IETM will come to Luxembourg for the first time with the support of Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg (28-30.11.2023). As a performing arts professional from Luxembourg, this is a unique opportunity to discover this network and engage with your international peers.
This Focus meeting will address the one topic we all have to face – the climate crisis. Although the cultural sector is far from being the one that has the most impact on the environment, each and every one of us has to face reality and deal with it. This second edition of the Focus meeting will be the final event in IETM’s first year of environmental transitioning, and will bring members and professional guests together for a joint brainstorm. Participants will benefit from the targeted programmes and accumulated knowledge gathered by the network through all its activities in 2023 and work towards co-creating an eco charter for the entire network.
In addition to the networking opportunities, Luxembourg’s dance scene will be showcased, with the TROIS C-L – Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois presenting a panorama of the local contemporary dance scene.
Detailed program HERE
IETM is a large and influential international network of performing arts professionals, with members from all genres and all functions in the ecosystem: artists, producers, companies, venues, festivals, research and resource centres, residencies, networks and associations, governmental bodies, etc. Currently, it counts over 500 performing arts organisations and individual members in over 60 countries.
IETM stimulates the quality, development, and context of the contemporary performing arts, in all its diversity. It advocates the value of the arts and culture and empowers performing arts professionals through access to international connections, knowledge, and a dynamic forum for exchange.
IETM serves its members by organising networking opportunities, peer-to-peer learning, exchanges and dialogues via various events. Moreover, it commissions publications and research, facilitates communication and distribution of information about the performing arts and advocates for the position of performing arts professionals, worldwide.
To better support Luxembourg’s dancers and choreographers, Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg, the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg and TROIS C-L – Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois, in partnership with the National Dance Centre in Lyon and Le Gymnase CDCN in Roubaix, offers grants to a creative team based in Luxembourg to develop a dance project.
This grant runs over two years (2024 + 2025) and will support all aspects of the creative process: project development, promotion and international networking. The grant will also provide direct financial support for the production, residencies in Lyon and Roubaix, presence on international platforms, and funding for the development phase.
Following a call for applications, five proposals were received and the jury unanimously decided to award the EXPEDITION grant to William Cardoso.
For William Cardoso, this grant represents “an extraordinary, unmissable opportunity (…) which will be the perfect occasion to create a new choreography in the perfect conditions. It will allow me to consolidate and further strengthen my relationships with cultural stakeholders at international level. The high-quality residencies offered by prestigious institutions such as the CN D in Lyon, Le Gymnase CDCN in Roubaix, the Grand Théâtre and TROIS C-L in Luxembourg, will allow me to develop a new work titled Deadline.
Deadline will explore and present the theme of rupture, a frequent occurence throughout our lives. This work seeks to disrupt the system to make a fresh start, rupture for rebirth. ”
The jury, composed of representatives from the five partner institutions (Bernard Baumgarten – TROIS C-L; Tom Leick-Burns and Anne Legill – Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; Davy Brun – CN D Lyon; Laurent Meheust – CDCN – Le Gymnase in Roubaix) commended the relevance and urgency of the theme of the project which demonstrate both the choreographer’s creative flow and the notions of our times. The jury noted William Cardoso’s unique approach to the body and the relationship between genders and praised the young choreographer’s maturity. The EXPEDITION grant will support the artist’s consistant career development, giving him the opportunity to take his research further, explore larger forms of choreography, and connect with international production and distribution networks.
About William Cardoso
William Cardoso is a choreographer and dancer based in Luxembourg and Portugal. His work celebrates everything that is a contradiction, unpredictable, creative and committed. It addresses intimate, personal issues that affect everyone. His performances point the finger at a heteronormative, patriarchal society. Hungry for change and filled with anger at injustice, his work often focuses on a fight and a physical effort as it defends various issues.
With his three works to date (Raum, Dear Mum, Baby), William Cardoso has developed his own identity using a unique language. A dialogue between bodies in conflict with their minds. His work echoes contact improvisation, yet goes against the flow with non-fluid, short, sharp movements.
Sports take the stage in two productions from Luxembourg
Following a Kultur | lx call for applications, 11 files were received and assessed on 18 September by jury members Serge Basso de March (author and poet), Pablo Chimienti (communications & PR officer at THEATER FEDERATIOUN), Godefroy Gordet (journalist, author and director), Lee Fou Messica (artistic director at the Espace Bernard-Marie Koltès —national subsidised theatre in Metz—and co-president of the Quint’Est network) and Karine Sitarz (critic).
