Founder of the Parallèle production centre in Marseille where she is director, Lou Colombani has been involved in emerging practices for 15 years. Her mantra: that contemporary creation should not have to set aside its artistic demands to meet the constraints of production. The festival, which runs from 24 January to 1 February, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. A fine achievement for its director's 40th birthday.
Lou Colombani knows the stage well: she practised dramatic arts as a child before studying drama and stage writing at Aix-Marseille University.
It was to provide solutions to the sector's problems, particularly those affecting young artists, that she decided get involved with programming and set up the Parallèle festival in 2006 after graduating. First a biennial, the now annual Parallèle Festival has gradually been enriched by having a permanent structure. It is celebrating its 10th edition in January 2020.
Lou Colombani conceived Parallèle as “a space for oxygenation of thought”. This production and broadcasting platform works as much to develop and support the new generation of artists as to renew the forms and languages of live performances (theatre, dance, performance, visual art, music). "Today, we do not restrict ourselves to one discipline: artists have mixed practices, and we must support them as they are.”
Alongside collaborators such as Francesca Corona, the artistic director of L’Officina – a Marseille production workshop which Parallèle has just merged with – Lou Colombani seeks out all opportunities to find new blood, including outside France.
The festival is constantly expanding internationally, both through its programming and through its involvement in various co-operation projects, such as Be My Guest, which brings together 12 European partners who co-produce three or four artists each year, and Festivals of the Future, which brings together five festivals to reflect on new event models.
Lou Colombani has also signed up Parallèle as the lead for More Than This, where five festivals open their programming to others, experimenting with hosting a partner. In January 2020, Parallèle is hosting the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival from Palestine.
Lou Colombani graduated with a Master 2 in Dramaturgy and Scenic Writing from Aix-Marseille University.
Lou Colombani launched the first Parallèle Festival dedicated to emerging creativity.
Parallèle became an annual festival and an international production platform for live shows, with Lou Colombani as its director and programmer.
Lou Colombani began teaching cultural projects at Aix-Marseille University.
Lou Colombani merged Parallèle with Officina.
Be my guest, European network to which Parallèle belongs, is supported by the Institut français.
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