If you love to dance, this show may be speaking your language. Jérôme Bel, via 20 diverse New Yorkers, distills what it means to dance down to some bare-bones essentials and lets his collaborators flesh them out again.

Use this study guide to learn more about Jérôme Bel, approaches to engage with topics of diversity, human connection, and the kinetic ecstasy of movement.

Mitch Roberson’s poem “Everyday We Are Dancers” takes dance off the stage and into the everyday — the inverse of Gala.

Watch a trailer for the show

Get Started Here

New to Jérôme Bel’s work? André Lepecki’s “Loving Dancing” is a great place to start — a short essay on a similar work at MoMA.

Read about Bel’s oeuvre in the New York Times, plus a review of a past production of Gala in London.

Debra Levine (NYU) wrote an Indefinite Article — and has seen the show all over the globe!

Choreographing Difference

Moving Across Difference: Dance and Disability” by Ann Cooper Albright

Diversity, inclusion, and representation have been hot topics in the past several years, and this show stages these buzzwords without comment, leaving the audience to consider the kinds of conversations — critical and/or complimentary — that can emerge around diverse representation onstage. According to Siobhan Burke in the NY Times: “While praised by some, Mr. Bel has also come under attack for only superficially celebrating difference, and for riding too fine a line between representation and exploitation.” What do you think? How does Gala contribute to conversations about diversity, inclusion, and representation onstage?

Office Hours

A special, extended office hours with Debra Levine (NYU Abu Dhabi), Nisha Sajnani (NYU Steinhardt), and Hentyle Yapp (NYU Tisch), on Jérôme Bel (in absentia). Due to some technical difficulties this is in 3 parts.

This conversation veers delightfully as they riff on interculturalism, relational aesthetics, virtuosity, dance moms, and online dating. Plus behind-the-scenes dirt on the casting process. Warning: spoilers abound!

Part 1: Structure, casting, and nascent plans for a “Gala Rejects” restaging.

Part 2: Briefly picking back up with bowing, or, the audience’s script.

Part 3: Starting mid-sentence about recognition, attachment, and costuming.

Bonus: Nisha Sajnani invokes Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric: scroll down for the photo she references!

Extra Credit

If you’re interested in other dance and performance groups that think about age, race, gender, sexuality, ability… or if you want to get on the dance floor yourself, check out:

AXIS Dance Company


Dancing Wheels Company

Explode! Queer Dance

Full Radius Dance

Heidi Latsky Dance

It’s Showtime NYC

Kinetic Light

Les Ballets Trockadero

MAI (Movement Art Is… at NYU Skirball April 14, 2018!)

Sage Dance Company

Sean Dorsey Dance Company

Topsy Turvy Queer Circus

Werk for Peace