Compagnie Sam•Hester

Perrine Valli

Dual French/Swiss national Perrine Valli trained at the Lyon CNSMD, the CDC in Toulouse and the London Contemporary Dance School before undergoing several internships, in particular in the United States. She has worked as a dancer for Estelle Héritier and Cindy Van Acker for whom she performed numerous dance pieces, including the solo Nixe, featured at the official festival in Avignon in 2010.

At age 25, she set up her own dance company, Association Sam-Hester, which borrows its name from Andy Warhol’s cats, whom he called “Sam” for the males and “Hester” for the females throughout his life. Valli has since produced some twenty dance pieces including Série, Je pense comme une fille enlève sa robe, Deproduction, Le cousin lointain, Si dans cette chambre un ami attend..., Les Renards des surfaces, Une femme au soleil, L'Un à queue fouetteuse, and Cloud. Her productions have featured in numerous venues in Switzerland (ADC-Genève, Forum Meyrin, Théâtre de Vidy, Arsenic, Sévelin 36, Tanzhaus, etc.), France (Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine Saint Denis, Festival Faits d’Hiver, Maison de la Danse de Lyon, Quartz, etc.), Spain (Mercat de les Flors, Teatro Cicca, etc.), Belgium (Budascoop), the Netherlands (Melkweg), Germany (Tanz im August festival), Russia (TsEKH), Japan (Institut franco-japonais, TPAM, Yokohama Dance Collection, etc.), Australia (Melbourne Festival) and Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Art).

Resident artist at Mains d’Oeuvres for four years, Perrine Valli won first prize at the International Choreography Contest MASDANZA in 2007 and a second prize at the Premio Swiss competition in 2008. In 2009, she was nominated for the “Villa Médicis Hors les Murs” research residency programme by CulturesFrance, which she carried out in Tokyo. She has developed many connections with Japan, to where she has returned regularly to present her work. 

In 2016, she was selected as choreographic artist by the Swiss Selection in Avignon (SCH) to present her work Une femme au soleil at the CDC-Les Hivernales. 

The issue of sexual identity holds a central place in her research as does the articulation of the relationship between narration and abstraction in her choreographic work. In 2018, a book about the choreographer’s work was published by Éditions Riveneuve.


Eric Linder

A former athlete, Eric Linder, aka Polar, turned to music and produced his first record in 1997, Polar 1, then his second entitled Bi in 1998. His electronic-inspired folk songs met with great success. In December 2001, he recorded a new album entitled Somatic. His reputation spread and he met French singer Miossec, who offered to write for him. This collaboration gave rise to Jour Blanc in 2006, the singer’s first record in French. Over the course of his career, Polar has opened for artists such as Massive Attack, David Bowie and Louise Attaque.

In parallel to his work as a composer, Polar has opened up to various ventures, such as composing music for dance troupes (Grand Théâtre de Genève, Estelle Héritier, Compagnie 7273, Maude Liardon). As Perrine Valli’s artistic partner, Linder has been working with Compagnie Sam-Hester for ten years. In addition to his artistic work, Linder was also the musical curator for Geneva’s La Bâtie festival for ten years before becoming Director of Festival Antigel.

photo : Charlotte Curchod

photo : Charlotte Curchod


Laurent Schaer

After graduating with a BA from the University of Geneva in 2002, Laurent Schaer went from concerts to shows, shifting towards the world of light design and stagecraft. Particularly fond of a coherent and subtle scenic image, Schaer has worked with Swiss and international choreographers, artists and stage directors (Perrine Valli, Jérôme Richer, Milla Koistinen, Lee Swee Keong, Julien Brun, Martine Corbat, Solam, Philippe Soltermann, etc.) to reveal the outline of their works by taking part in the design of their scenography.


Laure Chapel

Cultural Communications graduate Laure Chapel began her career in 2007 in Geneva at the office of Théâtre du Galpon before turning to public relations at Théâtre du Grütli. In 2008 she started producing with Lili Auderset for independent dance companies and theatre troupes. In 2010, she created Pâquis Production, a production agency that provides strategic and administrative support for independent dance companies and theatre troupes. Throughout these years, she has overseen more than 50 projects. That same year, she also joined the Rencontres Chorégraphiques de Danse committee in Geneva where she prepared a study with Mélanie Fréguin on the “Conditions of production for Geneva dance companies benefitting from ad hoc financial support”. This study led to the creation of a task force which she headed with the mission of putting forward ideas for reflection with regards to cultural policy. Very much involved in different action groups and task forces working to improve production conditions for independent companies, she is committed to helping artists develop their work in the best possible context. With her production agency, Chapel promotes the concept of pooling and capitalising on resources. In 2016, alongside Gabor Varga, she initiated and set up a basic continuing vocational training programme for distribution and tour managers. Chapel has been working with Cie Sam-Hester since 2010.

photo : Gregory Batardon

photo : Gregory Batardon


Gabor Varga

Hungarian-born dancer, choreographer and promoter Gabor Varga trained at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels. He has notably performed for Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Thomas Hauert, Michèle Anne De Mey, Mette Ingvartsen, Gilles Jobin and Guilherme Botelho. Since 2011, he has been collaborating with Jozsef Trefeli. Together, they have produced two shows: JINX 103 and Creature (Swiss Dance Award 2017).

Head of Production at Festival Antigel in 2012 and 2013, he then joined Cie Philippe Saire as promoter and tour manager. In September 2017, he founded BravoBravo, working with artists such as Philippe Saire, Perrine Valli and Rudi van der Merwe, to promote and distribute contemporary artistic projects from Western Switzerland.

Gabor Varga joined the Swiss Selection (SCH) team in Avignon in 2019.