Our heart beats elsewhere. In Poddema, in Combray, in the steppes of childhood, on the shore of Farghestan and Orsenna. Our heart beats for the eyes of Anna Karenina, for the outcome of Germinal. It beats for Hamlet, for Lol V. Stein, for Sailor and Lula...

Our heart beats elsewhere. In the quest for a universe full of sense, the universe of our dreams, of our imaginations, of our creations, of our subterranean pleas to the beyond of ourselves that will restitute our breadth. Are any fantasies more promising fantasies than those expressed and shared by art? Images, music, fiction... are there more diverse and open solutions to our desire for wonder?

Choreographers and directors are attuned to the living bodies and to the materiality of breaths and moods... But their power also lies in the fact that their creations transcend and go beyond literalness, revealing the other side of things, subverting the reassuring norms and equilibriums. Their fundamental identity and mission must be to destabilise.

And if their productions demonstrate critical and fantastical qualities, emotions can become powerful and overwhelming. Each step into the imagination brings with it ambiguity or a form of humour that paradoxically confirms its consistency. Beauty can rise up and tempt us in the same way as desire makes our hearts beat.

Patrick Bonté
Artistic and general direction

Year in, year out, the Festival brings you a programme of contemporary performances: innovative languages, bizarre universes, strange and original forms that speak to the imagination.

The Festival is a collection of shows that hinge on a certain idea, presented as an object of thought, inventiveness or a sharing of fantasy. As years went on, dance has begun to feature more strongly in the Festival, undoubtedly because it is a freer and more creative form of expression.

Every year, the Festival centres on a new theme, raising a new question and encouraging spectators to consider the issue on hand in a new light via the connections, the emotional paths and any suggested reading they are offered. On the basis of their own impressions and insights, spectators can find a connection between performances that vary greatly in style but touch on quite similar topics.

* cover photo : © Inka & Niclas - Family Portraits III, 2015