First imagined in 2010 by Boris Charmatz, director of the Musée de la Danse in Rennes (2009-2018) and the Terrain dance company, and Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, director of the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, with support from the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès, Danse Élargie is open to artists of all disciplines and nationalities via an online call for projects. Twenty or so finalists are selected among the hundreds of applicants to perform on the stage of the Théâtre de la Ville in front of a panel of international artists and an enthusiastic audience over a weekend in June. The rules of the competition are at once simple and original: a minimum of three performers, working in any mode of artistic expression, for a maximum of ten minutes.
While the prize winners receive a financial award, every finalist receives support to raise the profile of their work. In September of the year following the competition, Focus Jeunes Chorégraphes Danse Élargie is organised by the Théâtre de la Ville. This initiative, which is similarly supported by the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès, gives a selection of artists the opportunity to perform their work in professional conditions, opening the season at the Théâtre des Abbesses.
Since 2022, the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès and its partner institutions have also offered residencies that seek to help finalists consolidate their practices. A selection of artists are invited to develop in greater depth the works they have previously presented in the competition, refining them so that they can be presented in professional settings. The residencies are spread across a range of partner institutions, so as to encourage encounters between artists and different regions, professional contexts and creative peers. This scheme enables emerging artists to take part in a series of residencies that provide vital support to the development of their work and their careers.
Edition after edition, Danse Élargie has confirmed its role as a springboard for emerging talent from all horizons and whose scenic languages transcend disciplinary boundaries. Artists including Mithkal Alzghair, Mohamed El Khatib, Tatiana Julien, Simon Tanguy, Noé Soulier, Leïla Ka and (LA)HORDE all received critical attention thanks to this unique competition, which has been supported since its launch by the Foundation as part of its Artists in the Community programme.