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Bern serves up dance "appetizer"

Déjà Doné's production called Aria Spinta opens Bern's 15th annual dance festival.

(Lenka Flory & Simone Sandroni)

Bern's 15th annual dance festival is underway, and for the next week the capital's theatres will teem with hip-hop artists, break dancers and other performers.

With the theme "Amuse Bouche" - appetizer - the festival offers bite-size performances by dancers and other artists from as far as South Africa and England, as well as two Swiss dance troupes.

"This year's title is about event culture, it's a bit like fast food, "explains Claudia Rosiny, who is in charge of the dance festival's programme. "We tried to find programmes and groups which had short pieces of choreography or programmes with different numbers of people, like a review. "Amuse Bouche" means the art of the short form, but it's hard to translate into English."

One show is inspired by fashion by the Bern based group, Lynx, who are setting up a catwalk in the Kornhaus forum.

The festival includes the world première of the Geneva-based Alias company's "L'odeur du voisin", (The smell of the neighbour), an ironic piece danced in a restaurant and an office.

The festival opens with "Aria Spinta" by the Czech-Italian troupe, Déjà Donné. It is an energetic work full of slapstick humour.

Other highlights include the French group, Accrorap's production called "Anokha" which fuses two dramatically different dance styles. The piece juxtaposes street hip-hop with traditional Indian temple dancing in an unlikely East-meets-West medley.

For the smaller dance enthusiast, there is a modern take on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, "The Princess and the Pea" with the Vienna-based Konnex company's "The Princess and the Pumpkin" in the Schlachthaus Theatre.

by Sally Mules


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