Throughout the year, the Rencontres encourage moments of discovery and sharing through a range of artistic outreach projects across the region. Specifically conceived in dialogue with partner organisations, each project is directed by an artist and focuses on the transmission of choreographic savoir-faire. Workshops, conferences, and introductory sessions both theoretical and practical are held at locations ranging from primary schools to universities and from community and social centres to retirement homes. These sites yield fruitful encounters between participants and artists that give rise to original collective works.
The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès has supported and accompanied the Rencontres since 2010, in a reflection of its credo, “our gestures define us”. In 2018, the Foundation supported five projects that addressed people from migrant backgrounds. At the Maison du Temps Libre in Stains, Thomas Chopin organised weekly workshops that brought together teenagers and their parents on a theme of authority and rebellion. At several community centres in Aubervilliers, the Kivuko company explored the question of time through choreographic workshops. In Saint-Denis, Paula Pi’s workshop at a centre for recent migrants questioned relationships with the other and with difference, whilst the choreographer and lighting designer Gaëtan Brun-Picard evoked notions of memory and kinship with primary school students who had recently arrived in France. In Montreuil, Elodie Escarmelle and video artist Kostia Testut worked with non-French-speaking adults and people with limited literacy to develop a project exploring the status of women in contemporary society.