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.
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.
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.