Tickets are up to 30% OFF for Members this season! Plus, NYU Skirball Members gain access to exclusive online and in-person events offering behind-the-scenes insights into our artists and our productions.


Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels and NYU Skirball present the North American premiere of SOMNOLE. In this rare solo performance by Boris Charmatz, the award-winning French dancer, choreographer, and Artistic Director of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, explores the idea of somnolence — the feeling of being on the brink of sleep.

Known for his large-scale, group performances, for this piece he distills his choreography into the minimalist form of a dance solo.  In a score comprised only of whistling, melodies surface, blend, and break apart. The nature of the relationship between the sound and the movement constantly shifts from deliberate to halting, hazy to insightful. Like a body seeking sleep, Charmatz invents a form of insomniac dance where hypnotic rhythms and gestures bring the audience to the frontier between wakefulness and sleep.

French choreographer Boris Charmatz is widely celebrated for his radical approach to contemporary dance. Dancer, choreographer, and creator of experimental projects, Charmatz subjects dance to formal constraints which redraw the field of possibilities. From 2009 to 2018, he directed the Musée de la danse – Centre Chorégraphique National de Rennes et de Bretagne. In January 2019, he founded [terrain], in partnership with le phénix, scène nationale in Valenciennes, the Lille Opera and the Amiens Maison de la Culture. Boris Charmatz is also an associate artist of Charleroi Danse in Belgium. He became director of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in Germany, in September 2022.

SOMNOLE is part of the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival in New York.

Show More


Profoundly attached to the world of dance since its origins, the High Jewelry Maison strengthens its commitment with Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels. Guided by the values of creation, transmission and education, this initiative aims to support artists and institutions in presenting choreographic heritage, while also promoting new productions. Since its launch in 2020, it has promoted numerous dance companies for their creations as well as the presentation of multiple performances around the world. The program is complemented each year by major events, including the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival, whose first edition took place in London in March 2022. This support further extends to awareness-raising actions focused on dance culture for the broadest possible audience, professionals and amateurs alike.

Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels


Made possible in part with support from the Harkness Foundation for Dance.

Harkness foundation for dance logo

NYU Skirball’s programs are made possible in part with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and by Howard Gilman Foundation; FUSED (French U.S. Exchange in Dance), a program of FACE Foundation in partnership with Villa Albertine; General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA; Collins Building Services; Korean Cultural Center New York, Marta Heflin Foundation; Harkness Foundation for Dance; as well as our valued donors through memberships, commissioning, and Stage Pass Fund support.

Show Less
Boris Charmatz: SOMNOLE
SOMNOLE-Boris-Charmatz-credits-Marc-Domage-4 small
(c) Marc Domage
SOMNOLE-Boris-Charmatz-credits-Marc-Domage-3 small
(c) Marc Domage
SOMNOLE-Boris-Charmatz-credits-Marc-Domage-2 small
(c) Marc Domage
SOMNOLE-Boris-Charmatz-credits-Marc-Domage small-1
(c) Marc Domage

Go Beyond

Prep School: Somnole

Readings, videos, interviews and more.