Guiding principles

For 34 years now, Maison de la Danse has been pursuing the same artistic policy: to embrace dance in all its forms and techniques, to invite both major choreographers and young creators, to blend creation and repertoire, to foster the interest of young people and to defend aesthetic diversity.

Maison de la Danse has inaugurated an international video library of dance online: Its aim is to create the first digital audio-visual database for the dance world. It indexes as extracts, or as complete works, choreographic adaptations/dramas, documentaries and educational resources. These data are available to the general public, dance and/or video professionals and to the world of education through specific tools for presentation and consultation which respect the artistic quality of the works as well as the broadcast rights and access to content.


In June 1980 France’s first Maison de la Danse was inaugurated in Lyon. It was the result of a gamble taken in 1977 by five local choreographers (Claude Decaillot, Michel Hallet Eghayan, Lucien Mars, Hugo Verrechia et Marie Zighera), who united to defend dance and to find a place dedicated to this art form. The City of Lyon granted an old theatre in the district of Croix-Rousse. The artistic direction was entrusted to Guy Darmet. The success of the first season exceeded the most optimistic forecasts. The importance of a space for dance had been demonstrated. The City of Lyon and the General Council of Rhône, along with the Ministry of Culture, the Region Rhône-Alpes and some other partners  supported the initiative. The interest from the public, professionals, and from other institutions and the media were testimony to  the originality of Maison de la Danse cause. The project resonated at national and international level.

Today still, Maison de la Danse is a unique place for dance in Europe. In 1984, Guy Darmet initiated the first edition of the Lyon Dance Biennale. The festival grew quickly to become one of the most important dance festivals in the world. So far, the Lyon Dance Biennale happens every 2 years, during the 3 final weeks of September.

A significant moment in the development of Maison de la Danse was moving from the theatre in Croix-Rousse to another theatre in the 8th district in 1992 – further proof of the City of Lyon and the Ministry of Culture’s continued support.

In July 2011, Dominique Hervieu was nominated to become the new director of Maison de la Danse and the new artistic director of the Lyon Dance Biennale.

At the moment, a new additional location is being developed in the past Musée Guimet in Lyon - les Ateliers de la Danse. This new location should be delivered in 2022 for creation, production, and amateur practices.

Building and facilities

Maison de la Danse has a stage and 1.100 seat auditorium worthy of its ambition and capacity. Maison de la Danse is able to offer a studio at a company’s disposal for rehearsals or residencies. This studio seats up to 100 and can be used for more intimate presentations.

Take a tour

You can take a 360° tour of the Maison de la danse here.

8 avenue Jean Mermoz

Dancehouses in May and June

May - June 2020

Join EDN members remotely

While many EDN members are still closed for public, activities continue to take place remotely - both for artists and audiences! We bring to you plenty of shows, trainings, celebrations, reflections. Take your peak!


Carte Blanche Staff Exchange 2021

April - September 2021

Carte Blanche in online format

Since 2014, EDN offers the possibility for its members to have a staff placement in another dancehouse. Due to the COVID-19, an online format is introduced. 


EDN signs the "Reactivate Cultural Life in Europe" letter

Culture must be included in each and every National Recovery and Resilience Plan

In the open letter published by the group of 110+ pan-European networks, coordinated by Culture Action Europe, the European cultural community call on the Member States and the European Commission to secure a future for culture and cultural life in Europe.


Covid-19 impact on EDN members

EDN survey conducted by Fondazione Fitzcarraldo

European Dancehouse Network together with Fondazione Fitzcarraldo present the report with results of "EDN in Times of Covid-19" survey with responses of 38 dance houses from 23 different countries. 


EDN joins Perform Europe

18-month project to design a future support scheme for cross-border touring and digital distribution of the performing arts

Perform Europe supports experiments with more sustainable ways in cross-border physical and digital distribution of the performing arts in the 41 Creative Europe countries with a view to designing future support schemes for the sector.

Activities EDN

Training the trainers

Maison de la Danse proposed a two-day-workshop to share with the EDN’s members its video policy and activities in this context. Contents of the atelier focused on 2 topics: Preservation and dissemination of dance archives, and video as a tool for mediation.

Summary list

From Tanssin Talo to Maison de la Danse

Tiia Lappalainen, Press Manager at Dance House Helsinki learns about presentation of season in front of audiences and work with video during her Carte Blanche in Lyon.

Summary list

European Video Dance Heritage

The cooperation project European Video Dance Heritage aimed to encourage and support cultural cooperation within Europe in order to bring European common cultural heritage to the fore working across disciplines with the media.

Summary list


Modul-dance was a multi-annual cooperation project with the participation of 20 European dance houses from 16 countries. Its main aim was to support development, mobility and exchange for dance artists.

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Encountering the Baltic dance scene

EDN Members were invited to discover the Baltic dance scene at the Baltic Dance Platform that was held as a part of the international contemporary dance festival “New Baltic Dance” (May 2-11). It is a combined platform among 3 countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Annette van Zwoll reports on the first Baltic Dance Platform, and on the connections with EDN.

Summary list

Building a dancehouse

Many dancehouses in Europe have been created over preexisting buildings: convents, factories, industrial sites, brick houses, distilleries, to name some examples. This Atelier at CSC Bassano del Grappa took place in a series of meetings aimed at considering and tracing the European, as well as the international, dancehouses history.

Summary list