Review of the Cannes – Côte d’Azur Dance Festival France 2023: A celebration of the world’s dancing diversity

from November 24 to December 10, 2023

From November 24 to December 10, the Cannes – Côte d’Azur France 2023 Dance Festival dazzled dance professionals and enthusiasts alike, offering a symphony of movement, culture and discovery under the inspiring artistic direction of Didier Deschamps.

Published on 12 December 2023
Didier DeschampsDidier Deschamps
©Didier Deschamps
What Didier Deschamps had to say

“For nearly three weeks, Cannes and the Côte d’Azur lived to the rhythms of Dance. Accompanied by the festival’s formidable teams, each artist offered us a singular vision of the world, its beauties and its questionings, with as many ways of thinking about movement, mobilizing the body and sharing emotions and sometimes astonishments with us.

Dance was deployed on the stages of theaters, but in Cannes it was also in the public space, on facades and screens… Intense moments of sharing and celebration:
This is the Body,
This is the Heart,
This is Cannes!”

Didier Deschamps, Festival Artistic Director

With the complicity of 8 Côte d’Azur cultural structures united around the Palais des Festivals de Cannes, Anthéa – Antibes, Forum Jacques Prévert – Carros, Scène 55 – Mougins, Théâtre Le Forum – Fréjus, Théâtres en Dracénie – Draguignan, Théâtre de Grasse, Théâtre La Licorne – Cannes La Bocca, Théâtre national de Nice, the event covers an essential aspect of contemporary artistic creation dear to the city of Cannes, which focuses on the links between dance and cinema, innovative arts that develop common issues: movement, space, rhythm, the body.

Diversity and openness

This year’s edition proved to be a hymn to diversity, bringing together 27 companies from 13 countries to celebrate the richness of choreographic expression.
Each dance company invited over the three weeks brilliantly showcased the vibrancy of contemporary dance, to invariably capture the essence of our humanity.


Transdisciplinarity and discovery

Exploring the boundaries between dance and other artistic disciplines was at the heart of the festival, highlighting cross-over performances between dance, circus, singing, music, but also cinema and new technologies…offering an immersive and captivating experience.

Training and education

At the heart of this celebration, the spotlight was on youth, with dazzling performances by France’s five national dance schools, who opened the Festival on November 24.
The week dedicated to these five schools was a time for sharing, reflection and teaching, underlining the importance of training and integrating future professionals.
The Festival, as part of the 100% EAC program set up by the City of Cannes, is continuing its work to develop tomorrow’s audiences. From the start of the 2023 school year, students in Cannes will be able to take part in workshops to practice and develop their visual awareness, with dancers and choreographers programmed at the Festival coming to their schools.

The Festival is a major contributor to the development of tomorrow’s audiences.

Unique creations

The festival featured world and French premieres, offering a striking panorama of artistic diversity. New pieces were created, blending contemporary themes with traditional expressions, creating unique artistic experiences by taking over 13 stages in the region, including more or less surprising places in the urban space, to reach out to all audiences.

MOV'IN CANNES: Dance in the spotlight - a successful premiere

The international dance film competition, MOV’IN Cannes, celebrated dance through the cinematic lens, offering a platform for filmmakers and directors to capture the essence of movement.

The winners of this first edition were awarded prizes by a jury of directors, choreographers and dance professionals chaired by Mathilda May, author, director and actress.

Creative residency for 1 week in Cannes, Bastide Rouge cluster dedicated to the creative economy and image professions, within the Georges Méliès Campus.

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Awarding of a €5,000 creation grant by the Ministry of Culture – Direction générale de la création artistique (DGCA) – Délégation à la danse.
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Programmed as part of the program of the Cineum, partner of the event.
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Invitation to the winner to conduct a master class in Cannes in 2024 with students from the BTS audiovisuel and the Université Côte d’Azur.

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Projection as part of the programming of the Cineum, partner of the event.

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Commitment and international influence

Since 1985, the Festival de Danse Cannes – Côte d’Azur France has been committed to promoting dance as a major art form, offering a diverse and accessible program. Its international reach has made it a benchmark in the global choreographic landscape.

This edition, piloted by Didier Deschamps, was not only a vibrant testament to different cultures and artistic expressions, but also a celebration of the art of dance in all its diversity. The Festival de Danse Cannes – Côte d’Azur France 2023 will remain engraved as an ode to universal creativity, open-mindedness and a passion for dance without borders.

Festival 2023 in figures

  • 15,000 festival-goers welcomed including 175 professionals and 34 journalists from the national and international press.
  • New in 2023: 1 international dance film competition MOV’IN Cannes: 18 films selected and screened from the 111 works received
  • 27 invited international companies from 13 countries
  • 252 performers
  • 15 creations 2023 including 3 world premieres, 3 French premieres
  • 37 performances (22 performances in Cannes and 15 performances in partner theaters)
  • 8 partner theatres alongside Cannes’ Palais des Festivals: ANTHEA (Antibes), FORUM JACQUES PREVERT (Carros), SCENE 55 (Mougins), THEATRE DE GRASSE, THEATRE NATIONAL DE NICE, THEATRE LE FORUM, ESTEREL COTE D’AZUR (Fréjus), THEATRES EN DRACENIE (Draguignan), THEATRE DE LA LICORNE (Cannes)
  • 13 stages across the region, including 5 free performances in public spaces: façade du Cineum, place Roubaud, parvis du Palais des Festivals
  • 4 film screenings
  • 6 master classes including 1 GAGA Classe and 1 Master Class “Danse et Cinéma”
  • 1 colloquium “Comment rencontrer une œuvre de danse? “
  • 1 round table “Integration and training of young dancers”
  • 1 platform of the Studiotrade European network
  • 1 seminar “Transmission of a creative process”

Ahead of the Festival, awareness-raising initiatives:

  • 2 touring shows in 18 schools and universities to raise awareness among 1,600 young people
  • 6 dance practice workshops for around 100 students and young dancers

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