Late Summer in Geneva with Festival La Bâtie

La Bâtie is the last in a series of Swiss summer festivals, and takes place from 29 August to 15 September in and around Geneva, featuring outstandig performances by Stefan Kaegi, Philip Glass, Cindy van Acker, Denis Maillefer, Peeping Tom, Wajdi Mouawad and many others.

At the beginning of September, La Bâtie rings in the 2019/20 performing arts season and presents a couple of premieres, many of them Swiss made:

Denis Maillefer, «Perdre son sac», 30 Aug – 7 September, Comédie de Genève
A striking solo with a young woman who addresses passers-by in the street. In a flow of stark words and chanted sentences, she tells them about her loneliness, anger and inability to understand a world in which she can’t or won’t find her own place.

Denis Maillefer_Perdre son sac_©Niels Ackermann
Denis Maillefer_Perdre son sac_©Niels Ackermann

Maire-Caroline Hominal, «Hominal/Xaba», 31 Aug – 5 Sept, Théâtre Les Salons
Marie-Caroline Hominal has created a series of works with unexpected collaborators. For this second project of creative exchange, she has invited the South African choreographer-performer Nelisiwe Xaba, who has focused her work on genres and stereotypes.

Gie Greffe/Cindy van Acker, «Shadowpieces 0–IV», 3 – 5 Sept, adc Salle des Eaux-Vives
Each of these five solos is custom-designed for the performers according to their personal skills, sensitivities and dynamics. They have been created within an intense relationship and with music chosen by each of the dancers themselves.

Cisco Aznar, «Dolores Circus», 7 – 9 Sept, Théâtre du Loup
Backed by four performers, the choreographer Cisco Aznar manages to explore the concept of pain in a demented, baroque-style cabaret. He presents a unified overview of pain, inspired by Maya Deren’s psychoanalytic expressionism and a striking soundtrack.

Rémi Dufay, «D’amour et d’eau fraiche», 7 – 11 Sept, Gare routière
Young resident artist at L’Abri Rémi Dufay invites the audience to climb aboard his bus to leave the city, to take a deep breath of fresh air and to think a little. Burlesque and poetic, D’amour et d’eau fraîche is a journey with multiple twists.

Laurence Montandon / Jane Friedrich, «Pas», 9 – 14 Sept, POCHE /GVE
Samuel Beckett takes centre stage with his text Not I, performed by two grand ladies of theatre. A one act play for a mother and a daughter where everything has a double meaning and which will have the audience scratching their heads in bewilderment.

Michèle Pralong/Sylvie Kleiber/Victor Roy/Rudy Decelière, «Finalement, tout s’est bien passé», 12 – 14 Sept, Pavillon Sicli
The four artists work on the passion of anger, with tension, voice and rhythm. They create a sonic and visual installation inside the building, invite the Ensemble Contrechamps to play Galina Ustvolskaya’s Dies Irae and draw up a performative narrative with five actors.

However, the Swiss are not the only ones who have a strong profile at La Bâtie. In the international programme there are several highlights, like:

Stefan Kaegi_Rimini Protokoll_Granma_cDoro Tuch
Stefan Kaegi_Rimini Protokoll_Granma_©Doro Tuch

Stefan Kaegi/Rimini Protokoll, «Granma. Les trombones de La Havane», 12 – 13 Sept, Salle du Lignon
In the 60th year of the revolution, four young Cubans search for traces of their history. They embark on a journey through time in which they tell the stories of their families over multiple generations and intertwine them with contemporary socio-political questions. Using this approach, they make Cuba’s history their own so that they can keep writing it.

Wajdi Mouawad, «Tous des oiseaux», 29 – 31 Aug, Théâtre de Carouge
A masterful show: from beginning to end, the audience is kept on tenterhooks, attentively listening and watching as the story unfolds of a young German-Arab-American couple blown to pieces by the violence of the world and fratricidal wars.

Clara Pons/Philip Glass/Ensemble Contrechamps, «In the Penal Colony», 6 – 7 Sept, Salle du Lignon
The eclectic composer Philip Glass first imagined a chamber opera for Kafka’s allegorical novel. Director Clara Pons has transposed the work into a video and musical installation with two singers and a string quintet that transcend Glass’ prodigious musical mechanism.

Jérôme Bel, «Rétrospective», 10 Sept, Le Grütli
Based on archive images, Bel’s Rétrospective is made up of 18 dances drawn from his most significant shows, including Disabled Theater with the Swiss company Theater Hora. A fascinating portrait steeped in the pleasure of sharing.

Philip Glass/Robert Wilson, «Einstein on the Beach», 11 – 15 Sept, Grand Théâtre de Genève
This major 20th century opera, which took Philip Glass two years to write and compose, is based on the drawings of stage director Bob Wilson and includes texts by Lucinda Childs, Christopher Knowles and Samuel Johnson.

Peeping Tom, «Kind (Enfant)», 13 – 14 Sept, L’Esplanade du Lac/Divonne-les-Bains
The Belgians’ return with Kind, the last part in their family trilogy. The thorough examination of childhood features breathtaking sets that shift from dream to reality, a surgically precise performance and powerful images that leave a lasting impression.

See further performances (e.g. Teresa Vittucci’s «All Eyes On») at La Bâtie’s website.

Teresa Vittucci_All Eyes On_©Nelly Rodriguez
Teresa Vittucci_All Eyes On_©Nelly Rodriguez