The Dance Biennale will take place from May 26 to June 16, 2021.

The Lyon Dance Biennale is moving permanently to an odd-year slot. Owing to the health crisis, the edition initially scheduled for September 2020 will now run from 26 May to 16 June 2021. The Biennale will host artists and audiences in full compliance with the measures in force at the time.

Devised by Dominique Hervieu, the 19th edition fuses aesthetic diversity, contemporary output, and a new experience at the Fagor Factory devoted to youth and connecting the most inventive work worldwide with all kinds of audiences. Alongside work by masters of the international scene and emerging artists, the 2021 Biennale will especially celebrate African creativity.

The Défilé in African colours – a highlight of the national Africa2020 Season run by the Institut Français and backed by its Sponsors Committee – has had to adapt to the health-related restrictions. So that this hugely popular event can go ahead, it will adopt a new format in partnership with the Nuits de Fourvière festival and be staged on 29 and 30 May in Lyon’s Grand Roman Theatre, for an audience made up entirely of the participants and their families.

In the presence of the choreographer Germaine Acogny and the singer Fatoumata Diawara – the two honorary patrons of the 2021 edition – 12 groups from across Greater Lyon and the wider Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region will take to the venue’s open-air stage for three performances.

Each performance will be kicked off by the giant marionettes of Les Grandes Personnes company, choreographed by the Brotha From Another Motha company; and the finale will be created by the Nigerian choreographer Qudus Onikeku for 30 performers, including 20 young local dancers on professional training courses. Each performance, themed around the idea of resilience, will end with a concert by Fatoumata Diawara.

Regional TV station France 3 Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, a Biennale partner, will give the event its full support and provide coverage of the Défilé, so that the greatest number can savour what is an eagerly-awaited mainstay of each Lyon Dance Biennale.