PROPULSION is a career development and networking programme dedicated to jazz and improvised music artists from the Région Grand Est (France), Luxembourg and the French-speaking part of Belgium.

The laureates, who are selected upon a call for proposals, are granted tailor-made training on touring, production and communication. Mentors from each country provide the laureates an artistic point of view and advice on their projects.

The first edition of the programme gave the bands of Daniel Migliosi (Luxembourg) and Hugo Diaz (Région Grand Est) the opportunity to be accompanied by the team of the Compagnie Tangram and the artistic mentors of the programme, who were Stéphane Scharlé and Maxime Bender.

This second edition of the program brings a number of new features. Firstly, the arrival of Belgian partners in the program, and the introduction of a second program entitled PropulsionWOMEN, aimed exclusively at female musicians wishing to develop their skills in the leadership of musical projects. In addition to taking part in the joint PROPULSION program, the aim of the three laureates will be to finalise an artistic project to be presented live by one of PROPULSION’s partners by the end of the program. The winners will be mentored by a fellow musician with a proven track record. The mentors are Marion Rampal for the Grand Est region, Claire Parsons for Luxembourg and Margaux Vranken for the French-speaking part of Belgium.

Propulsion #2 is also offering the second edition of its PropulsionBANDS program, dedicated to the career and artistic development of existing projects. The BAND mentors are Stéphane Scharlé for France, Jeff Herr for Luxembourg and Manuel Hermia for the French-speaking part of Belgium.

Both programmes have the following objectives:

Who are the Luxembourgish laureates of PROPULSION #2?

PropulsionWOMEN | Veda Bartringer, guitarist

Veda Bartringer is a multi-instrumentalist from Luxembourg. She discovered the world of jazz at the age of 17, taking classes at the Conservatoire d’Esch-sur-Alzette, the Conservatoire de Luxembourg and the École de Musique de Dudelange, where she learned from musicians such as Pit Dahm, Pol Belardi, David Laborier, Jacques Pirotton and Erik Teuwens.

Starting in 2017, she pursued advanced musical studies in jazz guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, graduating with a Master’s degree in jazz guitar in 2022. During these 5 years of study, she learned alongside guitarists Fabien Degryse and Victor Da Costa, as well as François Decamps. Veda is a member of several Belgian and Luxembourg projects and has shared the stage with various artists. She is currently working on several personal projects, including duo projects with saxophonist Fabrice Muratore, Madagascan guitarist Joël Rabesolo, a solo guitar project, as well as the Veda Bartringer Quartet.

Guitarist Claire Besson is the winner of PropulsionWOMEN for the Grand Est region, and Lucia Pires, a flautist based in French-speaking Belgium, has been selected to take part in the program.

 

PropulsionBANDS | The Metz Foundation, Joël Metz

Joël Metz is a saxophonist. Having achieved his Bachelor and Master studies at the conservatory of Amsterdam and Codarts Rotterdam, Joël pursues his musical career as a bandleader of his group The Metz Foundation, a sideman for projects like the Josh Island Band and the Luxembourg Jazz Orchestra and as an educator for modern music at the Conservatoire du Nord in Luxembourg.

With an affinity for extended techniques like multiphonics, Joël likes to combine traditionally informed material with experimental sounds in his playing.

PropulsionBANDS selected Nobaban for the Région Grand Est and Bodies for the French-speaking part of Belgium.

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.


Winner Statement
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.


Jury Statement
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.

 

 

Since 2016, Lët’z Arles has been bringing a bit of Luxembourgish creation to the Rencontres d’Arles. As an association that supports and promotes photography and artists linked to Luxembourg, Lët’z Arles offers each year to artists a complete creation and diffusion device. From July 1 to September 22, 2024, Luxembourg photographer Michel Medinger will be exhibiting at Chapelle de la Charité, curated by Sylvie Meunier.

Born in Luxembourg in 1941, Michel Medinger gradually developed a regular photographic practice. A self-taught photographer, he has experimented with a number of techniques: B/W photography, darkroom work using his own chemistries, cibachrome and Polaroids, creating a very special world for himself. An avid collector of objects, he uses these techniques in strange compositions filled with irreverent humor. His photographs, sometimes on iconoclastic subjects, are imbued with a sense of humour and poetry. Beyond his studio, he draws on objects from his everyday environment to construct his compositions and photographic tableaux, like a cabinet of curiosities. By obsessively staging them, with a penchant for surrealism, he introduces a singular narrative and relationships of scale. Michel Medinger leaves nothing to chance.
His work has taken the artist all over the world. He has exhibited his Polaroid Masterprints in Beijing, and taken part in exhibitions in Luxembourg, France, the USA, Denmark, Russia, Poland and Japan.

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.

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.

The launch of the Luxembourg Photography Award (LUPA) and the LUPA mentorship marks a new milestone for Lët’z Arles, which has been the driving force behind Luxembourg’s presence at the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival in France for almost a decade. The move is being supported by Kultur | lx as part of its remit to promote international career development.

Since its inception in 1970, the Rencontres d’Arles has been a fixture in the calendar for photography professionals the world over. It was in 2016 that the Lët’z Arles association, building on Luxembourg’s dynamic photography scene, first brought the country to this highly selective arena, where it has since become a major presence.

