CIEN
 
 
 
A Cultural Newsletter
 

Pick of the month  | December 2018 - January 2019

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Escalade

 

 

L’Escalade

Geneva’s Popular Historic Winter Pageant

You aren’t a true Genevois, or even an adopted one, unless you’ve gone through the early winter ritual of L’Escalade and all its ancient and modern traditions. The event: a treacherous (and obviously failed) attempt in 1602 by the hereditary enemy, the Savoyards, to scale the city walls under cover of winter darkness. It’s a bit like Halloween (Schoolkids running around in disguise? Check!), a bit like Thanksgiving (Pilgrims’ period costume parade? Check!) and the closest thing Geneva has to a national day, with a mass sporting event thrown in for good measure (gotta work off all that chocolate and marzipan…). Check out all the details in English below.

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1 - 14 December

 
Check this out
 
Blue Moves / Rudi van der Merve

Blue Moves / Rudi van der Merve

Dance

Belgian dancer and choreographer Rudi van der Merve comes to the adc with a collection of blues guitars standards to present a danced road movie for 4 dancers, who will also be asked to sing the blues, not just move them. The music’s painful past of racial and social injustice inspires his choreography. Blue Moves is “woke”: radically and constantly aware that the entitlement of some is the disenfranchisement of others. Van der Merve plays freely with the associations around the word “blue” to inspire his dance with melancholy, emotion, the sky, the sea, “blue” movies, the light slide of the blue note.



 

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5 - 16 December | adc - Salle des Eaux-Vives

 
Buster Keaton : The General

Buster Keaton : The General
 

Music, Silent Film

A cinema screening of Buster Keaton’s The General (1927) is already an event in and of itself. But when you add a concert-house organ and a great organist to improvise on it, it’s simply unmissable. Church organists like Thomas Ospital are often required to fill time by improvising on hymn tunes and such. But on this occasion, the titular organist of the great Parisian church of Saint-Eustache has a much more exciting theme: providing a musical backdrop for one of the masterpieces of American silent cinema, the story of Johnnie Gray, locomotive engineer during the Civil War, and his two great loves, his girl Annabelle Lee and his locomotive “The General”.

 

 

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16 December | Victoria Hall

 
 

Exclusively Contemporary

100 years of the Swiss Graphic Society

The Cabinet d’Arts Graphiques is an extramural part of the Art and History Museums, situated in the beautiful townhouses facing Promenade du Pin in the Old Town. Since the Renaissance, Geneva has been famous for its elegant printing; the Cabinet is a sign of this dedication to the graphic arts and the arts on paper. It is currently celebrating the first 100 years of the Swiss Graphic Society with an exhibition: “Exclusively Contemporary”. Works on show range from early 20th century figurative engravings and prints to early 21st century experiments in printmaking with photography and space. A great perspective on a form of art in which the Swiss excel.

 

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Until 3 February 2019 | Cabinet d’Arts Graphiques

 
Exclusivement contemporain
 
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Tender is night

Tender Is the Night
 

Science Exhibition

Prolonged by popular demand until April 2019, don’t miss the Museum of Natural History’s beautiful exhibition about the night. The impact of human activity on the daily cycle of day and night is having a seriously negative impact on our already fragile ecosystems. Walk through the darkened corridors of the Museum of Natural History to discover the richness and beauty of nocturnal animal life and how it is threatened by light and noise pollution, which also affect human health and well-being. Turn off the lights and don’t be afraid of the dark!


 

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Already open (until 14 April 2019) 
Natural History Museum

 
Winter Prelude – Botanical Garden

Winter Prelude – Botanical Garden

Symbol And Sentiment In Winter Plant Life

You think the Botanical Garden grinds to a halt in winter? Think again! The trees may be bare and the flower beds empty, but the Botanical Garden is ready to let the holly and the ivy (and maybe a couple of hothouse poinsettias) flourish with all the emotions of the holiday season. The latest instalment of the “Symbols and Feelings: Secrets of Plant Life” series, features an exhibition about the flowers and plants associated with Christmas, as well as a light-and-sound show on the botanical magic of the winter solstice, every evening from Thursday to Friday. Festive opening on 6 December at 6PM.

 

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1 December 2018 - 3 February 2019 
Botanical Garden and Conservatory of Geneva

 
We're inspired
 
Messiah

Messiah

Classical Music

All over the English-speaking world, at Christmas, people will attend a performance of Handel’s Messiah, or even perform in one of hundreds of amateur productions from Auckland, NZ to Zeballos, BC. Geneva’s Messiah, appropriately performed in the monument to local Anglophilia that is the Victoria Hall, will be a thing of beauty. Local Baroque and early music ensemble Gli Angeli, directed by Stephan MacLeod (who will also sing the bass arias) performs Handel’s story of the birth, passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ with a (very!) small choir and band that favour grace and virtuosity over nuclear-grade Hallelujah choruses.

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15 December | Victoria Hall

 
Nigel Kennedy and Friends

Nigel Kennedy and Friends

Classical Music, Fusion, Jazz

Two million discs sold and thirty years have passed since virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy and his punk hairdo shook up the classical music world. He’s thickened out a little since but the iconoclastic and eccentric energy is still there. After sharing the stage with musical greats like Paul McCartney or Kate Bush, he’s back in Geneva with his mates. “Bach meets Kennedy meets Gershwin”, the title of his show says it all. Nigel Kennedy channels the spirit of his old master Stéphane Grapelli and dives into the hot fusion of classical music and jazz.

 

 

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18 December | Victoria Hall

 
Viva la Mamma!
 

Viva la Mamma!

Opera

The real title of this joyous little farce penned in 1831 by Gaetano Donizetti is “The Conveniences and Inconveniences of the Theatre” but with a punchy second title like “Viva la Mamma!” who cares? The rehearsals of a rather dreary play are going nowhere fast, and the stage visit of one of the performers’ mother drags the whole production into a merry mess. Key word, drag: the character of Mamma Agata is performed by a bass baritone, gussied up like the most respectable pantomime dame. A stellar cast (Laurent Naouri and Patrizia Ciofi) and the endearing stage world of Laurent Pelly make for a hilarious holiday season entertainment. Gergely Madaras directs the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève.

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21 December 2018 - 3 January 2019 
Opéra des Nations

 
Daniel Linehan - dbddbb

Daniel Linehan - dbddbb

Dance

Daniel Linehan began his career with very playful performances in New York, in the early 2000s. After moving to Brussels, he became interested in the relationship between text, especially sound poetry, and movement. With these Dadaist word compositions, he creates pieces like dbddbb, an a capella piece for five walkers, something like a dance concert, with a title that’s got sound, graphic construction, and a rhythm, like Dadaist poetry, all at once. The choreography is built on knot of possibilities. What gives the beat when you speak while walking? The voice? The body? The swaying of the rhythm in the words?
 

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16 - 18 January | adc - Salle des Eaux-Vives

 
Three Sisters

Three Sisters

Theatre

The Comédie de Genève pursues its love affair with Russian theatre in January with another very out-of-the-ordinary production of Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters. Here comes a dramatic troupe from Siberia, who performs in sign language, because they want to “convey the poetry of Chekov without opening their mouths”, expressing instead “the deafening noise of emotion”. Without words (but thankfully with Russian and English surtitles), Timofei Kulyabin’s actors lay bare the issues and motives of the play. An unconventional, subtle and striking performance.

 

 

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17 - 27 January 2019 | Theâtre du Loup

 
 

Département
de la culture et du sport

Route de Malagnou 19, 1208 Genève