Every two years, lovers of contemporary dance and interested observers gather in Lyon for an event that today is recognised, on the international cultural scene, as emblematic of artistic expression. Founded in 1984 by Guy Darmet, the Biennale de la Danse owes its success to his bold ambition: to gather together in one place the most creative projects, which meet the highest artistic demands while addressing the widest possible audience.

A faithful partner of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon, and acknowledged as one of the few supporters of contemporary dance, the BNP Paribas foundation has this year an especially rich offering for this 14th edition of the Biennale, which runs from 9 September to 3 October.

The Biennale de la Danse is hosting the latest work by three of the foundation's partners: the Franco-Algerian choreography «Nya» by Abou Lagraa, «Boxe Boxe» by Mourad Merzouki, and a ballet aimed at younger audiences, «Henriette et Matisse» by Michel Kelemenis.

Nya - by Abou Lagraa «Trusting in life» is the proposition that the choreographer Abou Lagraa, founder of the La Baraka company, invites us to follow through his new work «Nya». This piece is part of a generous and ambitious artistic co-operation programme between France and Algeria. From widely differing backgrounds, the 10 dancers taken on after audition by Abou Lagraa and trained by his company have now joined the contemporary section of Algeria's national ballet. Before being performed at the Biennale, «Nya» was premièred in Algiers, where the piece extremely warmly received by the audience – so much so that a giant screen had to be erected outside to reach all the people present.

Boxe Boxe - by Mourad Merzouki «Boxing is already dance … » With his new work «Boxe Boxe», Mourad Merzouki multiplies mirror effects between the boxing ring and the stage – both places where there is performance and danger. Ravel, Verdi, and Schubert, but also Glass and Górecki will accompany this battle between hip-hop and contemporary dance, thanks to the participation of the Debussy Quartet. This new creation from the Käfig company combines performance and discrepancy, game and challenge, «like a pirouette imitating Charlie Chaplin, making a street fight into a true choreography imbued with humour”.

Henriette et Matisse - by Michel Kelemenis «We should look through the eyes of children all our lives» said Henri Matisse. Michel Kelemenis, choreographing for a young audience, has drawn inspiration from the painter's life and work. Thus he imagined this story with four elements, in which the artist and his model, together with two paintbrushes, illustrating the battle between line and colour, take over the dance and draw the curves of the body. For, like the painter, the choreographer believes that «children are better at understanding art than we might suppose». For him, the painter's universe is a mine of resources for communicating with them, and for bringing together, through gestures, inspiration and creation.

In continuing to support these artists, the BNP Paribas foundation is supporting the Maison de la danse in Lyon and the Numéridanse project. It also supported choreographers who are now established, such as Angelin Preljocaj, Saburo Teshigawara, and Mathilde Monnier, to make their way in France and in Europe.

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