Introduction by Christoph Haering

30 years of dance

It is actually more usual to celebrate 25th anniversaries, but this festival is not held in odd-numbered years.


The first Steps dance festival took place in spring 1988. Back then, the goal of the Migros Culture Percentage was to increase the importance of dance in Switzerland and to present top-level international performances to an interested audience. In 1988, individual “M-Tours” by famous dance companies became the festival Steps. The format has remained the same ever since: this biennial presents selected international troupes, together with representatives of the Swiss dance scene, in a three-week intercity festival, all throughout the country. Of course, the festival has also gone through some changes. The concept is regularly scrutinised and adjusted. We have developed in terms of cultural mediation and communication in particular.


The 30th anniversary of Steps represents 30 years of work, setting up 16 editions of the festival. A wide range of very different networks have been interconnected and maintained. Event organisers have become partners. Today, companies from all around the world feel honoured to “step in” and be part of Steps.


Above all, the success story of Steps was written by you, our loyal, interested audience, who enjoy the festival programme and inquisitively engage with the unknown.


We are not shouting from the rooftops about our anniversary – we are celebrating it by realising another special edition, with dedication and passion. On our website, those interested will find information about the past and future of the festival. It is worth surfing through this and learning more about the meaning and purpose of the festival. Pictures, impressions, texts and videos from, on, before, behind and between the Steps stages all over Switzerland can be found there, along with facts, figures and anecdotes from the festival’s 30-year life.


Over all these years, countless staff have worked for the festival, shaping it and enhancing it. Heartfelt thanks go out to each and every one of you!


Christoph Haering
Project Management Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps
Head of Performing Arts and Literature
Directorate of Cultural and Social Affairs, Federation of Migros Cooperatives


Picture: Oliver Neubert