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.

Spiral of Dream

Because dreams often coil around themselves like a spiral, like our double-ended dreams. Because dreams fuel fantasy, engage the imagination and sweep us away and beyond ourselves like a powerful force that can open up all possibilities, from the frightening to the marvellous. Drawing their inspiration from reality, dreams displace it and shift it into a mode where they substitute their own logic, thought and references. Dreams suggest a moment of suspended life where everything is hearing, seeing, and speaking to the unspeakable.

Is this why, today, dreams appear as a declining commodity? Is the current mood only the effect of reality, the attempt to force fiction to fit in with the facts, with the right thinking, and with fashionable stereotypes? We cannot, we do not want to believe it.

Dreams and the imaginary are our compasses. As dreamers, we will be active, just as the festival’s performances enjoin us. The artists’ desire is to lead us into a space where meaning is not restricted to the constraints of rationality. In these troubled times, dreams are not refuges, they are essential.

Patrick Bonté
General and artistic direction

Image (c) Max Slobodda