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Press Release: Dansathon - new innovations in dance and tech

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The BNP Paribas Foundation and 3 partner theatres announce the 2nd edition of the DANSATHON, the international dance hackathon


  • After two postponements due to the health crisis, the 2nd edition of the Dansathon, which will be held from 19 to 21 November 2021 in Liège,
  • global health context permitting, will bring together 8 multidisciplinary teams who will imagine the future of dance in the digital age.
  • Founded and sponsored by the BNP Paribas Foundation, this event is co-organized by the Maison de la Danse in Lyon, Sadler’s Wells in London and the Théâtre de Liège.
  • Forty-eight participants will be provided with resources, technological tools and spaces to compete for a €20,000 grant from the BNP Paribas Foundation.



The Dansathon – a mixture of dance and hackathon – is a connected, international artistic event. It aims to bring multidisciplinary teams together for three days, to imagine the future of dance through a combination of new technologies (motion capture, AI, VR, video games, data, etc.). Initiated and supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation, the event is co-organized by the Maison de la Danse de Lyon, Sadler’s Wells in London and the Théâtre de Liège.


This 2nd edition will be held from 19 to 21 November 2021 in the Média Rives Studios of the RTBF – French-speaking Belgian Radio and Television – as part of the Théâtre de Liège’s IMPACT 1 Festival. Open to dancers, choreographers, designers, web developers, students, start-ups and creators of all kind, the call for applications took place from 16 June to 16 August 2020 via www.dansathon.eu.


This year, the participants’ reflections will focus on the question, “How can dance be part of a society in transition?”, which will be broken down into several themes, such as «High-tech vs. low-tech», «Augmented vs. diminished humans», «Energy-generating dance», «Green Dances» and «Social distancing dancing». In compliance with health regulations, the 48 participants will have access to adapted resources and technological tools with access to a fablab (digital manufacturing laboratory), and spaces to dance and create in the best conditions. Coaches and experts will also be present throughout the Dansathon to support them in their creative process. A team of volunteers will help with IT support, coordination, design, etc.


Over the course of these three days, the teams will have to produce a prototype of a dance perfor- mance, a short creation or an exhibition at the crossroads different approaches. These pieces will be presented to the public and to a multidisciplinary international jury (artists, institutions, business leaders, transmedia experts, journalists) on Sunday 21 November.


The 2021 Jury will be composed of, among others:

Gilles Alvarez Director of the Nemo Digital Arts Biennial in Paris
Anouk Aspisi Secretary General Maison de la Danse de Lyon
Isabelle Giordano Head of the BNP Paribas Foundation & Group Corporate Philanthropy Jean-Jacques Goron Former Head of BNP Paribas Foundation & Group Corporate Philanthropy Michèle Noiret Belgian choreographer
Serge Rangoni General Manager Théâtre de Liège
Sandrine Roustan Director General of the RTBF Content Division
Alistair Spalding Artistic Director and Chief Executive Sadler’s Wells
Alexander Whitley British choreographer


The BNP Paribas Foundation will reward the winning project(s) with a grant (Prize Money: €20,000), which will enable them to continue their creation. With the support of the organizing theatres, access to a residence to develop in an appropriate space will be made available to the winners.




Isabelle Giordano, Head of the BNP Paribas Foundation & Group Corporate Philanthropy


The BNP Paribas Foundation has been supporting contemporary dance for over 30 years and is committed to artists who create and explore new territories. It provides long-term support to facilitate research and the realisation of companies’ projects.


Wishing to contribute to artistic cooperation between cultures, it supports international residencies of major dance institutions. It assists 17 artists and companies in France and abroad to encourage creation, stimulate new links with technological innovation and make dance part of the city.


Convinced of the richness of hybrid forms and interdisciplinary crossovers, it also supports artists from contemporary circus. Placed under the auspices of the Fondation de France, the BNP Paribas Foundation has been a major contributor to corporate philanthropy for over thirty years. Its activities are based on a multidisciplinary approach to sponsorship, in favour of innovative projects dedicated to culture, solidarity and the environment.


It is attentive to the quality of its commitment to its partners and ensures that it supports their projects over the long term.





Dominique Hervieu, Artistic Director of Biennale de la Danse and of la Maison de la Danse de Lyon


The Maison de la Danse, a European centre for creation directed by Dominique Hervieu, offers a programme that brings together the most diverse aesthetics. From the major choreographers of the 20th century to young contemporary creators, it brings together creation and repertoire (30 to 40 companies for 150 performances and 150,000 spectators on average per season). A digital, cultural development and mediation policy completes this project, with the ambition of giving access to the art of choreography in all its diversity to diverse audiences. With a new creation space in 2025 (with the construction of the Ateliers de la Danse), the Maison de la Danse will continue to develop its international influence thanks to the strong links established over several decades with the Biennale de la Danse. The dance cluster - the Maison de la Danse / Dance Biennial / Ateliers de la Danse - is becoming one of the most important bases for the development of dance in France.


