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Mars Planète Danse

Mars Planète Danse

GUEST BLOG by Harriet Springbett

Being a non-fluent French speaker doesn't necessarily mean missing out on cultural events. Music surpasses the language barrier, of course, but don't forget that you can also fully enjoy dance events.

The Cognac contemporary dance festival takes place in March every year and has a quality that rivals the best British dance festivals. Known in previous years as 'Danse et Vous', the 2016 edition is called 'Mars Planète Danse' to reflect this year's theme: each show encapsulates a specific world – a planet.  

 The festival takes place from 2-19 March and includes seven evenings of shows in various Cognac venues. Most evenings have two separate performances with a connection between their themes. During the festival you can also attend talks with certain choreographers.

This year has Japanese, Palestinian, Flamenco, Israeli and Cuban influences, boasting names such as Kaori Ito, Koen Augustijnen, IT Dansa, Baro d'Evel Cirk, Delgado Fuchs, Betty Tchomanga, Vincent Dupont, Santoro & Godard – and Jordi Gali, who also featured in last year's Coup de Chauffe street theatre festival.

The festival kicks off on Wednesday 2nd with a demonstration of urban dancing from around the world and a chance to meet the dancers. Saturday 5th is the inauguration, with a Japanese father-daughter team, Kaori and Hiroshi Ito. The same evening, a group of ten performers give an energetic interpretation of the Palestinian dance Dabke, a mix of circus, ballet and hip-hop. Tuesday 8th brings a trio of dances from IT Dansa, including a graceful neoclassic ball, a prison revolt with percussions and flamenco heels, and 16 dancers to Israeli and Cuban music with improvisation and audience participation.

On Saturday 12th, 'Mazut', which is a mix of theatre and dance, has two performers searching for their animal interior. They are followed by Delagdo Fuchs, a couple whose costumes and irreverent interpretations will make you smile. Tuesday 15th sees Betty Tchomanga's choreography of three aspects of women: young girl, mother and fallen star. And on Thursday 17th you can see equilibrist Jordi Gali, who builds a structure using his body as a balancing tool.

The final evening, Saturday 19th, brings Vincent Dupont's 'Stereoscopia', a family show in which the audience wear headphones connected to the stage. Afterwards, Liz Santoro and Pierre Godard bring Relative Collider: a metronome rhythm of words leading four dancers to emancipation.

Tariffs: 22€ per evening or 14€ per evening with a 3-evening pass.

For more information: Avant Scène Cognac 


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