Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Dance of the sexes at Berne festival

Andreas Greber

Berne's annual international dance festival - the Berner Tanztage - is this year taking steps to spring a few surprises. Its theme, "sexchangesex", will be interpreted by leading dance groups in what can only be described as a mood of ambiguity.

The festival kicks off with “A dance tribute to the art of football” by a four-man troupe from Norway making its debut in Berne. Choreographer Jo Stromgren’s send-up about the world’s most popular sport has been described as scrutinising cliché male role models.

For the past 14 years, the Berner Tanztage has offered a high-quality programme of contemporary dance, and frequently, the unexpected.

Its joint artistic director, Claudia Rosiny, said surprises for the audiences are inevitable in this year’s festival, which begins on Friday. “The festival is all about being a man or a woman or somewhere in between. It’s the dance of the sexes,” she told swissinfo.

Rosiny and her fellow-organisers say theatre, film and especially contemporary dance have long discovered the fascination of the crossing of sexual boundaries by using drag, role-swapping and androgyny.

They will, therefore, be continuing a tradition at the 14th Berner Tanztage, with performances, workshops, party nights and other forms of entertainment around the centre of Berne, all connected with the festival’s main theme.

by Richard Dawson

Popular Stories

Most Discussed

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR