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Origen Cultural Festival in Switzerland

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There has been established a very interesting cultural festival in recent years in the middle of the Swiss mountains, called Origen Cultural Festival. I admit I've never heard of it before but it must be well known among dancers/choreographers. Some present their new choreographies there.

From the website:


"Origen – Rhaeto-Romanic cultural bridging between North and South


The name Origen is Rhaeto-Romanic and means genesis, origin, creation. Accordingly, the programme of the festival is a commitment to the cultural power of a trilingual region which thrives on cultural exchange.

The cultural organisation Origen is responsible for the annual Origen Festival of Culture and primarily dedicates itself to the promotion and production of professional contemporary opera.

Origen has its own opera house: Riom Castle was converted into a theatre and inaugurated in 2006.

Origen does not understand itself as an alpine ghetto of a dying language, but as a vivid testimonial to a lively language community who dares embark on cultural adventures again and again."




Part of the annual program is dedicated to dance, from what I've seen mostly dedicated to contemporary dance. The performances happen either in a red tower (very impressive) or in the Riom castle. This year, the lineup was very impressive, check out the program, choreographers and dancers here (among them Juliano Nunes, Xander Parish and other Mariinsky dancers, Jonah Cook, Shale Wagman, Ksenia Ryshkova):




Would be a great location to travel to!

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I have heard of this festival !! 


… because Sergei Polunin was the only dancer to perform at the inauguration of the festival’s new Julier Tower in Summer 2017.  He performed SOLO choreographed for him by Andrei Kaydanovsky.  The other performers were opera singers. 

The tower is an extraordinary venue, see articles attached.





The following year, in 2018 Sergei performed his new ballet SACRE to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring by Yuka Oishi at this festival .. in two venues … St Moritz (the premiere) in July 2018 and then in September 2018, at the Julier Tower again.  

There were 6 heads of state present at the first September performance!!




I’m told that Origen festival organisers are responsible for introducing Sergei and Yuka to each other in 2017, and also to Konstantin Binkin, lighting whizz from the Mariinsky who has been a regular collaborator at this festival.  Konstantin now designs all the lighting for PoluninInk shows, as well as for Ilya Jivoy’s choreography and many others.  

Yuka Oishi was a dancer at Hamburg Ballet where she was encouraged to choreograph by the great John Neumeier.  She has choreographed for Hamburg Ballet, Natalia Osipova (for her programme at Sadlers Wells), Bejart Ballet and others … as well as SACRÉ, RASPUTIN and other solos for Sergei Polunin.  







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