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  • Corporate philanthropy

The BNP Paribas Foundation and its 3 theatre partners reveal the winning teams of the Dansathon, the 1st international dance hackathon

  • Over 3 days in 3 cities (London, Liège and Lyon), 90 participants developed new innovative projects to imagine the future of dance, using all of the opportunities presented by digital technology.
  • To conclude the event, one wining project was selected in each city by a jury. The winners were: “Digital Umbilical” in London, “Vibes…” in Lyon and “Cloud Dancing” in Liège.
  • Each of the 3 winning projects will receive a grant of €10,000 from the BNP Paribas Foundation to continue their work and will benefit from support provided by Maison de la Danse in Lyon, Sadler’s Wells in London or Théâtre de Liège to develop their idea.

Designed to be a new format of collaborative and connected co-creativity, the Dansathon was created by the BNP Paribas Foundation in partnership with Maison de la Danse in Lyon, Sadler’s Wells in London and Théâtre de Liège. The aim is to provide resources to imagine innovation that could shape the future of dance by exploiting all of opportunities presented by digital technology.

From 28-30 September 2018, the event simultaneously brought together 90 participants from the world of dance, technology, design and communications in the 3 European cities: Lyon (as part of its International Dance Biennial), Liège and London.

We are delighted to have brought the Dansathon to life. This Dansathon represented more than the winning projects and enabled all participants to share a unique collective experience. We would like to congratulate them for their commitment over these three days and for the richness of their work. We warmly thank our partners for their support: Maison de la Danse in Lyon, Sadler’s Wells in London and Théâtre de Liège, as well as their teams and volunteers. The meeting between dance and new technologies is an adventure that we will continue with them.” said Jean-Jacques Goron, Managing Director of BNP Paribas Foundation.

At the end of the 3 days of artistic experimentation, each of the 3 multi-disciplinary juries selected a winning team from each city:


Digital Umbilical – How can technology be soulful?

The winning team was made up of Salomé Bazin, Lara Buffard, Simon Haenggi, Katelyn Notman, Jon Rowe, Adam Seid Tahir and Renaud Wiser. They created a project that aims to humanise technology. The team was looking to create a connection between strangers and build a shared experience through the senses and new technologies. In a one to one experience, wearable technology worn by both audience member and performer was used to create a soundscape from the breath of the dancer and the pulse of the spectator. The ability to experience the physicality and emotional state of another human is a way of positioning the human at the heart of this technological experience.

The jury members thought that this proposal had found a way that new technologies can enhance the empathy between performer and audience in a unique and intimate way, using these tools to bring people closer together as human beings.” adds Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive.


Vibes… - « Une Trans-vibes partout dans le monde » (A worldwide vibe)

Created by Xavier Boissarit, Romain Constant, Déral, Éric Minh Cuong Castaing, Anaïs Nisimov and Anaïs Tardivon, “Vibes” is a game that connects individuals with groups and dancing communities located in other cities. This project allows people who are geographically isolated to connect and cross borders via technology and thus enjoy a shared dance moment…

“By rewarding Vibes, the Jury has chosen a project that allows to reach new dance audiences in a playful and creative way.” explains Dominique Hervieu, General Director of Maison de la Danse de Lyon and artistic director of Lyon’s Dance Biennale.


Cloud Dancing – “Take a break: connect now, watch here, feel it! “

Cloud Dancing is an immersive and interactive dance performance that combines dance and virtual reality, created by Sophie Caron, Julia Houdin, Emily Kirwan, Guida Mauricio, Aurélien Merceron, Roman Miletitch and JY. Specta(c)tors can experience and watch the choreography that brings together dancers and 3D images whilst either being present at the theatre or whilst being in a different location such as a café, with friends or on the sofa at home. All at the same time and in different countries! Even if they are not dancers themselves, spectators can interact with dancers either live – on stage – or via their smartphone and a virtual reality headset, and have an impact on the choreography in real time.

The Dansathon Jury in Liège chose the Cloud Dancing project for its choreographic, visual and technological qualities, as well as for the team’s high commitment and cohesion.” explains Pierre Thys, Director of External Relations, in charge of dance programming, Théâtre de Liège.Building in three days an artistic performance so innovative, captivating and successful, that uses virtual reality, 3D modelling and motion capture, is absolutely impressive!”.

Each project will be brought to life thanks to the grant of €10,000 from the BNP Paribas Foundation and the support provided by the partner theatres. Lyon’s winning project will receive an additional support of €5,000 from the Ministry of Culture.