The jury selected the play Corps au bout du monde by Marion Rothhaar, directed by Elke Hartmann and produced by Maskénada.
A second play was also selected: Jennifer Gohier’s production for younger audiences, GO!. This production has already been invited by the Théâtre du Train Bleu in Avignon, and following the jury’s decision, will also receive financial support from Kultur | lx.
Both plays selected to represent Luxembourg in Avignon explore the world of sport and performance, each in their own unique way. A happy coincidence in light of the upcoming Olympic Games to be held in France in 2024.
The jury praised Corps au bout du monde for addressing burning current issues both in sport and in society more generally, such as harassment, abuse of power, and feminism. With an extremely physical performance, the play explores these themes in depth, and a touch of humour, as it draws on personal experience that will make it resonate with audiences of all kinds. The play will be adapted in French for the Avignon Festival.
The jury also recognised the artistic standard of GO!, a play for audiences of all ages that communicates the universal values of martial arts, sport, and life in society more generally. Recently awarded the 2023 Kanner- a Jugendtheaterpräis for youth theatre, GO! will be performed at Train Bleu, one of the most popular venues at OFF Avignon.
Kultur | lx looks forward to presenting these plays from Luxembourg and to providing continued support to the artists in Avignon.
About the productions
Corps au bout du monde (Body at the end of the world) questions success at all costs. The play is inspired by Marion Rothhaar’s personal experience as a former champion artistic and rhythmic gymnast who represented the Federal Republic of Germany at the Olympic Games in 1988 as well as accounts from other high-level athletes, press articles, and the eponymous text by Regina Dürig. Rothhaar’s work explores what it is like to come of age in the clutches of high-level sport with its daily training sessions, competitions, performance, control, determination, giving up, injuries, power and abuse, doubts and rebellion, pain and joy, victories and defeats.
GO! re-enacts a game between two men who meet and challenge each other through their martial arts. With each new fight, they get to know each other, control each other, and outdo each other. Each learns from the other—about their strengths and limitations—without there ever being a winner or a loser, because the opponent is, above all, a sparring partner to be respected if they both want to keep playing. Jennifer Gohier’s play is a cross between contemporary dance, martial arts, and digital creation where different universes meet and come together in a duo that combines humour, precision, and the beauty of movement.
About the artists
Marion Rothhaar is a director and dramatist who lives in Switzerland with her family. Following an international career as an artistic and rhythmic gymnast, she traded gym mats for the stage and became a dancer and performer. After a master’s in literature, theatre and media studies and training as a radio editor, she worked for radio and assisted several directors. She gained a Teaching Artist qualification at the Berne Arts College. More recently, she directed the science fiction performance La machine s’arrête (The machine stops), based on a story by E. M. Forster for Esch 2022, European Capital of Culture. Her latest production, Körper am Ende der Welt – Corps au bout du monde, draws on revelations by female athletes who reported failings at the Swiss Olympics training centre in Macolin and her own personal experience as a former high-level athlete who participated in the Olympic Games. Marion Rothhaar has been a member of the Luxembourg collective Maskénada for many years.
Jennifer Gohier trained at the Angers Conservatoire and the CC-Ballet du Nord school. In 2005, she joined the Metz Opera Ballet where she performed a lyrical, classical, and contemporary repertoire under the direction of Patrick Salliot. Between 2009 and 2015, she developed her artistic practice working for various choreographers including Christophe Garcia (FR), Julien Ficely (FR), Anu Sistonen (FI), Francesco Vecchione (IT), Bernard Baumgarten (LU) and Annick Pütz (LU). Together with Grégory Beaumont, she founded Cie Corps In Situ where they create, dance, present and share their work on stage, in gardens, in the street, in schools and many other locations. A qualified dance teacher, Gohier also occasionally teaches professionals and amateurs in various institutions across the Grand Est region and in Luxembourg.
In its 40 years of existence, the Festival les Zébrures d’automne in Limoges included a Luxembourg production in its programme for the first time.
On 21 and 22 September, the play Léa ou la théorie des systèmes complexes by Ian De Toffoli, directed by Renelde Pierlot, was previewed.
This new co-production between the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg and Les Francophonies – Des écritures à la scène is the fruit of a collaboration that began in 2022 with a writing residency by Ian De Toffoli at the Maison des auteurs.rices des Francophonies.
