Our Offices & Partners Abroad

Performing Arts

14 Swiss dance productions live in Vienna

Ruth Childs / Scarlett’s (CH/US): fantasia; [8:tension] Young Choreographers’ Series © Marie Magnin

Media information:

The Swiss dance scene has been selected as a special focus of this summer’s ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival. This represents a great tribute from one of the world’s most important festivals for contemporary dance and performance. After having been postponed last year owing to the pandemic, this year’s edition is due to run from 15 July to 15 August. The programme features 14 Swiss dance productions, highlighting Swiss dance in all its diversity. The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia supports these guest performances and in so doing promotes the dissemination of Swiss performing arts. 

ImPulsTanz in Vienna will be spotlighting the enormous diversity of the contemporary Swiss dance scene. Large-scale group pieces by Thomas Hauert and Marco Berrettini, for example, alternate with historic revivals by Anna Huber and the young, Geneva-based choreographer Ruth Childs. The latter is reproducing three pieces by her aunt Lucinda Childs from the New York of the 1960s as well as presenting a solo creation of her own. Also on show is a world premiere by dancer Malika Fankha, who works in both Zurich and Vienna. Her collaboration with Klangforum Wien underscores the importance of music and other art forms in many of the selected dance productions. Several of them are situated on the interface of dance and circus, or of movement and voice in installation-like settings.

The international festival opens with a production by Swiss choreographer Alexandra Bachzetsis. Her «Private Song» trio was originally formed for documenta14 in Athens and Kassel. It fuses popular Greek rembetiko songs with wrestling and gender images from Hollywood, creating a mix that is at once touching and disturbing.

«We are happy that live performances are finally possible again,» says Felizitas Ammann, Head of Performing Arts at Pro Helvetia. «And we are impressed that the festival has managed to put together such a broad-based and fascinating selection of Swiss dance productions for its special focus despite the difficult planning situation.  Over the past few years, we have been able to support several Swiss contributions chosen as special focus features at important international festivals. This confirms the outstanding quality of our dance scene and helps raise its reputation at the international level even further.»

The ImPulsTanz Festival in Vienna runs for an entire month. Performances open to the public are supplemented by study events and workshops for professional dance practitioners. These include a residency-based, high-calibre training programme for emerging artists, with numerous participants from Switzerland. As every summer, the festival will also serve as a meeting point for professional dancers, choreographers and dance academics from all over the world.

The programme of the 2021 edition can be accessed here:


Press release by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 8 July 2021