The Federal Office of Culture (FOC) presented Swiss Dance Awards every second year from 2013 to 2019 and Swiss Theatre Awards every year from 2014 to 2020. Since 2021, the Swiss Dance Awards and Swiss Theatre Awards have been merged under the umbrella of the Performing Arts, and are presented annually at a joint event. The aim of this change is to bring the disciplines of dance, theatre, the various forms that make up “Kleinkunst”, and other facets of the performing arts such as performance, contemporary circus, puppet theatre and street arts closer together, and increase the visibility of the performing arts.
In addition to the Swiss Grand Award for the Performing Arts / Hans Reinhart Ring, which is awarded in cooperation with the Swiss Association for Theatre Studies (SGTK), the FOC awards each year a total of nine Swiss awards in dance, theatre and the performing arts to individuals or institutions that have rendered outstanding services to the diverse cultural output of the performing arts in Switzerland. In addition, one dance and one theatre production of the previous year are honoured and the “June Johnson Newcomer Prize” is awarded in collaboration with the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation.
These awards from the Federal Office of Culture are specifically designed to recognise the work of culture practitioners, promote diversity and exchange between language regions, and make them more accessible to audiences both national and international. The FOC works closely with various partners to promote the awards, including the Swiss Association for Theatre Studies, the Swiss Artists’ Fair, Tanzfest and the Swiss Theatre Encounter.