A Défilé for Peace

Sunday 16 september, from 2.30pm, rue de la République, des Terreaux à Bellecour


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Presentation of the Defilé


"In the tradition of a certain Lyon-rooted humanism, the Défilé has since 1996 been a place for coming together and sharing; for civic values; and for celebrating amateur practices in their most noble sense – of artistic quality serving social inclusion, citizens having their say in public through an artistic act, and paying special care to involving the most fragile members of society. For more than 20 years, the Défilé has been part of the policy to showcase working-class neighbourhoods and their residents, while promoting and embodying a social, generational and geographic mix." - Dominique Hervieu

The Défilé is a choreographed parade which, every two years, brings together 4,500 amateur participants aged 10 to 80, from more than 500 municipalities across the region, supervised by 250 professional artists under choreographers’ direction. The Défilé thus makes it possible to run year-long artistic-practice workshops that foster interaction between amateurs and professionals in the fields of dance, music, song, and the design and making of costumes, sets, props, etc. The rich quality of these workshops stems from the diversity of the partnerships led in local areas over a long period by the project sponsors, who ensure a mix of participants (ages, origins, social background).
Hundreds of charities and thousands of people are thus the driving force of an incredible dynamic that reaches far beyond the event's organisers and politicians, and which has given rise to the expression, coined by political scientist Philippe Dujardin, of "rituel d’agglomération" (a play on 'agglomération', i.e. a metropolitan-scale ritual with a bonding function – Translator’s Note).

The Défilé has established itself over the years as an exemplary event that epitomises:

  • the relationship between artists and neighbourhood residents
  • the cultural component of urban-cohesion policy
  • the connection between the worlds of culture and socio-professional integration
  • Lyon’s specific dance-related identity and expertise.


The Défilé originally flowed from the fusion of three things:

  • an Artistic Director’s idea: while visiting samba schools in Brazil, Guy Darmet thought of opening the 1996 Biennale with a dance parade; and of inviting inhabitants from neighbourhoods across the metropolitan area to show the public in the centre of the central city, in the symbolic artery of Rue de the République what they had prepared with artists over a number of months;
  • an artistic and cultural context: the very strong development, especially in the Lyon area, of all dance forms derived from hip-hop, whose now-recognised leading exponents (Accrorap, Käfig, Traction Avant Cie, Azanie…) all hail from the outskirts of Lyon; this emergence was backed from 1992 onwards by cultural stakeholders (theatres, Maison de la Danse) and public authorities (Ministry of Culture, local authorities), primarily through the Danse Ville Danse events programme;
  • a socio-political context: the national "Projets Culturels de Quartiers" programme, which prefigured the cultural component of urban-cohesion policy and aimed to bring artists and residents of so-called "sensitive" neighbourhoods together to work on quality arts projects.

In charge of the event’s general and financial organisation is a Steering Committee chaired by Mme Myriam Picot, Lyon Métropole Vice-President for Culture. It comprises the Dance Biennale and the Défilé’s partners: Lyon Métropole, central government (Prefecture, DRAC, DIRECCTE), Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council, Lyon City Council, Maison Lyon pour l’Emploi, Caisse des Dépôts.


the calendar


The Groups


12 groups from the county

4,500 amateurs from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region bring together their talents, their styles and their universes and invite you to attend an exceptional parade!




Join us in Place Bellecour for an outstanding finale!


Orphéon*La compagnie vocale


Artists from Orphéon*La Compagnie Vocale, together with 300 amateur singers from choirs around the city and 30 beneficiaries and volunteers from the region’s non-profit organisation Petits Frères des Pauvres, are directed by Philippe Forget. Voices celebrate both the spirit of brotherhood and re-discovered, desired and long-awaited Peace: professional and amateur artists join hands to bring you immortal music from the most renowned opera arias and the most beautiful refrains of the Beatles and Serge Gainsbourg. A timeless, immense human and vocal fresco, full of emotion, includes diverse classics such as Bizet’s Carmen, American composer Philip Glass and Gainsbourg’s silky-smooth Javanaise. Let’s hope, dream and dance with the Biennale.

