Danse Macabre

Martin Zimmermann

Tarek Halaby, Dimitri Jourde, Methinee Wongtrakoon / Eline Guélat, Martin Zimmermann

Credits Tour Press

Danse Macabre is the new creation of the choreographer and performer Martin Zimmermann. It is a continuation of his multi-layered oeuvre of the past twenty years. In Danse Macabre Zimmermann presents three tragicomical, fragile characters who have dropped out of the social norm and find themselves in the same place at the same time in their distress. The stage set is reminiscent of an abandoned garbage dump where everything that is not reusable or degradable is discarded. In this godforsaken place the unlikely trio settles in to build a life. Defying severe setbacks and difficulties between them, the three characters played by Zimmermann’s favourite performers, keep getting back up, pulling themselves together and coming up with unusual solutions. Another strange figure hovers over this fragile community of fate: death. Played by Martin Zimmermann, it interferes in the stage action as a mischievous puppet master, but remains invisible to the characters. The latter can therefore never be certain whether the disruptions and challenges they are constantly confronted with come from outside or whether they are part of their own history and inner world. In Danse Macabre the characters struggle for their survival and the only thing that can save them is their humour.

“My humour is the laughable form of sadness. It is exaggerated into the comical and thus overcome. The tragicomical, to me, has the force of a possessed power: it is radical, incisively sharp, committed to wickedness, but also mischievous, precise and enigmatic. This multilayeredness provides inspiration and a point of departure for my work.”
Martin Zimmermann

In Danse Macabre, Martin Zimmermann continues to pursue his interest in human figures who physically, socially and existentially find themselves on the margins of society and reveal so much about its “centre”. The exact location of those margins is defined from the centre, and “marginal” generally signifies that something is no longer needed, no longer really belongs and can break away from the rest anytime. Because social structures are increasingly dissolving, people live more and more often in communities of their own choice based on similar attitudes to meet their social needs. This is the ideal scenario. But it requires that people have freedom of movement and choices. When existential survival is a priority, communities are not formed for non-material reasons, but characterised by strategic and, indeed, material considerations. People are no longer united by similar outlooks on life, goals and desires, but by their shared enemy: marginalisation, endangerment, death.


Duration: 1h30
Genre: Dance / Theatre / Circus
Age limit: from 12 years

Concept, direction, choreography: Martin Zimmermann
Created with and interpreted by: Tarek Halaby, Dimitri Jourde, Methinee Wongtrakoon / Eline Guélat, Martin Zimmermann
Music creation: Colin Vallon
Dramaturgy: Sabine Geistlich
Stage design: Simeon Meier, Martin Zimmermann
Artistic collaboration: Romain Guion
Development stage, technical coordination: Ingo Groher
Construction decor: maisondelaculture de Bourges (Nicolas Bénard, Lucas Bussy, Jules Chavigny, Jean-Christophe David, Luc Renard, Joao De Sousa, Eric Vincent), Andy Hohl
Costumes:  Susanne Boner, Martin Zimmermann
Light design: Sarah Büchel
Sound design: Andy Neresheimer
Motorization decor: Thierry Kaltenrieder
Costumes confection: Susanne Boner
Painting: Michèle Rebetez-Martin
Creation stage manager: Roger Studer, Mateu Pascual Labourdette
Light direction: Sarah Büchel, Jan Olieslagers, Ueli Kappeler
Sound direction:
Franck Bourgoin, Andy Neresheimer
Stage manager: Roger Studer, Mateu Pascual Labourdette
Photography: Nelly Rodriguez, Basil Stücheli
Graphic design: Marietta Eugster Studio
Administration, distribution: Alain Vuignier
International producer:
Claire Béjanin
Manuela Schlumpf
Technical office: Ueli Kappeler

Production: MZ Atelier
Co-production: Fund of Reso – Dance Network Switzerland – supported by Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council • Kaserne Basel • Kurtheater Baden • Le Volcan, scène nationale du Havre • Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg • L’Odyssée — Périgueux • maisondelaculture de Bourges / scène nationale • Opéra Dijon • Theater- und Musikgesellschaft Zug • Théâtre de Carouge • Zürcher Theater Spektakel

With the support of: BvC Stiftung • Elisabeth Weber Stiftung • Ernst Göhner Stiftung • Fachausschuss Tanz & Theater BS / BL • Stiftung Corymbo

With special thanks to: Leoné-Sophie Kündig, Daniel Kündig, Schauspielhaus Zürich

Final rehearsals at Kurtheater Baden
19 August 2021 at festival Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zurich

Martin Zimmermann is supported by a cooperative funding agreement with the Culture Department City of Zurich, Department of Culture Canton Zurich and Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council.

