Planted in the 17th century at the behest of Louis XIV, the Potager du Roi now serves as the exceptional backdrop for the annual Plastique Danse Flore festival. The weekend-long event fosters a dialogue between heritage and contemporary creativity based on our relationship to the landscape. For the festival’s founder, dancer Frédéric Seguette, this is at the very heart of the event, anchored in physical experiences of the landscape: it is not only about seeing the landscape, but of experiencing it through the five senses. The multidisciplinary programme combines choreographic performances, installations, screenings and guided visits. Besides the invited artists and dancers, the event brings together gardeners and the students of the École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage, which since 1976 has been housed in the gardens of Versailles. Artists, gardeners, students, spectators and visitors all find a place at this unique event.
Since its beginnings in 2007, Plastique Danse Flore has honoured major figures from the world of dance, including Anna Halprin, Vaslay Nijinski, Steve Paxton and Odile Duboc. François Chaignaud and Cécilia Bengoléa, Emmanuelle Huynh, Claudia Triozzi, Myriam Gourfink, Vera Mantero, Yaïr Barelli, Noé Soulier, Philippe Quesne, Jennifer Lacey, Volmir Cordeiro and Gaëlle Bourges are among the long list of contemporary dancers who have come to present new work or rework pre-existing pieces in this unique open-air context. And Vincent Ganivet, Virginie Yassef, Seulgi Lee, Aurélie Godard and Felice Varini are among the visual artists who have been invited to create sculptures in situ.
The Potager du Roi also hosts a range of events throughout the year for the public and school parties. Creative residencies have been developed as well as a non-profit organization, Nos Lieux Communs, which brings together and promotes the work of several cultural bodies working in natural spaces, unusual sites and remarkable gardens.