FolkWorld #69 07/2019
© Astrid Stierlin / La Croisée des Cultures

Article in French

La Croisée des Cultures

An Unparalleled Week

25e édition de la
Croisée des Cultures

Genève, Suisse

30 June - 6 July 2019

Artist Video

With music, song, percussion and dance, the twenty-fifth edition of the la Croisée des Culture invites you to a week of rich experiences and singular encounters in the company of exceptional artists. In the virtual age, our gathering of traditional dance and music from around the world reinforces the importance of the body, gestures, vision and listening.

Croisée des Cultures is the melting pot of contemporary research and practices, which speak to the vibrancy and relevance of traditional arts. Italy is under the spotlight this year, with polyphonic song, tarantellas, and the beat of the tammorre. Following on from this, Manu Théron’s polyphonies and polyrhythms bear witness to the regeneration of the Occitan culture, while Mongolian throat singing reveals some of its secrets.

Lucilla Galeazzi

Artist Video Lucilla Galeazzi

The Maghreb makes a notable return with four workshops dedicated to Arabo-Andalusian dances and repertoires with Saïda Naït-Bouda. Maria Robin’s rhythms and dances of Rajasthan will be in conversation with Raquel “la Repompilla” Heredia’s flamenco, while the Senegalese Yelly Thioune will take us away on the surges of sabra. And don’t forget the Croisée des Z’ethnos, where children are invited to travel the roads of Italy, Rajasthan and Senegal for five days of discovery – here, there and everywhere.

ADEM invites you to spend some time in its company for an unparalleled week!


An emblematic figure of traditional popular Italian song, Lucilla Galeazzi was born in Umbria to a family of amateur singers and musicians. She has performed on stages across the wold since her adolescence, and has facilitated all sorts of collaborations involving popular, jazz, classical and contemporary music, as well as personal compositions.

By taking you on a journey through Italy, she will help you uncover the rich tradition of popular polyphonies. The following will be covered in this course: work on vocals, timbre, the characteristics of the various dialects used, pronunciations etc.


Whether at the heart of various projects or as the head of the group Lo Còr de La Plana, which he founded in 2001, Manu Theron continues to drive his practice, which is equally rooted in the traditions of popular Mediterranean song as it is nourished by contemporary lyric songs.

Manu Théron invites each of us to discover our vocal and rhythmic potential, found when the voice and the body work together to create a collective musical text that is joyous, intoxicating and creative. The Occitan lyrics provides a basis, but other languages can be used in the sound poem that we are making together.


Johanni Curtet is active as an ethnomusicology researcher, a musician, producer and teacher of overtone singing. Trained in overtone singing by Trân Quang Hai, then Tserendavaa Dashdorj and Odsüren Baatar in khöömii, he now teaches this vocal technique at several institutions: the Paris Philharmonic, Université Rennes 2, Conservatoire d’Aubagne, etc

Johanni Curtet

Artist Video

Johanni proposes a series of practical exercises as a way to approach the khöömii technique in its totality: lip and tongue exercises, breathing management, the control of sound with and without overtones, enriching the vocal timbre, seeking guttural tones, listening work and musical ideas from the Mongolian perspective.


Salvatore Meccio and Massimo Laguardia, originally from Sicily, carry the sounds and rhythms of their native land within. In 1992, they founded the group Tammorra, through which they express the vitality of the soul of the people, with songs accompanied by the ‘tammorre’ that they make themselves.

The tammorra and the tamburello are inseparable from traditional songs in Southern Italy, of which the most well-known are the tammuriata, the pizzica and the nursery rhymes of tarantella. This popular music, practiced by all generations, is very much alive.

The course teaches students to synchronise rhythm and song. Firstly, it covers the different drum techniques, then the tonal and rhythmic songs of Southern Italy, and, finally, the art of aligning the two in order to play both simultaneously.


Fouad Didi
Artist Video

Ilyas Khan comes from a Jaipur family of musicians, and received lessons on the tabla from a young age. Fluent in two cultures, Indian and French, he brings fresh expression and virtuosity to the music of thousand-year-old India and to western music of yesterday and today.

Upon discovering beatbox, he combined this with tablas to create a new style: tablaboxing, which mixes the rhythms of the tabla and the beats of the beatbox. He collaborates with the hip hop world.

During this workshop, participants will explore rhythms specific to the Rajasthani tradition. These are diverse and are indispensible to the songs and dances of Rajasthan, being endowed with an astonishingly festive groove. In addition to reciting bols, the mnemonic syllables that describe the rhythms, Ilyas will also introduce tablaboxing to those students who wish to discover it.


Born in Tlemcen in Algeria, Fouad Didi has been singing, as well as playing the violin and oud, since childhood. He studied the repertoires and techniques of the great masters of his time, who encouraged him in his thirst for learning and passed their knowledge onto him. He teaches at the Conservatoire of Toulon and Aubagne and the City of Music of Marseille, where he gives training, master-classes and workshops on Arabo-Andalousian music.

Teaching of the classical repertoire will be based on the oral tradition (notes will be given) and phonetically transcribed songs. The repertoire will follow two modes: ZIidane, Raml el Laya et Sahli.


Popular music, also known as Chaâbi, was born at the beginning of the twentieth century, and is a mix of three sources: Arabo-Andalousian melodies, love poetry and the Berber language.

Photo Credits: (1) 25e édition de la Croisée des Cultures, (2) Lucilla Galeazzi, (3) Johanni Curtet, (4) Fouad Didi (unknown/website).

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