In the presence of Federal President Alain Berset, the Federal Office of Culture awarded the Swiss Performing Arts Prizes for the third time on 6 October 2023 at the LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura.
Participation of Accademia’s alumni and students
Member of the federal theatre jury: Demis Quadri, researcher and professor at the Accademia Dimitri
June Johnson Newcomer Prize
© BAK / Charlotte Krieger
Marc Oosterhoff, born in 1990 in Yverdon-les-Bains, creates noteworthy productions halfway between contemporary circus, magic, theater and dance. In 2012 he received a bachelor’s degree in Physical Theatre from the Accademia Dimitri; he then left for China where he studied martial arts. After working for a few years as an actor, in 2014 Marc Oosterhoff entered La Manufacture University School of Performing Arts in Lausanne, where he enrolled in the Contemporary Dance course, earning his bachelor’s degree in 2016. In 2017, he founded his company Cie Moost. In 2020, he performed at the Momix Festival in France and with his first solo “Take Care of Yourself” won the Jury Prize as the young artist in the competition. In 2021, the Fondation Vaudoise pour la Culture gave him an award as an emerging artist. As part of the heritage-related project “Choreographers at Work!”, Mona de Weerdt and Michelle Ettlin dedicated a documentary to Oosterhoff and the development of “Lab Rats.”
“Take Care of Yourself” (2016) is the first in a small series of pieces signed by Marc Oosterhoff. The short solo, presented as part of “Les Quarts d’Heure” at Théâtre Sévelin 36, stages the concept of physical risk and was selected in 2018 for Reso’s Tanzfaktor-Tour – Swiss Dance Network – and in 2021 was presented at the Swiss Selection in Avignon. In 2017 and 2018, Oosterhoff created two outdoor performances in collaboration with breakdancer Cédric Gagneur: “Palette(s)” and “La Caresse des pavés.” With circus artist Owen Winship he staged “Lab Rats” (2017), with two other circus artists “Natures Mortes” (2021). On the occasion of the opening of Plateform 10, Lausanne’s arts hub, he was given carte blanche in 2022 and with a group of international performers staged the show “À l’échelle.” In 2023 he devised his new work destined for large stages, “Préparation pour un miracle.”
Circus between history and modernity
Swiss Performing Arts Award 2023
Circus Monti, founded in 1985 in Wohlen (AG), stands for consistent quality in a mix of classical circus, theatre and cabaret. Guido (1932-1999) and Hildegard Muntwyler (1936-2016) realised a dream of theirs by giving up their teaching career to start a family-run circus. Since 2005 one of their three sons, Johannes Muntwyler, has been running the company, which employs 65 people during the season (tours from July to November at 10 locations in German-speaking Switzerland). Many of the young creatives who follow in their wake graduated from a circus school, e.g. in Montreal or Quebec, or studied at the Accademia Dimitri, including, for example, Les Diptik (2013), who won the Swiss Stage Prize from the Federal Office of Culture in 2020. Dimitri and Masha Dimitri have directed several times since 1998. Circus Monti was the first and so far only circus to win the Prix Walo twice (in 1998 and 2000). In 2013 it also won the KTV ATP (now t. Entertainment Professionals Switzerland) Innovation Award.
Over the years, Circus Monti has become known for its style at the crossroads of circus arts, innovation and tradition, in which artistic performances are embedded in a story or linked to each other by a common thread. Until 2004 the shows included horses and domestic animals (but never exotic ones), after which the programme was reworked: since the 2011 season the caravan no longer travels with animals. Every year, an external creative team takes care of setting up the programme and some of them return several times. Even the costumes are made with their close collaboration and the music is composed specifically each year. The current programme, the 38th, was created by Comedia Zap, Cécile Steck and Didi Sommer. In autumn, ‘Monti’s Variété’ at the winter quarters of Circus Monti in Wohlen completes the annual programme. In May 2023, ‘Monti’s Kulturtage’ with the participation of Peach Weber, Mike Müller, Franz Hohler and Ursus & Nadeschkin, among others, was also held at the same venue for the second time.