Discover more information about the Dansathon:

Also view all of the videos and photos to relive the Dansathon:

Press contacts:

> BNP Paribas Foundation:

Renato Martinelli - renato.martinelli [at] bnpparibas (dot) com - +33 (0)1 58 16 84 99

Heymann Renoult Associées: Sarah Heymann et Silvia Cristini – s.cristini [at] heymann-renoult (dot) com - +33 (0)1 44 61 76 76

> Maison de la Danse de Lyon :

Jean-Paul Brunet - jp.brunet [at] maisondeladanse (dot) com - +33 (0)4 72 78 18 07

> Sadler’s Wells :

Caroline Ansdell - caroline.ansdell [at] sadlerswells (dot) com - +44 (0)20 7863 8125

> Théâtre de Liège :

CARACAS public relations - Hélène van den Wildenberg - info [at] caracascom (dot) com -
+32 (0)2 560 21 22

Under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the BNP Paribas Foundation has been playing a key role in corporate philanthropy for over 30 years. The BNP Paribas Foundation’s activities are aimed at promoting innovative projects dedicated to the Arts, Solidarity and the Environment. It provides optimal support to its partners, through a long-term commitment.

The BNP Paribas Foundation has been supporting contemporary dance for 33 years. It accompanies 17 artists and their companies to foster creation internationally. The BNP Paribas Foundation also encourages experimentations at the crossroad of dance and new technologies, and promotes the commitment of artists and major dance institutions in the community. Believing in cross-disciplinary approaches and hybrid experiences, it also supports companies in the field of new circus arts.

The Maison de la Danse, European creation hub directed by Dominique Hervieu, proposes a programme where a wide array of styles meets. From leading choreographers of the 20th century to young, up-to-the-minute creators, it brings together creation and repertoire (30 to 40 companies totalling some 200 performances and 160,000 spectators per season). This project is completed by a digital, cultural development and mediation strategy which focuses on making choreographic art, in all its diversity, accessible to the most eclectic range of audiences possible. In 2021, as Lyon’s Guimet Museum will be reinstated as a Dance Workshop, a space for creating, for producing and a laboratory for promoting amateur activities, the Maison de la Danse will benefit from creative facilities which will complement the currently-used venue located in Lyon’s 8th district.

Since its creation in 1980, the Maison de la Danse has been filming performances and, as such, has built up an extensive collection of audiovisual archives. Informative tools are created using this video base, including a freelyaccessible video library, video conferences, an educational

DVD “Le Tour du monde en 80 danses” (Around the World in 80 Dances), a documentary series “La Minute du spectateur” (The Spectator’s Moment) and now Numeridanse, the first multimedia dance platform in the world. This ambitious policy called « the digital house » aims to develop with new technologies the digital creation, dance education as well as audiences development.

Sadler's Wells is a world-leading creative organisation dedicated to dance in all its forms. With over three centuries of theatrical heritage and a year-round programme of performances and learning activities, it is the place where artists come together to create dance, and where people of all backgrounds come to experience it – to take part, learn, experiment and be inspired. Audiences of over half a million come to its London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions at venues across the UK and around the world, and accessing its content through digital channels.

Sadler's Wells commissions, produces and presents more new dance work than any other theatre in the world, embracing the popular and the unknown. Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 160 new dance works to the stage, many of them involving its 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and four Associate Companies – the most exciting talents working in dance today. It also nurtures the next generation of talent through research and development, running the National Youth Dance Company and a range of programmes including Wild Card, New Wave Associates, Open Art Surgery and Summer University. Sadler's Wells' learning and engagement activities reach over 25,000 annually through programmes that take dance out into the community and invite communities into the theatre. Projects include community productions and the renowned Company of Elders, its resident over-60s performance group, while events range from pre and post-show talks with dance artists to classes, workshops and assisted performances.

Located in Islington, north London, the current building is the sixth to have stood on site since entrepreneur Richard Sadler first established the theatre in 1683. The venue has played an illustrious role in the history of theatre ever since, with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera having all started at Sadler's Wells.

One of four dramatic centres in the Federation Wallonia-Brussels, the Théâtre de Liège (formerly Théâtre de la Place) has been reinvigorated by an artistic project that has been running since the 2005/2006 season, headed by Serge Rangoni. A European centre for theatrical and choreographic production since 2006, the Théâtre de Liège in the heart of Liège intends to consolidate its partnerships with local and regional actors and build bridges with international institutions. In recent seasons the Théâtre de Liège has co-produced various European productions.

Since the 2005/2006 season, the Théâtre de Liège has made Liège move every two years to the rhythm of the Emulation Festival, dedicated to young French-speaking Belgian theatre companies. Bolstered by their vigor and (im)pertinence, they take over various venues in the city. Besides this theatre festival, the Théâtre de Liège organizes every two years the Pays de Danses, an international contemporary dance festival.