Aware of the challenges of tomorrow and the future possibilities offered by new technologies, since 2011 the Maison de la Danse has been developing Numeridanse, a formidable digital tool dedicated to the art of movement and the history of dance in all its forms. Numeridanse was created with the complicity of the Centre national de la danse de Pantin and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the BNP Paribas Foundation. Numeridanse is celebrating its 10th anniversary this autumn by offering a 100% online festival from 10 to 17 November 2021.




Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells


Sadler’s Wells is a world-leading dance organisation. We strive to make and share dance that inspires us all. Our acclaimed year-round programme spans dance of every kind, from contemporary to flamenco, Bollywood to ballet, salsa to street dance and tango to tap.

We commission, produce and present more dance than any other organisation in the world. Since 2005, we have helped to bring close to 200 new dance works to the stage, embracing both the popular and the unknown.


Each year, over half a million people visit our three London theatres - Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Lilian Baylis Studio and Peacock Theatre. Many more attend our touring productions nationally and internationally or explore our digital platforms, including Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage. In 2023 we’re opening a fourth London venue in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Sadler’s Wells’ new space will house a 550-seat mid-scale theatre, as well as facilities for a choreographic centre and a hip hop theatre academy.


Supporting artists is at the heart of our work. We have associate artists and companies, which nurture some of the most exciting talent working in dance today. We host the National Youth Dance Company, which draws together some of the brightest young dancers from across the country. Sadler’s Wells Breakin’ Convention runs professional development programmes to champion and develop the world’s best hip hop artists, as well as producing, programming and touring groundbreaking hip hop performances.


Around 30,000 people take part in our learning and engagement programmes every year. We support schools local to our theatres in Islington and Stratford, designing experiences for children and young people to watch, explore and critically engage with the arts. We also run Company of Elders, a resident performance company of dancers aged over 60 who rehearse with renowned artists to make new work for public performances locally, nationally and internationally.


Sadler’s Wells is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.




Serge Rangoni, General Manager of Théâtre de Liège


The Théâtre de Liège is one of the four Dramatic Centres of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and also a European Centre for theatrical and choreographic creation.


In the heart of the city, the Théâtre de Liège holds a key position in terms of artistic creativity and innovation. Its rich, varied and innovative programme features performances by major Belgian and foreign directors and choreographers, internationally renowned actors and emerging artists, reflecting the culture of today and representing the one of tomorrow.

The Théâtre de Liège, located at the core of the Euregio, transcends borders through its collaborations with prestigious international institutions: the Festival d’Avignon, the Théâtre National de la Colline and the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, the Schaubühne in Berlin, the National Theatre of Korea... With its 65,000 spectators and more than 250 performances per season, the Théâtre de Liège is today the leading stage in Wallonia.






The IMPACT Forum (International Meeting in Performing Arts and Creative Technologies) promotes the convergence and articulation between the arts, science and technology sectors. The Théâtre de Liège and the Cultuurcentrum Hasselt are committed to the continuity of IMPACT in view of its relevance for researchers and artists and its resounding success with a varied and dedicated audience. Over the years, the IMPACT Forum has never ceased to amaze by confronting us with the unimaginable possibilities that the future holds.


From 7 November to 4 December 2021, the fifth edition of the IMPACT Forum - strengthened thanks to the support of the Rayonnement Wallonie grant, an initiative of the Walloon Government, operated by ST’ART SA - will be held in Liege and Hasselt with shows and performances from France, Ireland, Spain, Mexico, the Netherlands and, of course, Belgium. In a hybrid configuration, both on-site and online, ultra-connected new magic, electronic

opera, visual theatre, choreographic objects, VR immersion, webseries, the second edition of the Dansathon, workshops for young and teenage audiences, meetings, exhibitions and conferences will follow one another for a month.


With the support of the Club des Entreprises Partenaires (Corporate Partners) of the Théâtre de Liège



The Mountain by Agrupación Señor Serrano (ES) Le Bal de Paris by Blanca Li (FR)
_ jeanne_dark Marion Siéfert (FR)
Forêt Franck Vigroux (FR)

Que du Bonheur avec vos capteurs

by Thierry Collet (FR)
Beckett’s Room by Dead Centre nd Mark O’Halloran (IE)
Flesh by Frank Vigroux (FR)


Rococco Guillaume Marmin (FR) impact-regio.eu


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