Europe’s largest choreographed parade took place this Sunday in the streets of Lyon. 250,000 people watched the traditional culmination of the “Biennale de la danse”, a month-long celebration of dance in the French city.
The parade was made up of 12 different dance groups assembled for the occasion. Each group came from a different area in the region. Mourad Merzouki, the famous French dance choreographer, lead the 500-man dance delegation from Bron, a suburb of Lyon.
The theme of this year’s parade was “peace”. Merzouki and the troupe from Bron used the opportunity to drive a makeshift tank on the streets in order to “declare war on war”.
Mourad Merzouki is a celebrated dancer and choreographer with a large influence on French hip-hop dance. In 2013, he became a knight of the French legion of honour for his contribution to society.
He stems from the region and he sees the parade as a chance to return to his roots:
“It’s a moment for me to be together with the people and also to be back on the street.
I started to dance in the streets, and to be parading here allows me to remain in contact with the public, with people’s daily life.”
Visitors to the Biennale de la Danse have another chance to watch Mourad Merzouki’s work live. His newest dance show “Vertikal” is being performed as part of the biennale until the 27th of September.