Crossing The Line 2018
Sep 18–Oct 13

Each year, Crossing The Line brings the most compelling French and international artists to New York City in works that transcend nationality, language, and discipline. The twelfth edition of the festival will feature sixteen trailblazing artists and ensembles presenting new works and performances—including a dozen world, US, and NY premieres—in seven venues across the city.

"From sharing the influence of female visionaries from France to a play that asks us what is art," says Marie-Monique Steckel, President of FIAF, "this year’s Crossing The Line Festival engages with pertinent questions facing our society and allows us to build a deeper understanding across perceived boundaries."

At FIAF, the festival will present performances by artists employing spoken and written language in creative, provocative, and poignant ways: French film star Jeanne Balibar; French artist David Geselson; French theater maker Mohamed El Khatib; Paris-based Claudia Huidobro; and Belgian and Dutch theater collectives, tg STAN and Dood Paard.

Around town, the festival will present several major new works by leading artists including Algerian-born dancer and choreographer Nacera Belaza at Danspace Project; Tunisian-French choreographer and activist Syhem Belkhodja at Gibney and FIAF; New York-based French composer Leila Bordreuil at ISSUE Project Room; French choreographer Boris Charmatz at NYU Skirball; Zimbabwe-born, New York–based nora chipaumire and New Yorker Trajal Harrell at The Kitchen; Danish choreographer and dancer Mette Ingvartsen at Performance Space New York; and American artists, choreographer Will Rawls and poet Claudia Rankine, at Danspace Project.

Curators' Note

This year’s festival is the last to be curated by Lili Chopra, Simon Dove, and Gideon Lester. Founded by Chopra in 2007, the festival has brought international interdisciplinary work into the heart of New York culture and engaged a wide range of audiences across the city’s boroughs. During Chopra, Dove, and Lester’s eleven-year tenure, Crossing The Line has presented more than 100 premieres by a wide range of leading international artists and companies. The directorship of the festival will pass to FIAF’s new artistic director, who will be announced later this summer.

We presented the work of artists we are passionate about. Produced by FIAF, together with our many presenting partners, we were able to imagine this platform with an immense sense of freedom, finding the right context for each artist’s work across the city. This twelfth edition, our final one together as a curatorial team, is true to our core values of bringing artists that we find to be some of the most compelling international voices, pushing our sense of the possible, and how to be in the world right now. We are immensely grateful to all the extraordinary artists and partners who have made this festival possible, and we look forward to sharing these projects this fall!
Lili Chopra, Simon Dove, and Gideon Lester

About Crossing the Line

"Adventurous programming that makes you think as much about your place in the world as about art itself"
The New York Times

Crossing The Line is an annual French and international arts festival for New York City produced by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in partnership with leading cultural institutions.

France has a long history of supporting national and international cultural practices, welcoming and nurturing new ideas and influential perspectives from around the world. FIAF, as the leading French cultural institution in the US, critically maintains that practice through the Crossing The Line Festival, presenting trailblazing artists from France and the US alongside their peers from around the world.

Since its inauguration in 2007, Crossing The Line has cultivated an increasingly large and diverse following, and received numerous accolades in the press including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Time Out New York, Artforum, and Frieze. Festival performances have earned Obie and Bessie awards.

French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)

The leading French language and cultural center in the US, FIAF is dedicated to offering innovative and unique programs in education and the arts, all exploring the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross-cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression.

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FIAF is thrilled to partner in 2018 with the following leading New York City cultural institutions:

Danspace Project
ISSUE Project Room
The Kitchen
NYU Skirball
Performance Space New York


BRIDGING: An International Dialogue on Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts
An initiative launched by The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations and FIAF during Crossing the Line 2016, BRIDGING offers international perspectives to evaluate policies and practices in an effort to move beyond simple acknowledgement of cultural diversity to achieve genuine equality in the arts in our shifting cultural landscape. This year, artists Nacera Belaza and Syhem Belkhodja will be featured at Crossing the Line as part of BRIDGING.
Hermès Foundation’s New Settings Program
FIAF will partner with the Hermès Foundation’s (Fondation d’entreprise Hermès) New Settings Program for a sixth consecutive year. Launched in 2011, New Settings supports new performing arts productions that shift borders between disciplines to create innovative art forms. This year, works by Boris Charmatz and nora chipaumire will be presented at Crossing The Line within the framework of the New Settings Program.

Leadership Support

Delta Air France The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations
Florence Gould Foundation Fondation d'entreprise Hermès JCDecaux

Major Support

National Endowment for the Arts Cultural Services of the French Embassy FACE - French American Cultural Exchange Enoch Foundation
Howard Gilman Foundation NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Pommery Perrier

Special Thanks

Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York The General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA The Netherland-America Foundation Marie Nugent-Head