Cabaret Voltaire was the name of a nightclub in Zürich, Switzerland. It was founded by Hugo Ball, with his companion Emmy Hennings on February 5, 1916 as a cabaret for artistic and political purposes.
The cabaret featured spoken word, dance and music. The soirees were often raucous events with artists experimenting with new forms of performance, such as sound poetry and simultaneous poetry. Mirroring the maelstrom of World War I raging around it, the art it exhibited was often chaotic and brutal. On at least one occasion, the audience attacked the Cabaret's stage. Though the Cabaret was to be the birthplace of the Dadaist movement, it featured artists from every sector of the avant-garde, including Futurism's Marinetti. The Cabaret exhibited radically experimental artists, many of whom went on to change the face of their artistic disciplines; featured artists included Kandinsky, Paul Klee, de Chirico and Max Ernst.