In his most ambitious stage work to date, Boris Charmatz amasses a choreographic storm of movements assembled by more than 20 dancers each executing thousands of actions over an hour. Each gesture is unique, not to be repeated, and evaporates as soon as it is completed. Alluding to the ephemeral nature of dance, Charmatz’s work—which is set to Mozart’s Requiem, a glorious meditation on death—is a statement on the transient nature of being. The inspiration for 10000 Gestures came to Charmatz while he was staging his piece, Levée des Conflits Extended, at the Museum of Modern Art in 2013, which was a study in permanence and immobility. Charmatz set out to create the opposite effect in 10000 Gestures, he told The New York Times: “I envision a choreographic forest in which no dancer ever repeats any of the gestures, each of which will be shown only once and will vanish as soon as it has been executed, like an ode to the impermanence of the art of dance.”
There are 10000 reasons you won’t want to miss this… here’s 5 of them:
- Charmatz is reinventing the language of dance. “It’s not a good choreographer’s task… But because I didn’t know how to do it, I felt that was what we should try.”
- He also calls it “an ode to the impermanence of the art of dance.”
- This NYC premiere was originally commissioned by the Manchester International Festival in 2017.
- It’s a “thrilling blizzard of movement” (The Guardian) that tests the audiences’ capacity as well as the performers’ imaginations.
- Are you a fan of Jerome Bel? Charmatz is his compatriot and occasional collaborator.
Plus: join us for a post-show conversation with Boris Charmatz and Ana Janevski, Curator in the Department of Media & Performance Art at MoMA, on Friday, Sept 28. They will also be signing books in the lobby after the show.
French choreographer Boris Charmatz is widely celebrated for his radical approach to contemporary dance. Since 2009, Charmatz has been the director of the Rennes & Brittany National Choreographic Centre, transforming it into the Museum of Dance (Musée de la danse). He has recently presented work to great acclaim at Sadler’s Wells, Tate Modern, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Co-presented with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)’s Crossing the Line Festival.
Supported by FUSED: French U.S. Exchange in Dance, a program of FACE Foundation in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States. This program is made possible thanks to the support of the Florence Gould Foundation, Institut français Paris, French Ministry of Culture, and private donors. Additional funding has been provided by the CHANEL Foundation.
Skirball Moves programming is generously supported by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the Harkness Foundation for Dance.