La Bâtie : 47th edition

There’s what’s near, what’s far, and La Bâtie-Festival de Genève as a bridge. The desire to present shows, concerts, new discoveries and the latest trends on the international scene, characterises this 47th festival in more ways than one. Invitations and collaborations help expand the local territory: for example, the programme features 14 dates for Sarah Calcine’s touring show Privés de Feuilles Les Arbres ne Bruissent Pas, and 4 for concerts that connect Nyon with Cergy, Gex, Satigny, Bernex, Collonge-Bellerive and as far afield as Fort-l’Ecluse, Yvoire and Scientrier… Here, we’ll take a passport, a bicycle or a pooled car to explore the region and discover the new formats of these nomadic shows. There, we’ll provide a plot of land, a square, a parking lot for a camper van to be transformed into a theatre stage with a few chairs. The fringes will become the centre for light, mobile and personal creations. The further we go, the closer we get…

Foreign artists guarantee the diversity that is so essential to the clash of realities that shed light on what’s going on in the world. Festivals have an important role to play in encouraging this artistic diversity, supporting creators from abroad and fostering a dialogue with local artists. Thanks to a collective and collaborative reflection with other programmers, La Bâtie continues to open up territories and possibilities and welcomes artists from Lebanon: Ali Chahrour, Hiba Najem, Issam Bou Khaled & Sarmad Louis and Hashem Hashem bear witness through their shows to the social, economic and religious situation in their country. Their shows feature alongside productions from recent repertoires by François Gremaud’s 2B Company, circus artist Alexander Vantournhout, musician Andrina Bollinger and choreographer Trajal Harrell.

On the stages of this year’s La Bâtie Festival, energy is used less for anger than for demonstrating through evidence the objects of our decade’s condemnations. We bear witness, we inform, we explain. We add panache and sometimes humour. To break down the exotic stereotypes of the past, Amanda Piña, an artist of Chilean, Mexican and Austrian descent, rehabilitates racialised and invisibilised artists in her latest creation, placing them in a tropical jungle setting inspired by Art Deco scenography. With the aim of giving a voice to historically excluded people, South African company Empatheatre works in close collaboration with silent social groups. Uruguayan artist Tamara Cubas lends a voice to Zoomers, whose youth is perceived as a monstrous force, the result of the clash between past, present and future. Some twenty young artists from Geneva will take part in this original performance.

And as if to soften the jolts of this hectic world, three topical pieces drive the pulse of the festival’s programme: Mitten wir im Leben sind/Bach6Cellosuiten by choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, the long-awaited concert by American composer and organist Kali Malone on the Great Organ of St. Peter’s Cathedral and, as a curtain-raiser, the unclassifiable One Song by artist Miet Warlop. A hybrid sports match/punk concert, this obsessive, haunting show sets the tone of this inexhaustibly vibrant programme.

Claude Ratzé
and the team at La Bâtie-Festival de Genève

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