Held as one of the first festivals of the summer season, the Montpellier Dance festival is in its 33rd holding in 2013 with a 15-day schedule of works to be presented at theaters and opera houses in the city and neighboring towns. The program brings together outstanding artists and companies from France, Europe and around the world and provides a panorama of cutting edge dance in genre ranging from classic to contemporary and hip hop.
This year’s program features works by 18 artists and companies from France, Germany, Italy, the Middle East and the USA. Among the highlights of the program are new works created by artists in residence at Dance Center “The Agora,” the former monastery that is now the festival’s base, and works co-produced by the festival. Among these, considerable attention focuses on three works of Israeli-born, France-based Emanuel Gat, including the piece The Goldlandbergs
inspired by the music of Glenn Gould. Others include: Cantatas
by Raimund Hoghe, who is known also for his work as dramaturge for Pina Bausch; Là, Callas
by Beirut-born Yalda Younes & Gaspard Delanoë, which takes as its subject Maria Callas; Dumy Moyi
by François Chaignaud, an artist who is active not only as a dancer but also as a singer and performer in cross-over and transsexual art activities; and there are new works by progressive emerging artists like the Spanish acrobatic dance company Cridacompany and Yasmeen Godder with the new work See Her Change
Director of the National Choreography Centre of Montpellier, Mathilde Monnier, and designer Francois Olislaeger also collaborated on a new work for the program titled Qu’est-ce qui nous arrive?!?
. Trisha Brown presents two works, If you couldn’t see me
(1994) and I’m going to toss my arms - if you catch them they’re yours
(2011) and Akram Khan presents DESH
, and Maguy Marin’s representative work May B
are also on the program. In addition, there is a new work by Angelin Preljocaj titled Les Nuits
, along with various presentations in towns around Montpellier aimed to promote the spread of contemporary dance.
Appearing from Japan is the Dairakudakan company performing two works in Virus
and Crazy Camel
. There are also invited works from Spain and Africa and a slate of related special programs like “Schools III,” which presents training and performances involving some 50 students from five dance school around Europe.
The Montpellier Dance festival has been held annually since 1981 in the Mediterranean coast city of Montpellier in Southern France as one of the world’s leading dance festivals. The festival was established after the late choreographer Dominique Bagouet (1951-92, http://www.lescarnetsbagouet.org/
) assumed the position of artistic director of the National Choreography Centre (CCN) of Montpellier. Ever since, the festival has been run in close association with CCN. After Bagouet’s death, the Centre came under the directorship of choreographer Mathilde Monnier in 1994 and the festival has continued to develop and expand. The Dance Centre “The Agora” facility where both the festival and CCN are based is a historically important 14th century monastery that has been renovated to include a theater and several studio spaces and other facilities designed to fulfill the aims of providing space for the creation and performance of works, building audience, receiving artists and offering them residencies in consolidated programs for the support of dance.