It’s an extraordinary collaboration that has enabled Luxembourg to finally join this festival celebrating the French-speaking world with artists from all over the world in theatre, dance and music, and which was widely praised by Festival director Hassane Kassi Kouyaté at the Festival’s inauguration. Initial feedback is already very promising:
“(…) the audacity paid off. There was no mistaking the signs, with a standing audience, generous applause and a young audience pumped up with enthusiasm. The venue, with the encouraging name of Jean-Gagnant, may have brought good luck, but this success is above all to the credit of a close-knit team.” – Gregory Cimatti, Le Quotidien
“The play, finely researched and written by Luxembourg playwright Ian De Toffoli, tells two moving stories in parallel: a family saga built on oil and the violent realisation of a young woman confronted with the climate crisis. In a democracy, faced with an ecological emergency, does the use of violence become legitimate to save the planet?” – Siegfried Forster, RFI
“Ian De Toffoli’s writing is sharp and lively. It gives this contemporary fairytale the air of a tragic comedy. Although the drama underlies and the global ecological crisis serves as a backdrop, the author uses black humour to disarm the sceptics, hit the nail on the head and awaken the slumbering consciences of citizens who would like to do the right thing without having to sacrifice their comfort. Renelde Pierlot, a long-time collaborator of the playwright, takes this text and injects it with ingenuity and a jazzy atmosphere, giving it the air of a cartoonish musical fresco. Carried by a troupe of explosive, twirling actors who move easily from one story to another simply by donning fluorescent jackets, Léa et la théorie des systèmes complexes opens this anniversary edition of Les Francophonies in style. Despite the rain in Limoges, it’s a great show!” Olivier Frégaville-Gratian d’Amore – L’Œil d’Olivier
Luxembourg audiences can look forward to discovering this fine work at the Théâtre des Capucins on 10, 11, 15, 18, 21 and 22 October.
GLEN (Great Little European Network) connects the smallest countries of Europe through common networking and training programmes with the objective of contributing to designing more meaningful practices and more sustainable performing arts sectors in the concerned countries, interconnecting them and taking a prominent place on the international scene. The network aims to be an incubator for those who, while benefiting from a local anchorage, ambition to develop their practice internationally.
GLEN is no small idea, but one which aims to find new connection points between some of the smallest countries in Europe. From September 2023 to June 2024 GLEN will implement three areas of activities, networking activities, critical friendships (mentorships) and open webinars that address the specificities of producing and distributing in small countries and advising on how to develop internationally from there.
GLEN was established in 2023 as an initiative of 8 organisations working to support the structuration and internationalisation of their national performing arts field. The Founders of the network are:
- Kanuti Gildi SAAL (Estonia)
- New theatre Institute of Latvia / The International festival of Contemporary theatre, Homo Novus (Latvia)
- Sirenos Festival Lithuania/ Lithuanian Theatre Information Centre
- Performing Arts Centre Iceland
- Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg
- Gledalisce Glej (Slovenia)
- Teatri ODA (Kosovo)
- Spazju Kreattiv (Malta)
The participants in the Critical friendships (mentorship program) were selected in 2023. The critical friendship will include 8 months of mentoring from one of the partner countries (not their own) and travel to the two networking activities.
The participants are:
- Katja Markić (Slovenia)
- Snæfriður Sól Gunnarsdóttir (Iceland)
- Zofia Stelmaszczyk (Malta)
- Reinis Boters (Latvia)
- Fábio Godinho (Luxembourg)
- Siim Tõniste (Estonia)
- Greta Stiormer (Lithuania)
- Sovran Nrecaj (Kosovo)
The first webinar will be held at 12p.m. Iceland, 1p.m. UK, 2p.m. CET, 3p.m. EET on Friday 13th October. The webinar, entitled “How to take over the world (or at least develop an international strategic plan)”, will be hosted by Victor Mayot (Luxembourg) and Bek Berger (Latvia) and will tackle the basics of creating an International Development Plan. Join us to get guidance through the mist of international development and bust myths about working over borders. Sign up here before Thursday 12th October.
There will be a series of six webinars tackling different aspects of international production and mobility hosted by the GLEN partners. Information on these events can be found on their websites and through social media.
The Project partners led by Kanuti Gildi SAAL have received network funding from the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture to establish GLEN – Great Little European Network.
