The Antigel Experience — First week recap

It started with me, as usual, spotting a poster while on the bus. Geneva is the sort of city where event posters are all over the place, and I mean that in a good way. Long story short, I discovered the Antigel Festival. It is an art/dance/music/sport/all-of-the-above festival that prides itself in “the unexpected” and “unusual places”. I got the festival pass (thereby fulfilling one of the things on my bucket list — attending a festival with a pass), and soon enough had a booking for almost every day. Here’s a review of the things I went to in the past week.


Sunday, 27.01, The Labyrinth
The event took place at the TPG depot, among the buses that were parked in such a way that they form a nice little big labyrinth, and as you walk, you’ll find stages with performances. Concept: super cool. Execution: I got annoyed by the fact that I kept running into empty stages because I was walking at a different pace than others were. Plus the shows weren’t really that impressive, at least not to me. And I’m still wondering how many kids got lost.

Monday, 28.01, Xavier Le Roy’s Low Pieces
I was at lost for words after this performance. It was different, perhaps somewhat strange, and yet at the same time also calming and beautiful. The sensation of darkness caving in on you, and yet somehow you feel safe. The fact that the dancers were completely nude was just not part of the equation. It was, as they said, simply a costume.

Thursday, 31.01, Emily Wells/Vena Ward/Selva Nuda
I went to this one because a friend of mine was a fan of Emily Wells. The two opening acts were okay-ish, not my cup of tea but they weren’t horrible either. Emily Wells, however, was über amazing! The songs aren’t what I usually like and listening to them on youtube was just a bit on the “meh” side but seeing her perform them live was just mindblowing as she does everything — including creating the loops.

Saturday, 02.02, Sous-Moulin in Orbit
Quite possibly the one show that I thoroughly enjoyed, as well as the most “antigel” one of them all. Antigel is after all, about being different and unusual, yet in a creative and inspiring way. An orchestra performing in the middle of a tennis court, an acrobatic dance on the cyr wheel, some mulled wine and a choreography between figure skaters, ice hockey players and the zamboni? Perfect.

Sunday, 03.02, Autour de l’orgue de cinéma
The strangest show I’ve been to so far, I still don’t think I have quite recovered from the overdose of weird, disturbing sounds, lights and imagery yet. Still a week of the festival to go though, so maybe I’ll get over it.

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