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DANSATHON - Imagine the Future of Dance

September 28th, 29th, 30th 2018

Lyon I Liège I London


Three days, three cities, three theatres to imagine the future of dance

The DANSATHON is a connected, collaborative, European event to explore the innovations which will contribute to shape the dance sector in the future. The idea was born from a shared desire by Maison de la Danse and BNP Paribas Foundation to combine dance and new technologies (motion capture, IA, VR, video games, data, etc.) to explore new ways to dance, new ways to create, to perform and to share dance with an audience as diverse as possible. This desire met the projects developed by the Sadler’s Wells in London and Théâtre de Liège in Belgium, and the 4 institutions joined forces to create the DANSATHON.

As part of Lyon international Dance Biennale, during 72 hours from September 28th to 30th 2018, interdisciplinary teams composed of people working in dance, technology, design, communication, etc, will share a unique experience of co-creation. Teams will work together during 3 days to explore, test possibilities and produce a prototype of dance performance, a short form of creation or an installation, at the crossroad of various approaches. They are provided with space to dance/develop/create and relevant technologies and support. Coaches and ingenious facilitators will help them all along. Volunteers (students, co-workers, BNP Paribas staff, etc.) are invited to help with IT support, facilitation, design, tests, etc. Then, ideas will become reality thanks to the dancers who will give life to the proposals which will emerge. The three theatres will be connected to discover the work of other participants.

Engaged in one common dynamics, Liège, London and Lyon will share a common methodology and a common aim: connecting to audience and community. Through their creations and prototypes, participants will contribute to a collective endeavor to explore questions such as:

  • Mixing dance and technology, can we create new artistic forms?

  • What kind of new performances, new experiences can we imagine?

  • How can we make dance more viral and accessible?

  • How can digital dance cross boundaries, social, physical, cultural?

  • How can theatres better contribute to a rich and harmonious urban life?

  • How can we multiply positive collective experience?

  • What would a digital dancing society look like?

On the third day, the creations and prototypes will be shown to an audience and a mixed jury who will evaluate them based on what has been created so far. In each city, the best project will be rewarded and will receive a fellowship of 10,000 euros from BNP Paribas Foundation and will benefit from the support of co-organising theatres to continue their work of creation.

Launch of the call forparticipants:

April 16th 2018 For dancers, choreographers, creative technologists, developers, designers of

sounds, lights, costumes, scenography, technicians of all kinds, makers, students, start-upers, who will want to take part in the event. Until June 1st 2018

The DANSATHON is a common idea by BNP Paribas Foundation and Maison de la Danse de Lyon. It is conceived and developed in partnership with Sadler’s Wells, London, and Théâtre de Liège.


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 freely-accessible 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 the 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, its goal is to motivate everyone to experience dance – to take part, learn, experiment and be inspired. Audiences of over half a million come to Sadler’s Wells’ London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions at partner venues across the UK and around the world, or accessing its content through digital channels.

Sadler’s Wells commissions 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 150 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 its artist development initiatives, and reaches over 25,000 annually through its learning and engagement programmes.

Located in Islington, north London, the current theatre is the sixth to have stood on the site since it was first built by entrepreneur Richard Sadler 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. Sadler’s Wells is a charity and a National Portfolio Organisation, currently receiving 10% of its revenue from Arts Council England.


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.

Since 2016, the Théâtre de Liège coordinates the European project IMPACT (International Meeting in Performing Arts & Creative Technologies) which articulates the performing arts with sciences and new technologies.


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. We accompany 17 artists and their companies to foster creation internationally. We also encourage experimentations at the crossroad of dance and new technologies, and we promote the commitment of artists and major dance institutions in the community. As we believe in cross-disciplinary approaches and hybrid experiences, we also support companies in the field of new circus arts.

Companies: Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (Cie Rosas), Chloé Moglia (Cie Rhizome), Emanuel Gat (Cie Emanuel Gat Dance), Etienne Saglio (Cie Monstre(s)), Groupe acrobatique de Tanger, Hofesh Shechter Company, (LA)HORDE, Jann Gallois (Cie BurnOut), Kaori Ito (Cie Himé), Phia Ménard (Cie Non Nova), Pierre Rigal (Cie Dernière minute), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (Cie Eastman), Tatiana-Mosio Bongonga (Cie Basinga), Cie Wang Ramirez, Cie XY, Yoann Bourgeois.

Institutions: Biennale internationale des arts du cirque, Chaillot - Théâtre national de la Danse, Maison de la Danse de Lyon, Festival Montpellier Danse, Programmation danse du Festival d’Avignon.