Musical director Philippe Forget
Piano Sylvaine Carlier
Soprano Claire Nicolas
Mezzo-soprano Landy Andriamboavonjy & Delphine Terrier
Works by Serge Gainsbourg, Georges Bizet, Léo Delibes, Philip Glass, John Lennon
Choirs Chœur de la Buissière, Chœur franco-allemand, Chœur Prélude, Chœur d'oratorio, Chœur Romantico, Chœur-atelier MADE iN, GRAP, Les Chœurs s'emmèlent, Les Maristyles & Les Voix en aparté

Yoann Bourgeois 

Passants (creation)

CCN2-Centre Chorégraphique National de Grenoble

Yoann Bourgeois invites you to the Défilé finale in Place Bellecour to enjoy a profoundly poetic experience with Passants, a variation of Fugue / Trampoline - Variation n°4. Initially created for four performers, the piece is staged here in a new form by 21 amateurs. "With its infinite movement, a revolving spiral staircase describes an invisible coil in the air. The structure is composed of invisible doors and undetectable hatches that enable bodies to appear and disappear. I hope to call on a multitude of individuals and walk with them gradually from bottom to top and from top to bottom, step by step. An uninterrupted series of entrances and exits will reveal the range of our humanity throughout this continuous sequence." Yoann Bourgeois

Conception and direction Yoann Bourgeois
With Yoann Bourgeois, Damien Droin, Emilien Janneteau, Lucas Struna and 21 amateurs from the Nord-Isère area
Scenography Yoann Bourgeois et Goury Sound Antoine Garry 

Let’s dance and sing together! 

Imagine 15,000 people dancing and singing together…

To end the day’s festivities, Dominique Hervieu and Philippe Forget with the Orphéon*La Compagnie Vocale and a choir of 300 amateur singers from the city, invite you to sing and dance with them to Imagine, John Lennon’s universal anthem, which was voted song of the century!

Learn the choreography and the song !


 A l'école du Défilé


In partnership with the arts and culture unit of the Lyon area education authority

Many artists are engaging with pupils to raise their awareness of arts practice and get them involved in the Défilé adventure.
Dance, plastic arts, circus – from tasters to school-wide projects, and from the major schemes of urban-cohesion policy to rural villages, the Défilé is reaching out to young people.


Bron : Collège Théodore Monod, Collège Picasso
Bugey Sud : Ecole Jean Ferrat (Belley), Ecole de Ceyzérieu, Ecole de Brégnier-Cordon, Ecole de Groslée, Collèges du Valromey (Artemare), Henri Dunant (Culoz), Sabine Zlatin (Belley), Lycée général et technologique du Bugey & Lycée professionnel du Bugey (Belley)
Feyzin : Collège Frédéric Mistral
Lyon : Lycée Professionnel Louise Labé (7e)
Saint-Fons : Collège Alain
Savoie & Haute-Savoie : Ecole du Biollay (Chambéry), Ecoles du Châtelet, du Salève, les Voirons (Gaillard), Collège Jacques Prévert (Gaillard), Lycée et CFA Gabriel Fauré (Annecy)
Trièves & Matheysine : Ecole primaire de Mens, Lycée de la Matheysine (La Mure)
Vaulx-en-Velin : Collège Henri Barbusse
Vénissieux : Collège Honoré de Balzac, Lycée Professionnel Marc Seguin
Vienne & agglomération : Collège Ponsard, Lycée polyvalent Galilée
Villeurbanne : Collège les Iris, Collège Môrice Leroux


The Second Chance School

Unqualified students go backstage at the DÉFILÉ: A TAILORED INTEGRATION PROJECT

The E2C (“second chance school”) in the Rhône Lyon Métropole area is aimed at 18 to 25 year olds who left the secondary education system without a qualification more than a year previously, and at 25 to 30 year old recipients of the basic living allowance (RSA).

E2C is conducting a school-wide project throughout 2018: students are doing placements with Défilé players (choreographers, participants, project sponsors, costume makers, etc.) and making short films on behind-the-scene Défilé activities. 

The project, funded by the Groupe EDF foundation, enables the E2C interns to play an active Défilé role that builds self-esteem, and to acquire skills that will then help them along their professional pathway.



  • La Métropole de Lyon
  • La Préfecture du Rhône
  • Le Commissariat général à l’égalité des territoires
  • Le ministère de la Culture (DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes)
  • La Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes


  • La Caisse des Dépôts


  • Fondation Groupe EDF


  • Ardelaine, Benaud Créations, Bouton Renaud - Velours de Lyon, Dutel Créations, ESF - European Stretch Fabrics, Frich’Market, GB Textiles, La Maison des Canuts, Piment Bleu, Richard, Soieries Cheval, Tex’Perfect, La Tribu des oiseaux, Vieille Usine


  • Les services de la Ville de Lyon et de la Métropole de Lyon
  • Mission Insertion Culture d’ALLIES / Maison Lyon pour l’Emploi
  • DIRECCTE Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
  • Police Nationale
  • Police Municipale
  • Service Départemental-Métropolitain d’Incendie et de Secours

Espace Participants

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