – show that the link between dance and performance is central to the spectacular practices of many creators, who purposely operate in the space between performative culture and spectacle. This new edition of Focus Danse embraces circus, the quintessential hybrid art, which continues to refresh the imaginative realm and to create novel forms and unclassifiable fictions. The XY collective and Compagnie Yoann Bourgeois will stage two world premières. Clearly, these circus teams have very strong ties with dance. They readily borrow materials and treatments specific to the art of choreography; but at the same time, they have an intense bond with their own creative history and with stillessential virtuosity.
We are very happy that Focus Danse, which is usually reserved for French creators, is hosting the Portuguese choreographer Tânia Carvahlo – a gesture of solidarity towards artists in Southern Europe, who are living through very precarious times – with support from Les Subsistances.
Besides the “official programme”, Focus Danse offers plenty of other dance-centred experiences: moments of reflection, the discovery of Numeridanse, impromptu surprises, platform events with artists, and more. We are sincerely delighted to welcome you to Lyon.
Lyon Dance Biennale Artistic Director