Kultur | lx and Les Francophonies – Des écritures à la scène, directed by Hassane Kouyaté, started a collaboration in 2022. Les Francophonies’ team have visited Luxembourg several times for meetings with the Luxembourg theatre scene, first welcoming Ian De Toffoli for a writer’s residency (2022) and then inviting him to share stages of writing during the Zébrures de printemps festival (2023).
These exchanges, meetings and presentations have led Les Francophonies to co-produce, alongside with Les Théâtres de la Ville, the play Léa et la théorie des systèmes complexes by Ian De Toffoli, directed by Renelde Pierlot, which will be performed on 21 and 22 September at the CCM Jean Gagnant in Limoges as part of the Festival Les Zébrures d’Automne, prior to its presentation at the Théâtre des Capucins in Luxembourg on 10, 11, 15, 18, 21 and 22 October.
About Léa et la théorie des systèmes complexes
Combining epic saga, exuberant poetic tale, narrative and documentary theatre, Léa et la théorie des systèmes complexes follows a double narrative framework: on the one hand, the play is intended to be a veritable family chronicle, detailing not only the history, entrepreneurial activity and political power of the sulphurous American multinational Koch Industries, one of the world’s biggest players in the oil market and a major environmental villain, but also the family clashes that have divided the wealthy Koch clan. On the other hand, the play tells the story of the ecological empathy and subsequent political radicalisation of a young woman, Léa, born in Luxembourg at the turn of the new millennium and growing up under the shadow of a global systemic collapse. Léa feels the urgent need to change the system in order to tackle the climate crisis, if necessary through violence. The presence of Koch Industries in Luxembourg, where the company has set up for tax reasons, triggers Léa’s anger.
Léa et la théorie des systèmes complexes retraces the path of complex economic mechanisms to show it is so difficult to save the planet in a globalised world where everything is interconnected.
Written by Ian De Toffoli
Directed by Renelde Pierlot
Starring : Léna Dalem Ikeda, Jil Devresse, Nancy Nkusi, Luc Schiltz, Pitt Simon, Chris Thys
Léa et la théorie des systèmes complexes
21 September at 7.00 pm
22 September at 6.30pm
More information here.
Luxembourg productions and co-productions were strongly represented at the 77th Festival d’Avignon and the 57th Festival OFF Avignon.
While the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg supported 2 co-productions among the Festival d’Avignon programme, namely Extinction by Julien Gosselin and The Confessions by their associate artist Alexander Zeldin, 4 Luxembourg productions were well represented among the 1,491 shows that made up the Festival OFF. The Théâtre National du Luxembourg stood out at the Théâtre du Chêne noir with Frank Hoffmann‘s production of Roland Dubillard’s Crabes and at the Espace Saint Martial with Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables revisited by Isabelle Bonillo. Finally, as part of the Luxembourg Selection, Kultur | lx supported the presence of the play Petit frère – la grande histoire Aznavour by Laure Roldàn and Gaëtan Vassart at the Caserne des pompiers, Théâtre de la Région Grand Est, as well as the dance production Hear Eyes Move. Dances with Ligeti by Elisabeth Schilling at the CDCN d’Avignon – Les Hivernales as part of the “On (y) danse aussi l’été!” festival, all part of an increasingly interdisciplinary festival.
The presence of Luxembourgish productions at what is undoubtedly one of the largest live performance events in the world, and the largest in the French-speaking world, is an important opportunity for the country’s artistic teams to present their work to different audiences and to gain access to French and international professionals. While Avignon was an opportunity for Elisabeth Schilling to break into the French market and present her work to programmers from all over France, it was also a chance for people more familiar with the French scene, such as Laure Roldàn, to deepen their network and, beyond the prospects of touring the piece she presented, to consider collaborations for her next creation.
Kultur | lx will continue its efforts in the coming years to provide as many opportunities as possible for Luxembourgish directors and choreographers to showcase their work in Avignon, with the best support and conditions.
Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg is thrilled to support for the first time the presence of Luxembourg productions both in dance and theatre at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which will take place from 2 to 28 August.
The Luxembourg performing arts scene, just like the country itself, is rich in languages, influences and aesthetics, and has long been open to the international scene and involved in numerous creative and cooperation networks. Presenting at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is therefore an obvious milestone on its development path.
