Dance and theatre productions from Switzerland feature prominently at international summer festivals

Press release, Performing Arts
«Ouverture» Géraldine Chollet © Pierre Vogel / Sévelin
«Ouverture» Géraldine Chollet © Pierre Vogel / Sévelin

In July 2024, 16 dance and theatre productions from all over Switzerland will be staged at three summer festivals in France and Italy. The exceptionally large Swiss presence at the Cratère Surfaces festival in Alès and the Festival d’Avignon in Southern France as well as the Santarcangelo festival near Rimini is promoted and supported by Pro Helvetia.

The Cratère Surfaces festival in Alès will be held for the 25th time, running from 4 to 6 July. Representatives of Switzerland’s contemporary dance and theatre scenes are guests of honour at this international festival of street art in public spaces in its anniversary edition. The special Panorama Création programme features seven productions from the French and German speaking parts of Switzerland. They include the theatre piece Autostop performed in a parking area (Cie du Rond-Point), a creative homage to the volcanologist couple Katia and Maurice Krafft (Nuée ardente/Cie Ici’bas), and the interactive PANORAMA by the Kino Theater ensemble. The groups will be accompanied by numerous other Swiss performing arts practitioners who are due to take part in network meetings, master classes and an atelier workshop for emerging talents.

“Switzerland’s guest nation status offers the Swiss scene high visibility, fresh input, and valuable opportunities for networking with representatives of our neighbouring countries”, says Felizitas Ammann, Head of Performing Arts at Pro Helvetia.

Sélection Suisse en Avignon» (SCH) is part of the OFF programme at the world-famous Festival d’Avignon. With Esther Welger-Barboza as director, the 2024 edition of SCH will be presenting five new productions between 6 and 18 July. Choreographers Tiran Willemse (Untitled (Nostalgia, Act 3)) and Géraldine Chollet (Ouverture) draw attention to our spiritual and bodily heritage, while Pamina de Coulon and Adina Secretan explicitly tackle political issues. Cie Surprise Lumière for its part stands out with its idiosyncratic and humorous language.

SCH was launched in 2016 by Pro Helvetia and Corodis (Commission romande de diffusion des spectacles). Each year, around 500 performing arts specialists witness its programme. The platform’s aim is to enable performing art groups to take their pieces on tour over longer periods following their presentation in Avignon.

“SCH contributes to the declared goal of public promotion, which is to increase the number of performances and thereby help the productions reach a larger public”, explains Felizitas Ammann. “Past experience has shown that, besides raising the number of tours, SCH also enables groups to forge significant contacts and experience a veritable boost to their career as a result.”

From 6 to 15 July 2024, the theatres and public squares in the small Italian town of Santarcangelo will also be given over to the performing arts. The eponymous avantgarde festival of theatre, dance and performance, rich in tradition, is this year presenting four pieces from Switzerland with a special focus on emerging talents. Choreographer Anna-Marija Adomaityte is due to stage a contemporary Pas de deux, performer and headbanger Baptiste Cazaux is seeking catharsis in Gimme a break!!!, Marvin M’toumo addresses the issues of slavery, colonialism and white masculinity with Rectum Crocodile in a format combining dance and poetry, and Catol Teixeira is following up on a series of successful solo performances with their first group choreography entitled Zona de Derrama – First Chapter.