Martin Zimmermann is Associated Artist at maisondelaculture de Bourges / Scène Nationale and at Tanzhaus Zürich.

Estimated duration: 1h30
Genre: Dance / Theatre / Circus
Age limit: from 12 years



  • Heerlen NL 08.31 – 09.01 Cultura Nova - Heerlen
  • Morges CH 03.26 – 03.27 Théâtre de Beausobre
  • Monthey CH 03.23 – 03.24 Théâtre du Crochetan


  • Winterthur CH 12.13 – 12.14 Theater Winterthur
  • Baerum NO 11.17 – 11.18 Baerum Kulturhus | Merge Festival
  • Strasbourg F 10.18 – 10.20 Le-Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg –scéne européenne
  • Paris F 09.21 – 09.23 Théâtre de la Cité International | coréalisation CCS
  • Orléans F 06.15 – 06.16 La Scène Nationale d'Orléans – Théâtre d'Orléans
  • Maubeuge F 05.09 – 05.10 Le Manège, scène nationale
  • Bruxelles B 04.26 – 04.27 Les Halles de Schaerbeek
  • Gent B 04.20 – 04.21 NTGent – coréalisation Kunstencentrum Vooruit
  • Strasbourg F 03.09 – 03.11 Maillon - POSTPONED
  • Morges CH 03.01 – 03.02 Théâtre de Beausobre - POSTPONED
  • Antibes F 02.07 – 02.09 Anthéa-Antipolis – coréalisation BIAC - CCS
  • Martigues F 02.01 – 02.02 Les Salins, scéne nationale – coréalisation BIAC - CCS


  • Bienne CH 12.16 – 12.17 Nebia Biel / Bienne
  • Montbéliard F 12.13 MA scène nationale
  • Basel CH 12.08 – 12.10 Kaserne Basel
  • Reggio Emilia I 10.23 Festival Aperto
  • Genève CH 09.16 – 09.21 Festival de la Bâtie — Genève
  • Genève CH 09.16 – 10.02 Théâtre de Carouge
  • Sierre CH 09.10 – 09.11 Les Halles de Sierre
  • Luxembourg L 06.29 – 07.01 Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg - Studio
  • Athens GR 06.21 – 06.22 Athens Epidaurus Festival 2022
  • Napoli I 06.16 – 06.17 Napoli Teatro Festival Italia 2022
  • Dijon F 05.24 – 05.25 Opéra Dijon
  • Chur CH 05.18 Schweizer Theatertreffen: Theater Chur
  • Bourges F 03.31 – 04.01 Maison de la Culture de Bourges / Scène nationale
  • Le Havre F 03.18 – 03.19 Festival SPRING: Le Volcan, scène nationale du Havre
  • Caen F 03.15 – 03.16 Festival SPRING: Théâtre de Caen
  • Stockholm S 03.08 – 03.10 Kulturhuset Stadsteatern
  • Sevilla E 02.04 – 02.05 Teatro Central
  • Nyon CH 01.22 – 01.23 L’Usine à Gaz
  • Bienne CH 01.14 – 01.15 Nebia Biel / Bienne - CANCELLED


  • Baden CH 12.15 – 12.16 Kurtheater Baden
  • Basel CH 12.02 – 12.04 Kaserne Basel - CANCELLED
  • Zug CH 10.30 – 11.01 Theater Casino Zug
  • Besançon F 10.20 – 10.22 Les 2 Scènes, Scène Nationale de Besançon
  • Düsseldorf D 09.15 – 09.16 Düsseldorf Festival
  • Zürich CH 08.20 – 08.23 Zürcher Theater Spektakel
  • Zürich CH 08.19 PREMIERE • Zürcher Theater Spektakel
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