Compagnie ArtsMouvementés: Die Flüstertüten ©Anne Laur

Dance Festival Steps

Steps 2024: Telling stories through dance

For the Dance Festival Steps, nine dance companies will be touring Switzerland from the end of April to mid-May. We recommend three unusual pieces.

Pierre Wuthrich (Copy) / Anne Laur (Image)

Danced cabaret: «Les Porte-Voix Junior»

by Yasmine Hugonnet

Ventriloquism fascinates children and adults alike. Yasmine Hugonnet has studied this ancient art. Her work is a “danced ­cabaret” whose performers also speak and sing.

The piece by the Swiss choreographer encourages people to think about their own voice – the one we talk with every day and the one inside us that we rarely allow to speak. Could we use ventriloquism to say what we otherwise wouldn't dare to say? Why not take on someone else's voice and speak for him or her to denounce an injustice?

Where and when: Lokremise, St. Gallen (28 April); Laténium, Hauterive NE (1 May); Südpol, Lucerne (12 May); Schauspielhaus, Zurich (17 and 18 May).

Age recommendation: 7 years and up

In short: playful, courageous, for kids

Mette Ingvartsen: The Dancing Public © Katja Illner

An exploration of dancing mania: «The Dancing Public»

by Mette Ingvartsen

Imagine a hall without a single chair. The audience stands. An artist moves in between and encourages everyone to dance. Mette Ingvartsen invites the audience to an extraordinary experience. Whether you let yourself be carried away by the choreography or­ remain a passive observer, the piece guarantees an unusual evening of dance.

The Danish choreographer's “The Dancing Public” is about the mediaeval ­phenomenon of “dancing mania", a kind of mass hysteria in which groups of people danced themselves into ecstasy until they were exhausted. The reasons behind the phenomenon are unclear to this day. Were the dancers religiously motivated? Was a virus circulating? In her piece, Ingvartsen impressively proves that movement is contagious. As a result, her performance often evolves into a rave party.

Where and when: Gessnerallee, Zurich (26 and 27 April); Halle des Jardins de la Jonction, Geneva (30 April); Dampfzentrale, Bern (2 May).

Age recommendation: 14 years and up

In short: captivating, unusual, for those who like to experiment

Far From The Norm: BLKDOG © Camilla Greenwell

Far from the Norm / The turmoil of puberty: «BLKDOG»

by Botis Seva

”BLKDOG” won the Olivier Award for the best dance performance of the year in London in 2019. It tells the story of the turmoil of puberty. Based on hip-hop sounds, the piece explores our ability to retain some of the light-heartedness of childhood in a frequently violent adult world. The British choreographer Botis Seva also addresses the danger of depression. He calls for more love, modesty and respect.

Where and when: Nebia, Biel (2 May); Théâtre de l'Equilibre, Fribourg (5 May); Kurtheater, Baden AG (7 May); Dampfzentrale, Bern (11 May); Salle du Lignon, Vernier GE (14 May). ­

Age recommendation: 12 years and up

In short: dark, gripping, for everyone

The festival in numbers


The Dance Festival Steps has been running for 36 years. It happens every two years. This year’s event will take place on 36 stages in 28 municipalities, from Geneva to Steckborn TG and from Basel to Chiasso, between 24 April and May 19. Steps is ­planned and ­organised by Migros Culture Percentage.


Theater Hora has selected four choreographies that are especially suitable for people with cognitive impairments. ”BLKDOG” is one of them. In 2018, Steps was awarded the “Culture inclusive” label, which encourages people with disabilities to take part in cultural life.


Three Steps co-productions will be on show: “an Accident / a Life” by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, the play “Sacs à murmures - Cabaret ventriloque" by Yasmine Hugonnet (see left) and “Kantik” by Perrine Valli, which celebrates its world premiere at the Comédie de Genève on 25 April.


From 30 April to 5 May, dancers will be performing in public squares, parks and museums across 31 cities. The exhibition is co-funded by Migros ­Culture Percentage. See the full program.

Win tickets for Steps

We are giving away 10 × 2 tickets for a performance of your choice. Click here for the prize draw.

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