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The 65th Annual Festival D'avignon Spotlights Dance

The Festival d’Avignon takes place every July in the historic French city of Avignon in Provence. For an entire month, the city transforms its ancient architecture to make room for as many performance spaces as possible, the most famous being the “cour d’honneur” of the Pope’s Palace. The artistic project for the 2011 festival has just been announced including this year’s "associated artist", choreographer Boris Charmatz.

Each year since 2004, the festival has chosen one or two associated artists whose creative vision and questions help the directors, Hortense Archambault and Vincent Baudriller, shape the themes of the entire festival. Charmatz is a renowned French dancer and choreographer who throughout his career has sought to “do dance differently.” Today he is the head of the Musée de la danse / Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne. Charmatz is the first dance oriented associated artist to be chosen for the festival. Last year’s associated artists were Olivier Cadiot, a writer, and Christoph Marthalar, a director.

Dance is particularly well represented at this year’s festival, occupying a third of the program and including works by choreographers such as Xavier Leroy, (who performed at MoMA in January) William Forsythe, Meg Stuart, Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker, Rachid Ouramdane, Francois Verret, Francois Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea (both of whom recently performed at Danspace Project and The Kitchen in New York City in collaboration with American choreographer Trajal Harrell.)

Theater productions will include works directed by artists from around the world. The directors featured include Patrice Chéreau, a French opera and theater director, filmmaker, actor, and producer who in 2010 took on the role of guest curator at the Louvre, as well as Jalila Baccar, an actress, and Fadhel Jaïb, a director, who together founded the first private theatre company in Tunisia.