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Dance and circus, arts of our world in motion

For the BNP Paribas Foundation, supporting contemporary dance and circus arts is no coincidence. Their pieces offer a diversity of views, perspectives and talents that speak to everyone.
Last update: 12 July 2024

Supporting experiments with new forms

Digital technologies are profoundly transforming our world. That is why the BNP Paribas Foundation provides support to contemporary dancers and circus artists to make digital technology a living source of creation.

For example, the Foundation supports the collective (LA)HORDE, whose “post-internet” show To Da Bone stepped off YouTube and onto the stage.

Dansathon, a playground for tomorrow’s dance

Together with Maison de la danse (which we have supported for several years), the Théâtre de Liège and the Sadler’s Well in London, the BNP Paribas Foundation conceived the Dansathon, the first European Danse Hackathon, at the crossroads between dance and new technologies.

Meant to promote dialogue between dance and the digital universe, the first edition of the Dansathon was held in September 2018 in Lyon (France), London (UK) and Liège (Belgium), on the occasion of the Lyon Dance Biennale.

This three-day creative, collaborative and connected marathon brought together our three partner theatres, along with 90 creators of all types, dancers, coders, designers, makers and media specialists, selected from a pool of over 400 applicants. The group was divided into multidisciplinary teams, each occupying a vast, dedicated space. Around a common set of themes, each team experimented with different working methods and digital technologies, adopting an approach that was, at once, collaborative, transdisciplinary and iterative.

Three laureate projects – Digital Umbilical in London, Vibes in Lyon, and Cloud Dancing in Liège – were each awarded a grant from the BNP Paribas Foundation and received a commitment from the partner theatres to provide support in the development of their prototype.

Building on the success of this first unique sensorial experience, which obliterates boundaries between artists and their audiences, Dansathon returned for a second edition in 2021, with the theme “How can dance be part of a society in transition(s)?”.

Inventing support at the crossroads of practices

By making these events possible, the BNP Paribas Foundation is more than ever true to its calling: creating connectionsTomorrow’s dance will take the viewer’s experience beyond borders and limits and put life at its centre. The Foundation also experiments with a way to identify and support artistic projects that are part of digital culture work processes and that foreshadow the future. 

Cloud Dancing – © Romain Tissot.

Contributing to the emergence of innovative means of creating, producing and sharing,  which still sit on a fragile economic base, fully corresponds to our mission as a patron of the arts that has always strived to support avant-garde initiatives.

« As a sensitive art, dance cannot cut itself off from the technologies that infuse our lives » noted Dominique Hervieu, ex-Director of Lyon Dance Biennale and now Director for Culture of the Paris Organising Committee for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, when presenting the Dansathon.

Serge Rangoni, Director of the Théâtre de Liège, concluded with these remarks: “The Dansathon paves the way for new models within which everything is possible, even the impossible!

Access to culture and art practice

Supporting culture and making it accessible