BACK TO THE FESTIVAL D'AVIGNON 2012
- LE FESTIVAL D'AVIGNON
Since 2004, Hortense Archambault and Vincent Baudriller have been co-directors of the Festival. At the heart of their project is the meeting between artistic creation and a large audience. Since their appointment, they have decided to be based with the whole team in Avignon, and from there to invent each Festival together with artists. They have reinforced the ties between the Festival and its local base and partners and have developed year-long activities for the local audience, especially young people. At the same time they have strengthened the links with Europe, making the Festival even more a crossroads of European culture. The Festival also accompanies the artistic teams in the technical and financial production of their work as well as in their circulation in France and abroad.
Another novelty in their project is to chose one or two associate artists to help them prepare each edition of the Festival. Before deciding on the programme, they enter in close dialogue with each of their associates whose sensibility and personal outlook on artistic creation and the performing arts feeds in the artistic choices. In 2004, and with the German director and artistic director of Berlin's Schaubühne Thomas Ostermeier, the Festival put the emphasis on ensemble theatre engaged in the social and political questionings of their time. With the Antwerpian artist Jan Fabre in 2005, the Festival allowed for a multiplicity of exchanges and encounters between words, bodies and images, between performing arts and visual arts. In 2006, with Josef Nadj, a choreographer of Magyar culture, the 60th opus of the Festival proposed a more oniric approach and journeys between artforms and cultures. In 2007, with French director Frédéric Fisbach, the Festival favoured the whole spectrum of stage writings and the relationship between artist and audience. With French actress Valérie Dréville and Italian artist Romeo Castellucci, the 2008 edition brought the audience along towards unchartered territories, beyond words and images, opening up on the mystery of the Human. In 2009, it's the director and playwright Wajdi Mouawad's turn to be the associate. Swiss director Christoph Marthaler and French writer Olivier Cadiot were joint associate artists in 2010. In 2011, it was the dancer and choreographer Boris Charmatz. In 2012, the next Festival will be imagined with the complicity of the actor and director Simon McBurney.
If each opus is a different one, based on that diversity of visions, contemporary creation remains at the heart of the Festival and of its programme with risk-taking entrusted to the artists. Most of them create new works especially for Avignon and its audiences, which remains the most acute way to interrogate the aesthetics of our age. The artistic "risk" makes the richness of the Festival where the spectators, whoever they may be and wherever horizon, environment and culture they come from, can draw that singular excitement of being faced with a reinvented classic or a modern text, a contemporary piece of dance or a visual installation. The Festival d'Avignon offers its spectators the pleasure of discovery alongside the pleasure of reflexion, turning the town into a forum that oozes the engagement in its time, turning theatre into an auspicious place for dialogue and often passionate debates for artists and audiences alike.