In keeping with Lyon’s humanist tradition, the Dance Biennale Défilé has since 1996 been a vehicle for connecting, sharing, community spirit, and a celebration of amateur practices in their most noble dimension: artistic quality serving social inclusion. In 2021, resilience is driving the participation of amateurs who never thought of abandoning “their” Défilé. We must live up to their hopes and their desire for art! The Défilé strengthens the bonds that must be built constantly, such as those involving hospitality for other cultures and solidarity. Truly an “art of connection”, it is showing once again, after many months of a public-health crisis, that it is one response to problems involving isolation, social ties and the loss of bearings.

A novel show-based format for participants and their families

So that this inclusive and iconic gathering could still go ahead, we have adapted to current public-health restrictions and created a new Défilé format. It will be presented in three performances on 5-6 June in partnership with Les Nuits de Fourvière, for a seated audience solely comprising the participants and their families. Huge thanks to Les Nuits de Fourvière, festival director Dominique Delorme and his team for this collaboration.

Live the défilé fully with france 3 auvergne-rhône-alpes

A loyal partner over many years, regional TV station France 3 Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is even more strongly committed alongside us this year to bring you highlights of the Défilé and convey this unprecedented event to the greatest possible number. We thank France 3 Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes for its steadfast solidarity towards the Biennale Défilé.

The 2021 Défilé: a high point of the africa2020 season

For this one-off edition, in close conjunction with the Africa2020 season led by the Institut Français and the season’s general commissioner N’Goné Fall, we proposed to each of the 12 groups to collaborate with one or more African artists. Some 30 creators from 10 African countries – working in the fields of visual arts, circus, music, song, dance and fashion – co-produced the Africa2020 Défilé alongside artists from the region! The participants thus enjoyed a tangible experience of inter-cultural dialogue, inventing a feast of blended imaginations.

Dear participants and your families, we invite you to the Roman Theatre of Fourvière! To all lovers of the Défilé, we invite you to join us on France3 Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes to savour this great occasion of artistic exchange connecting France and Africa, and which will revive the imaginative, festive nature of “togetherness”.

— Dominique Hervieu
Artistic director Lyon Dance Biennale

Défilé project leaders

Two emblematic honorary patrons

"I am honoured and touched to be the honorary patron of the Dance Biennale Défilé, as part of the Africa2020 Season dedicated to Africa and youth. All my thoughts go to those who welcomed me when I took my first steps in France, and to those who continue to support me in this magnificent city of Lyon. It's the America of dance, where all dreams of success are permitted. I say to you: Dare, Dream, Sing and Dance. Dance is a peaceful weapon able to break down barriers imposed by religion, language and territory. Thank you and bravo for continuing to sustain the tradition of a Dance Biennale and Défilé without borders, focused on the future and peace."
Germaine Acogny-Vogt

"This year, 250 regional artists will share their art with leading African artists, choreographers, designers and musicians… I am honoured to be part of an adventure with such tremendous cultural and social reach, which celebrates open-mindedness, inter-cultural dialogue and, of course, life through dance – which is the best way to elevate our mind! One music, one world. PEACE."
Fatoumata Diawara