LUPA winner Daniel Wagener’s exhibition opus incertum (running until 21 September) featured in the Rencontres’ official programme. Wagener (born 1988), who works in both Brussels and Luxembourg, and the exhibition’s curator Danielle Igniti have championed this project in meetings with the press and public, as well as in presentations of the concurrently published book. The latter was painstakingly put together by the artist (who is also a printer), combining the prints presented in the exhibition with risographs. The exhibition, whose title refers to Roman dry-stone structures that were not built to last, challenges the architectural and social transformations of the exhibition venue – the Chapelle de la Charité – by showcasing images of contemporary construction sites, presented in racks of the kind found in DIY or furniture stores. In this deconsecrated building, one form of worship has been replaced by another: the former still evident in the richly decorated altar, the latter a secular cult of consumption and commerce.

Although this year marked a return to the Chapelle de la Charité after the successful Romain Urhausen exhibition in the Espace Van Gogh, the Lët’z Arles project has nevertheless broken new ground. The launch of the LUPA and the LUPA mentorship represents an undeniable step forward both for the Luxembourg photography scene and for its presence in Arles. While the LUPA rewards an artist, selected by an international jury, by staging an exhibition of their work as part of the Rencontres’ official programme, the mentorship consists of a three-month mentored residency in partnership with the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d’Arles (ENSP), a higher education institution dedicated to photography. The programme, which ran from January to April, enabled the mentored artists to develop their practice through masterclasses, workshops and group work sessions. As the winner of the 2023 LUPA mentorship, Brussels-based Rozafa Elshan (born 1994) benefited from this Kultur | lx-supported programme. She will be showing her work in the Display01 space at the Centre National de l’Audiovisuel (CNA) in Luxembourg from February 2024, at the same time as Daniel Wagener, who will be exhibiting in the CNA’s Pomhouse.

In partnership with Lët’z Arles, Kultur | lx organised a press trip to showcase the Arles projects as well as the exhibition Night Crossing by Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil at the Chateauvert Contemporary Art Centre in Provence, a 90-minute journey from Arles.

In 2024, Kultur | lx will continue to support the Luxembourg scene in Arles by encouraging applications from photographers wishing to present their work at the Arles portfolio sessions, through dedicated mobility grants and by organising networking events. So expect to hear more about Luxembourg talent in Arles in the future!

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.

Propulsion is a support programme dedicated to accompany emerging jazz artists from the French Région Grand Est and Luxembourg. It is designed as a career accelerator offering an artistic point of view and a support to the structuration path.

For this first edition, Propulsion selected the Daniel Migliosi 5tet (Luxembourg) and the Hugo Diaz Quartet (Grand Est). Both laureates were under the mentorship of Maxime Bender (saxophone) and Stéphane Scharlé (drums).

Propulsion also was an occasion for the laureates to receive know-how in the fields of structuration and touring thanks to several training opportunities provided by all the partners involved in the project.

As a partner of the project, Kultur | lx gave the musicians access to its workshop dedicated to the French jazz market, and to project pitching. Also, as part of its mission to support artists in their networking extension, Kultur | lx provided a support for the travel of the Luxembourgish laureate Daniel Migliosi to jazzahead!.

On the 17th of June, all partners involved in Propulsion gathered to make a review of this prefigurating edition, and to prepare the next one. This day was followed by the release concert of the Propulsion laureates at neimënster.

About Daniel Migliosi, Luxembourgish laureate of Propulsion

Daniel Migliosi is a Luxembourgish trumpet player. Since 2020, he has been studying at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, where he founded several bands, notably a sextet with whom he released his debut album Left on scene in 2022. Parallel to this, Daniel Migliosi is part of outstanding bands such as the Westdeutscher Rundfunk Big Band and the Orchestre national de jazz des jeunes.

Propulsion is a programme chaperoned by the Compagnie Tangram and the Trifolion Echternach. It has received the support of the Oeuvre de Secours Grande Duchesse Charlotte through the Prix Culture et Création, of Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg, the Région Grand-Est, and the DRAC Grand Est. Jazzdor, Jazzus and neimënster are also partners of the programme.

For more information about Propulsion, click here.

Lët’z Arles in collaboration with the Centre national de l’audiovisuel (CNA) and with the support of the Ministry of Culture, is pleased to announce the creation of the Luxembourg Photography Award and the Luxembourg Photography Award mentorship.

Lët’z Arles is constantly adapting its support programmes for artists, in line with artistic needs and practices. After 7 years of generous commitment to the creative process, Lët’z Arles has renamed its support programme the Luxembourg Photography Award (LUPA).

This programme of support for artists is offered in two formats:
An exhibition at the Rencontres d’Arles for the winner of the Luxembourg Photography Award.
The winner of this first LUPA is Daniel Wagener and his exhibition opus incertum, presented at the Chapelle de la Charité as part of the 54th Rencontres d’Arles, curated by Danielle Igniti from 3 July to 24 September 2023.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication, anchoring the project over time and providing a complementary perspective to the works on display. The publication features a number of photographs to complement those in the exhibition, as well as a series of risographs echoing the artist’s own practices.

A mentorship-residency for the winner of the Luxembourg Photography Award mentorship – with the support of Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg.
Rozafa Elshan benefited from a 3-month mentorship-residency in partnership with the Ecole nationale supérieure de la photographie d’Arles.
Between the end of January and the beginning of April, this artist development programme focused on the theme of ‘Printed Spaces’ and offered participants a full range of masterclasses, workshops and group work sessions, all under the guidance of Professor Gilles Saussier. The mentoring concluded with the presentation of an assessment of their work in the form of models and sketches of future projects.