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Wayne McGregor the Lions and the College in Venice

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By Francesca Pedroni 16/02/2021
Wayne McGregor the Lions and the College in Venice
Wayne McGregor, Venice Biennale (ph. Andrea Avezzu)

VENICE In the clip Wayne McGregor, director of La Biennale di Venezia Dance Department, tells to Francesca Pedroni the Lions for Dance 2021 and the main goal of the Festival and the College, a professional development program across the span of three months, open to 20 dancers and 5 dancers-choreographers, 30 years old and under.

Germaine Acogny, "the mother of contemporary African Dance", is the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Dance 2021. The Northern-Irish dancer and choreographer Oona Doherty, a compelling voice on the European scene, has been awarded the Silver Lion.

Here the motivation of the Golden Lion: "Germaine Acogny is an artist of the highest quality and integrity. Her contribution to the training of young people in performance and choreography alongside the wide dissemination of her work in her country and in the world has made her a major individual force in the development of our art form. Acogny believes in the power of dance to change lives and has been committed to sharing her passion as an act of transformation and regeneration”.

Oona Doherty, based in Belfast, will receive the Silver Lion for this reason: “Doherty’s interests, passions and singular outlier instincts – writes McGregor – have never gelled with the establishment dance world. Inspired by club culture and ‘informal’ dancing Doherty has refined her craft through trial and error, her approach unorthodox, creative, raw and brave. What is significant about her work is how it reaches out and speaks to many who would not normally come to the theatre. Her dances communicate across boundaries and demographics in arrows straight to the heart. She has an exceptional gift in working with non - dancers and local communities, often integrating them into her touring productions with great insight and humanity. This award will remind the world that there is no one way to become a great artist. Art sits within you and will always out”. 

At the 15th International Festival of Contemporary Dance of La Biennale di Venezia, to be held July 23rd through August 1st, Germaine Acogny will present the Italian premiere of her most recent solo piece Somewhere at the beginning, a journey touching on sensitive themes in which her personal history interlaces with collective events; Oona Doherty will bring Hard to Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer, her famous second work, for its Italian premiere performance.

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