Theatre, street performance, dance and music
With around 210 professional theatre companies, 70 street performance companies and more than 30 contemporary dance companies, Brittany is particularly creative and dynamic.
Some venues have achieved national and even European status, such as the Centre Dramatique de Bretagne theatre in Lorient, the Théâtre National de Bretagne (National Theatre of Brittany) in Rennes, the Centre Chorégraphique National de Rennes et de Bretagne (a national choreographic centre in Rennes) and the Quartz in Brest, among others.
Brittany also encourages the involvement of the general public through the wide range of festivals organised in the region each year, whose reputation sometimes extends far beyond regional borders. This is the case when it comes to music and the Festival des Vieilles Charrues (Vieilles Charrues Festival) in Carhaix, the Festival de Cornouaille (Cornouaille Festival) in Quimper, the Route du Rock Festival in Saint-Malo and the Transmusicales de Rennes (a festival for new music held in Rennes), etc.
There are also many amateur activities. For example, nearly 13,000 adults and children are members of some 160 Celtic groups, who practice Breton dances.
The biniou (Breton bagpipes), the bombard and the bagad (a Breton band composed of bagpipes, bombards and drums)
The combination of the biniou and the bombard symbolises traditional Breton music. Played by sonneurs (musicians who play the bombard, biniou or clarinet) and accompanied by singers and storytellers, this duo of instruments brings events and festivals to life. The bagad is a group of sonneurs and usually consists of at least 21 musicians. Visit the Association Dastum site (a Breton association that collects, protects and promotes the cultural heritage of Brittany) to learn more about traditional Breton music.
With more than 2,000 works, Brittany’s Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain (FRAC, or Regional Fund for Contemporary Art) has one of the richest collections in the country. The region also has 3 approved centres of contemporary art (the Criée in Rennes, the Quartier in Quimper and the Centre d'Art Passerelle in Brest) and a cultural exchange centre: the Domaine de Kerguéhennec. There is also the Centre International d’Art Contemporain (CIAC, or International Centre of Contemporary Art) in Pont-Aven, with its workshops welcoming artists from around the world, exhibition space and conferences, etc.
Regular events in the region make for original experiences for the general public: the Biennale d’Art Contemporain (a biennial contemporary art event) in Rennes, the Art dans les Chapelles festival (where artists exhibit their work in chapels) in Morbihan, the artistic journey “L’Art Chemin Faisant” (art along the way) in Pont-Scorff, etc.
Books and reading
Brittany has almost 180 libraries and multimedia libraries open to the public. In addition, the region hosts around fifty events that mark out the literary calendar: the Festival Étonnants Voyageurs (Amazing Travellers Festival) in Saint-Malo, the Festival du Polar (a crime fiction festival) in Concarneau, Noir sur la Ville (a crime and noir fiction festival) in Lamballe, the Festival du Livre en Bretagne (Brittany Book Festival) in Carhaix, etc.
Around 100 publishers are listed in Brittany, and 800 titles are published every year.
Currently, there are around 280 cinemas in Brittany. Film is also the focus of many festivals: the Festival Travelling (a film festival) in Rennes, the Festival du Film Britannique (British Film Festival) in Dinard, the Festival du Film Court National et Européen (National and European Short Film Festival) in Brest, etc.