Luxembourg’s official selection at Festival Fringe
Larisa Faber question motherhood in her play Stark
bollock naked. An international smash hit about our reproductive shelf life and what (not) to do with those (ageing) eggs. Featuring stunning video mapping, comedy-infused storytelling and a live score of gynaecological instruments, Stark bollock naked is a multimedia show with a real naked body and an honest conversation about reproduction, abortion and the biological clock presented from, 02 to 28 August at 15:10 (excluding Tuesdays) at The Assembly. Game ovaries.
In Shoot the Cameraman, AWA – As We Are blend the instinctive and spontaneous quality of live performance with the possibilities of the seventh art by joining camera operators with live dancers on stage. The audience will thus be offered a permanent double reading of the piece and have the opportunity to simultaneously attend a live performance on stage and on screen. By forcing the audience to choose where to focus their attention, AWA – As We Are challenges them and plays with perspectives. If what we see with our own eyes seems unfalsifiable, it quickly becomes clear that the framing of a shot can be a matter of pure manipulation. Shoot the Cameraman questions the omnipresence of the image in our lives and ingeniously sharpens the critical gaze of the audience. An essential production to discover in the age of fake news from 02 to 28 August at 15:00 (excluding Wednesdays) at The Assembly Roxy Central.
Extend your discovery of Luxembourg creation
In the wake of these two shows of the Luxembourg selection, take time to also discover Lovefool by Gintare Parulyte performed from 02 to 27 August at 19:15 in Summerhall and This is a scam. by Sølve Sundsbø and Anne Klein from 21 to 26 August à 11:50 at The Space.
Detailed programme here.
GLEN (Great Little European Network) connects the smallest countries of Europe (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Kosovo, Malta) through common networking and training programmes with the objective to contribute to designing more meaningful practices and more sustainable performing arts sectors in the concerned countries, interconnecting them and taking a prominent place on the international scene. The network aims to be an incubator for those who, while benefiting from a local anchorage, ambition to develop their practice internationally.
Following a call for applications, the Luxembourg laureate of this first edition is Fábio Godinho. Until June 2024, he will benefit from three activity programs implemented by the network, including
- Networking events in Riga (Latvia) from 1st to 4th of November and in in Tartu (Estonia) in early May 2024;
- Critical friendships : peer matching across partner countries with other grantees or third professionals to provide mutual support and understanding of each other’s context;
- Webinars : addressing the specificities of producing and distributing in small countries and advising on how to develop internationally from there.
For Fábio Godinho, joining this network is an opportunity to “confront countries that have the same problems as Luxembourg. Countries that certainly have a wide range of cultural offerings, talented players in the field and things to claim, but which are up against these major cultural countries [editor’s note: France, Germany, Portugal and Belgium, with whom he has had the opportunity to work].
In dance, we are lucky enough to be able to use the body, which is a universal language that allows us to show our creations all over the world. Theatre is confronted with language, which requires the logistics of subtitling or the creation of something much more elaborate. This sometimes makes distribution more difficult, if not impossible. How do you make a show in French, Luxembourgish or German, created in Luxembourg, more visible internationally, in countries that don’t speak these languages?
I’d be interested to learn about the different ways of creating in these countries […] and to see the themes that are developed there. I’ve also been working for some years on the question of borders and languages, and I’m intrigued to see the ways of creating in languages that we, here in Luxembourg, are rarely confronted with in performative culture. I draw inspiration from all the experiences I have and the people I meet, and this network would enable me to accentuate the search for new ideas that I carry out in each of my creations.“
Continuing its efforts to connect the Luxembourg performing arts sector with those of neighbouring countries, Kultur | lx has organised a second scouting trip to Frankfurt, on the other bank of the Rhine, following its trip to Mainz in March 2022.
The trip, which was organised from 30 June to 2 July, coincided with the opening of the triennial festival Theater der Welt, Germany’s biggest international festival, which was held in Frankfurt this year.
The German system, which is essentially made up of theatres operating their own ensembles, offers few opportunities to host Luxembourg productions. Consequently, 6 Luxembourg professionals were invited to meet the independent scene. Mousonturm, one of Germany’s few, let alone most important, production companies, gave an insight into its creation and distribution facilities and presented its artistic approach. On the other side of the independent scene, members of the ID_Frankfurt association presented the state of independent artists in Germany and the many initiatives they have put in place to improve working conditions. Exchanges with these two organisations enabled participants to gain a better understanding of how the performing arts sector works in Germany and to put the Luxembourg sector into perspective.