Emma Terno

Creation should not impart but embody, by offering the audience a multiple choice of perspectives

Emma Terno is a choreographer, dancer and visual artist. She sees the body as an experimental laboratory that she submits to acoustic and virtual techniques in order to confront us with our own habits and sensations. She exhibited WONDERBOX (2020) at CHRONIQUES, the Biennale of Digital Imagination.

Updated on 02/03/2021

2 min

Emma Terno is a multidisciplinary artist, originally from Monaco. After studying dance at the Princess Grace Academy, she began to attend the Villa Arson in Nice in 2009. Though she enjoyed the climate of “The Rock”, she headed for Switzerland, gaining a bachelor's degree in Visual Arts at the École Cantonale d'Art de Lausanne (ECAL) in 2012, followed by a master’s in Stage Practices at the Haute École des Arts de Berne (HKB) two years later. She also trained in electro-acoustic music as the Rainier III Academy in Monaco.

A professional dancer, Terno creates pieces based on the theme of the mechanical body and movement. For the 2019/2020 season, she took up a residency at the laboratory for the incubation and exploration of new hybrid forms of writing, LIPS – Laboratoire in(ter)disciplinaire de prototypes scéniques & sonores – at the GRAME (National Centre for Musical Creation) in Lyon as part of the Biennale of Exploratory Music.

Terno’s work is an eclectic blend of versatile media and movements. She sees the body as a laboratory for experimentation and work. Dance and performance enable her to link technology with one of her preferred media, whether video, sound or drawing. She is interested in the mechanics of bodily movement and brings them face to face with new technologies, thereby studying our habits and sensations, as in WONDERBOX (2020), a multi-sensory choreographic, audio and immersive piece that borrows as much from escape games as from anthropological experience. In this piece the viewers, accompanied by three performers, are invited to take part through movement or by taking hold of objects, thus affecting the outcome.

Terno has mostly exhibited and performed her pieces in France, Switzerland (as part of the SKILT Festival from 2011 to 2013) and Italy, at the Racconti di Altre Danze festival in Livorno in 2016, where she performed Yodel (2016). Her collaborations have led her to work with the dancer and contemporary dance choreographer Margarita Bagel, and to perform at the Tanztheater Wuppertal in Germany. The artist is currently working on choreographic projects in Switzerland at the Casino Théâtre de Rolle, where she has been given carte blanche.

  • 1988


    Born in Monaco

  • 2009


    Student at the Villa Arson in Nice

  • 2014


    Gains a master’s in Stage Practices at the HKB in Berne

  • 2019


    Creative dancer and artist at the Biennale of Exploratory Music at the LIPS-GRAME Residency in Lyon

  • 2020


    Artist and dancer for the opera “Les Huguenots”, performed at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. Exhibits WONDERBOX at CHRONIQUES, the Biennale of Digital Imagination

  • 2021


    She plays the show "Snow on her lips" by Sebastian Rivas with the GRAME

The Institut français and the artist

With WONDERBOX (2020), Emma Terno was programmed as part of Chroniques, the Biennale of Digital Imagination (taking place from 12 November 2020 to 17 January 2021). The Institut français is a partner of Chroniques with the Focus digital arts and creations. 

Find out more about the Focus digital arts and creations. 

L'institut français, LAB