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The association ASCEN-DANSE, created by prefectural decree dated 18/07/1996, based in Mont-Dauphin, France, includes :

- a dance school that exists since 1996 and offers contemporary dance classes on the north of the department with two teachers

- a professional dance company: compagnie Isabelle Mazuel

- the organization of a dance festival in a Unesco heritage setting since 2006 : Vertical'été Ascen-Danse is hosting companies for the « Vertical’été » festival.

In 2017, a co-realization was conducted with the National Monuments Centre, within the framework of “Monuments in Motion” (valorisation of national monuments by the performing arts). It allowed the company of Yoan Bourgeois to appear in the program of the festival. In the continuity of “monuments in movement”, the porpose is to value a reciprocal sublimation between heritage, landscape and living art.

The shows broadcast are adapted to the site but were created in their own setting, more or less distant from this type of site. In-situ projects have already been launched. For example, a mapping was created on the Porte de Briançon, “Ceux d'ici”, with and about the inhabitants of the fortified village. It was played in 2019 and 2021 and is updated every two years with new shots, integrated into the current version.

The desire of the municipality of Mont-Dauphin, in the near future, is to create a place of residence for artists, and a theatre of greenery. The European professional companies welcomed in the village will thus be more easily open to amateurs.

For several years, Ascen-Danse has been creating with amateur dancers from its school or the inhabitants of Mont-Dauphin; his contemporary dance is influenced by various ways (Cunningham, Graham, Pina Bausch, Peter Goos, Gallotta, theatre, circus, vertical dance, Feldenkrais, Alexander, Body Mind Centering…). Creations with contemporary choreographers were created (revival of “3 generations” by Gallotta, Sylvie Guillermin, Tango contemporary dance Mattias Tripodi…). Creative workshops have lead to in situ shows (Collégiate church in Briançon, Salettes Fort in Briançon, Embrun Cathedral).


The aim of the project :

Mont-Dauphin, France, is a very appropriate place to experience dance : this cultural heritage, opened on nature, protected by ramparts allows to find out our essence. You can create with natural and mineral material.

The idea is to propose experience of dance creation with the audience in this framework, using the benefit of his popularity.

The visitors, the inhabitants will be suggested to become dancers.

The students of school dance and their circle will be proposed to become spectators.

Spectators will be proposed to become active and change their gaze as viewer.

In that purpose, compagnies will provide :

  • ephemeral creation opened to anyone, video captured and diffused
  • creation with amateurs, video captured and diffused
  • Interactiv show and stroll
  • Formal and informal meetings between beneficiaries of the creation experiments, viewers, choregraphers, profesionnal and non professionnal dancers, amateurs, dance students,…

The experiments will make it possible to question:

- How to create with dancers of various level, discipline, habits, different from the framework given during the training of professional dancers?

- How to create with non-professional dancers? How to take into account the diversity of mode of practice, history of practice?

- How should the diversity of cultural influences on dance and its practice (traditional dances, urban dances, spiritual dances, etc.) be taken into account ? What porosity and reciprocity between the different influences in the context of creation?

- How to make the stress of outdoor representation an asset for creation, emotional fusion and public/practical decompartmentalization?

The exchange of ideas and practices between partners will take place through : artistic residency, workshops, joint shows, and in situ formal and informal meetings, conferences/debate (webinar or face-to-face), report

Why to undertake the project ?

To increase the audience (viewers and dancers) : The decline in audience attendance by new generations requires reinventing the cultural experience by reaching the audience reaching the public where they live or travel and where they are in their experience of dance.

To demystify contemporary dance: Body practice is a necessity for our sedentary societies. The sensitive is to be recreated in a society that protects itself. The search for immediacy in learning can lead the population to turn away from contemporary dance for practices that seem easier, but that make less sense. Contemporary dance, on the other hand, opens on the creative, on the imaginary, on the sensitive. It opens our relationship with other people, with space, with time, with music.

To allow anyone to practice a dance related to his cultural experience or choice.

How can we bring to the experience of contemporary dance a greater part of the population, regardless of culture, body, age, gender and previous practice ?

Partenaire(s) recherché(s)

- An university or an observatory : report and conference/debate on the teachings and feelings of the experiment and ( to precise with the partner) : the history of the emotional and creative relationship between dancers/choreographers and heritage/landscape ; inventory of in situ creation and difficulties encountered; inventory of creation with amateurs/inhabitants/ audience and difficulties encountered ; the collection of the representation of the place of life and creation, as well as of dance, for inhabitants and dancers …

- A or any dance companies, a dance school or a cultural / dance center : creative experimentation in the heart of Mont-Dauphin and experimenting with new forms of creation with visitors, locals, dance students, viewers, from different culture, age, body , gender, previous practice…

From all Europe


Artistic and educational direction : Isabelle Bazin Mazuel / 0(0 33) 6 62 12 30 38
Project governance : Anne Bouchon / 0(0 33) 6 30 77 49 91

Europe Créative
Coopération - petite échelle
Spectacle vivant - Danse