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Vibrance, rhythm and inclusivity: Lyon’s Dance Biennale returns to the streets

Vibrance, rhythm and inclusivity: Lyon's Dance Biennale returns to the streets

The Dance Biennale has just opened in Lyon with its traditional parade, returning to the streets after the COVID years.

Nearly 4,000 dancers, musicians, and costume designers, brought rhythm to the southern French city centre with an event that aims to capture the attention all audiences. 

«The parade is really a flagship project of what we call today cultural action, cultural mediation,» said Tiago Guedes, Artistic Director of the Lyon Dance Biennale. 

«It’s really one year of work between professional choreographers and amateurs, at the level of dance but also music, costumes, floats, really, it’s total art. The Biennale must really give visibility to all dances, and the parade is a great marker of this idea – of the democratisation of dance.”

Nearly 50 shows from France, Europe, and around the world are presented over three weeks in Lyon and beyond. 

There are 181 performances in 51 venues across 34 towns and cities throughout the Lyon metropolitan area and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

Bringing the night to life

The Biennale also invests in industrial spaces to create ephemeral, unusual events.

Under the name «Club Bingo», the Biennale offers a program focused on the world of night, DJ battles, and numerous evenings joyfully influenced by the culture of vogueing, celebrating the margins and minorities, and where all people are welcomed.

«We are all dancers, and that’s what we wanted to show, that in Lyon there were a lot of collectives that organised parties, in lots of alternative places,» says Rose-Amélie Da Cunha, a Club Bingo programmer. «And it’s these collectives that we invited these parties with us – to set up dance floors that are liberating, joyful, inclusive and as safe as possible.»

The key idea of this Biennale is to leave no one behind. It seeks to break the sometimes-elitist image contemporary dance can have, and deconstruct the barriers between genres and styles.

The Lyon Dance Biennale runs until 30 September.

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