Celebrated French choreographer and dance artist Boris Charmatz returns to Tate Modern for the London premiere of his recent work, 10000 Gestures, co-presented by Tate Modern and Sadler’s Wells. The performance will be staged with an ensemble of 24 dancers against the dramatic backdrop of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Composed of the literal 10,000 gestures of the title, it is performed in a torrent of unrepeating movements which are executed then dismissed. Each gesture is unique, questioning the nature of dance’s relationship to time. Two evening performances will be accompanied by a programme of free events and performances.
Internationally renowned for his experimental approach to contemporary dance, Boris Charmatz has staged performances at theatres and museums around the world including Museum of Modern Art, New York and Théâtre de la Ville, Paris. In January 2019 he launched his new structure Terrain after heading the Rennes & Brittany National Choreographic Centre from 2009 to 2019, which he transformed into the cutting-edge Musée de la danse. In 2015 in partnership with Sadler’s Wells, he imagined a transformative project titled If Tate Modern was Musée de la danse? as part of the ongoing BMW Tate Live programme. The project activated the museum’s galleries and public spaces with live performances and interactive events attracting over 54,000 visitors in one weekend.
Tate Modern will host two ticketed performances of 10000 Gestures on the evenings of 22 and 23 June, available to purchase online from 15 April. Alongside a formal ticketed presentation of this major work, set before a raked seating structure in the Turbine Hall, Boris Charmatz continues his exploration of dance in the public space of the museum. Devising two new public formats especially for Tate Modern, on the Saturday afternoon the artist will present, an open ‘lecture-demonstration’, in which the language and composition of his choreography is analysed. On the Sunday afternoon a set of solos extracted from the performance will unfold throughout the gallery to create an extended three hour piece.
As a counterpoint to the grand scale and proliferation of movements within 10000 Gestures, Emmanuelle Huynh and Boris Charmatz will present free off-stage performances of their intimate duets étrangler le temps and bolero 2, in which they appear sculpture-like amid the movement of the public on the Turbine Hall ramp. Each a tribute to the work of choreographer, Odile Duboc, étrangler le temps and bolero 2 will take place during gallery hours over the weekend.
Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern said: “Following the success of If Tate Modern was Musée de la danse? in 2015, we are delighted to welcome Boris Charmatz back to Tate Modern for the London premiere of 10000 Gestures in partnership with Sadler’s Wells. Live performance is an integral part of Tate Modern’s programme and we look forward to bringing this major work to the Turbine Hall.”
Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells, said: “Having seen its premiere in a former train station, Mayfield Depot, as part of the Manchester International Festival, I always knew 10000 Gestures would work best in a non-theatrical space. The Turbine Hall provides an ideal setting, continuing our partnership with Tate to present Boris Charmatz. With his radical dancing museum (Musée de la danse) concept, Boris has expanded dance beyond the boundaries of traditional choreography and the stage. His emphasis on unscripted, broader movement and gestures and on blending professional dancers and audiences in a space anchor his work in the moment, offering it up for us to experience, question and reflect on.”
Boris Charmatz: 10000 Gestures. Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG on 22 June at 20.00–21.00 & 23 June at 19.00–20.00. Admission: £20 and concessions available.