Avignon “Off” festival

Posted on July 18, 2014

A second reason for my week in Avignon was to give a public presentation on Australian dance creation and touring in the Off/Fringe festival. I was talking alongside Victorian contemporary dance artists, Natalie Abbott and Matthew Day, presented in partnership between Dancehouse and Micadanses in Paris at La Condition des Soies, a tiny, characterful venue.



Whilst the talk was rather laborious due to the need for me and my Catalan colleagues also presenting their scene, to translate back and forth into and out of French, it was good to catch the last presentations of our artists on consecutive days. I also saw the Belgian artist, Erika Zueli presented after our season in the same program with Micadanses.


Whilst our season and much of the first week of the festival and fringe were affected by the intermittant strikes, houses were becoming full by the second weekend when I arrived. There were several shows about which I picked up a buzz that I could not get a ticket to see.
I was invited to the two programs presented by Anita Matthieu of Les Recontres de Saint Denis at a program of her local Paris suburb, Saint Denis, assembled at La Parenthese theatre in three part programs of solos and small group works, entitled “La Belle Scene St-Denis”. Indicative of Matthieu’s much stronger clout in the French scene, these presentations were chock full of presenters and received a much warmer, approval mumbling response. http://labellescene.wordpress.com/

Of this work, I was most impressed by the solo Man Rec, by young Senagalese dancer/choreographer Amala Dianor. I also liked the selection of works from the Aerowaves network, in particular the piece by the Catalans, El Veronal.


Elsewhere in the Fringe there was a horrible cacophany of Molieres, musketeers and moustachioed ladies on monocycles, or anything else they could think of to grab our attention and slide us a flier. It is clear that chosing your partner in the Fringe is as important here as in Edinburgh. Some venues have cachet, others can be career-ending.