Only Lyon - Tourism and Conventions

Geneviève Paire, Directrice de la Communication des Biennales de Lyon
Biennales de la Danse
Biennales de la Danse

“The largest and most ambitious festival in the world”

Dance Biennial and Contemporary Art Biennial

Geneviève Paire, Director of Communications for the Biennales de Lyon.

The Biennial de la Dance is an event that occurs every two years (in even-numbered years), and in odd-numbered years there is the Contemporary Art Biennial. The two biennials are organised by the same structure, therefore, there is room to develop extremely interesting links with dialogue and exchange.

Can you tell us about the Lyon biennials?

In even-numbered years, this event presents the Lyon Dance Biennial, and in odd-numbered years the Biennial of Contemporary Art. Since the two biennials are organised by the same structure, we can develop extremely interesting links and exchange.
They both begin in September, and the dance festival is principally devoted to dance and lasts for about 2 or 3 weeks, while the contemporary art biennial ends on the 31st of December.


What are the specific features of the Biennial of Contemporary Art?

It consists of three platforms. The first is basically classical and is a major international exhibition. It is managed by an exhibition curator. It is held at four venues: the Sucrière in the Confluence district, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Bullukian Foundation, and the fourth is usually a surprise venue that changes location every year. The second platform is principally social: Veduta presents around fifty projects in association with local residents. The third platform, Résonance, enables local contemporary artists to get involved in the event. Thanks to these platforms people and artists from all spheres, including those from the working class neighbourhoods of the city, all get to participate in the biennial, this is the event’s unique feature and strength.

Why is the Biennial of Dance such an important and unforgettable event in Lyon?

In 2008, the New York Times wrote that Lyon’s Biennial de la Dance is the most ambitious dance festival in the world! It represents nearly 600 artists from 20 countries and from about thirty dance theatres. this certainly is a wonderful event for dance aficionados and music lovers alike. We also organise Europe’s biggest choreographed parade, which brings together between 4,000 and 5,000 amateur dancers led by a team of professionals. It’s an extremely impressive event, which locals and those from the surrounding region would not want to miss...and neither should you!

Photo credits biennial of dance Performances from the biennial of dance 2012: Swan Lake by Dada Masilo /photo: John Hogg Preparation Mortis by Troubleyn/Jan Fabre/photo: Lisa May/Wonge Bergmann Holistic Strata by Hiroaki Umeda/photo: Hiroaki Umeda/S20Utushi by Sankai Juku/Ushio Amagatsu/photo: Elian Bachini Biennial of dance parade 2008: Photo: Rhône-Alpes Tourisme/Francis Mainard Biennial of dance parade 2010: La Tarentelle by dance company Acte/La Baraka/Cie Käfig /CCN from Créteil and the Val-de-Marne/Cie Propos/Choreographers: Annie Charlot/Abou Lagraa/ Mourad Merzouki/Denis Plassard/photo: Stéphane Rambaud
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Lyon City Card Admission to the five biennial festival sites is included in the Lyon City Card