Seventeen dance, theatre, circus and performance projects by Swiss arts companies will be on show in Toulouse from 29 September to 15 October 2022. The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia is supporting the presentation of these guest performances and thus further strengthening the visibility and international dissemination of Swiss performing arts.
Initiated in 2019 by the Théâtre de la Cité, La Biennale is a young performing arts festival taking place at over twenty venues in the Toulouse metropolitan area. By joining forces, the partners have succeeded in creating a high-quality international public and professional event at a key moment in the annual theatre schedule, the beginning of the new season. This year’s Swiss Focus offers an overview of the diversity of Swiss performing arts, featuring both established and emerging artists and companies. Some of these productions invite the audience to actively take part. Stefan Kaegi’s «Société en chantier», for instance, takes spectators on a stroll through an interactive construction site. In «Book is a Book is a Book» by Trickster-p, the audience sits at school desks and, equipped with headphones and a book, embarks on a journey of words, images and lights. François Gremaud will present several of his recent productions, including «Phèdre!», a playful monologue based on Racine’s tragedy. Finally, the Nicole Seiler Dance Company will enable young audiences from the age of four to experience «Wouah! », a playful and absurd three-person dance performance.
Events and festivals offer professionals important opportunities to exchange ideas and experiences. Lasting three days, the Journées professionnelles invite them to participate in meetings and workshops dedicated to exploring and questioning today’s performing arts. Pro Helvetia is also organising a Swiss delegation of five programmers and five artists to attend this professional gathering, thus facilitating their networking.
Philippe Bischof, director of Pro Helvetia, who will attend the festival opening on 29 September, is delighted that the Swiss performing arts are being given such prominence:
«Recognition of the quality of Swiss productions beyond Switzerland is a cornerstone of our support for the performing arts. Spread across the year, international events are valuable opportunities. We are delighted that, after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, we can once again offer artists more opportunities to attend events abroad.»
Describing the Swiss Focus, La Biennale states:
«The Swiss scene is thriving and La Biennale is delighted to showcase its manifold qualities. (…) Its humour, often tongue in cheek, will be on display, as much as its irreverent, unexpected and spectacular streaks, the beautiful and the useless, the improbable and the surprising —none of which should not be missed.»
You will find the entire program of the Biennale on their website:
Image: Nicole Seiler – Wouah © Julie Masson