Take Off!

The Swiss Bachelors of Dance

The bold and self-determined manner in which young people begin their journey through life, especially in professional life, never ceases to impress. Take Off! makes it possible to experience, live on stage, the spirit of optimism and the energy that is inherent in this phase of life, also in dance. To no small extent, the fact that dance is on the rise in Switzerland is due to new education structures. These include the two bachelor’s degree programmes in contemporary dance that were established in 2014, which prepare students aged between 17 and 24 for a professional career. However, the up-and-coming young artists from these two very differently oriented schools in Zurich (ZHdK) and Lausanne (Manufacture) have never appeared together on stage before. On the initiative of the Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps, they are now touring together for the first time, nationwide, mainly presenting premieres of new creations resulting from their collaborations with internationally renowned choreographers Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Fabrice Mazliah, Jasmine Morand and Michael Schumacher, plus a classic by Itzik Galili. The joy of discovery conveyed by these young dance talents confronting diverse dance languages is simply compelling.

Itzik Galili

Itzik Galili

Choreographer Itzik Galili from Israel started to choreograph as a member of the ensemble at Batsheva Dance Company and soon met with a huge response. In 1991, he founded his own ensemble, Galili Dance, in the Netherlands. In 1997, the Ministry of Culture appointed him as artistic director of the newly established company NND / Galili Dance in Groningen, which he ran for eleven years. In 2009, Galili co-founded the contemporary Dansgroep Amsterdam. He has been working successfully on a freelance basis since 2011. Picture: Gadi Dagon

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

Born in 1973, this choreographer with Columbian/Belgian roots danced for twelve years at Scapino Ballet, before devoting herself solely to choreography from 2003 onwards. Since being recognised as masterful in her field, she has been hired as a guest choreographer all around the world, for instance by Het Nationale Ballet, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, English National Ballet and New York City Ballet. This multi-award-winning artist also works in theatre, opera and musicals.

Fabrice Mazliah

Fabrice Mazliah

Fabrice Mazliah of Geneva first learnt to dance under Beatriz Consuelo and Alicia de La Fuente. He studied further in Athens and at Atelier Rudra Béjart in Lausanne. He became a member of Nederlands Dans Theater, then joined William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt in 1997, where he started to choreograph. In 2009, together with Ioannis Mandafounis and May Zarhy, he founded the collective MAMAZA. In addition to choreographing, he also teaches, for instance as part of bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes (at P.A.R.T.S in Brussels and Manufacture in Lausanne). Picture: Dominik Mentzos

Jasmine Morand

Jasmine Morand

After obtaining a classical dance education, Jasmine Morand, born in 1977 in Zurich, went on to dance at many ballet companies (Nancy, Zurich, Ljubljana). From 2000 to 2002, she studied contemporary dance at Codarts in Rotterdam and began to choreograph. In 2007, she founded her company Prototype Status in Vevey (which most recently produced MIRE in 2016). She received Canton Vaud’s Culture Prize in 2013. In 2016, she became the director of Dansomètre in Vevey.

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher’s roots are in classical ballet and modern dance. After training at the Juilliard School, New York, he danced at Ballet Frankfurt, Twyla Tharp Dance and Pretty Ugly Dance Company; he has also worked with Sylvie Guillem. He has choreographed for Ballet Frankfurt, NDT 3 and Het Nationale Ballet, among others. He has created with Sabine Kupferberg (Queen Lear, which was in the 2012 Steps programme) and Jiří Kylián (Last Touch First). He also runs improvisation workshops worldwide.



Chromatic colloquy2

let us find3

For Heaven’s Sake4

Subject to change5


1Fabrice Mazliah; 2Annabelle Lopez Ochoa; 3Jasmine Morand; 4Itzik Galili; 5Michael Schumacher


1Johannes Helberger / King Klang Klong; 2Hauschka / «Pripyat» from the album Abandoned City; 3Colleen «Your Heart Is So Loud», Max Cooper «Order from Chaos», audio montage: Jasmine Morand; 4Drums; 5UNCIVIL – Kollektiv Turmstrasse (Christian Hilscher and Nico Plagemann)


2Berend Voorhaar and Sabrina Zyla, Karisma-Costumes; 3Berend Voorhaar and Sabrina Zyla, Karisma-Costumes; 4Itzik Galili, confection: Berend Voorhaar and Sabrina Zyla, Karisma-Costumes; 5Berend Voorhaar and Sabrina Zyla, Karisma-Costumes


4Itzik Galili, Benno Veen

Choreographic assistance:

1Simon Wehrli, dramaturgical assistance: Marialena Marouda; 2Kevin Richmond, (Mark Wuest, Denise Lampart); 3Denise Lampart; 4Mark Wuest, Rehearsal: Elisabeth Gibiat; 5Cathy Sharp


19; 22; 314; 414; 510


La Manufacture HES SO (Lausanne), Zürcher Hochschule der Künste ZHdK (Zürich), Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps


16th of April 2018, Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps, Gessnerallee Zürich; 430th of November 2001, Holland Dance Festival, The Hague (NL)

More information:

BA Contemporary Dance ZHdK 

BA Contemporary Dance Manufacture