As part of BMW Tate Live – Tate Modern’s performance programme – Charmatz and his team of over 75 dancers will take over Tate Modern for 48 hours with an unfolding series of performances throughout the building. The project will also invite visitors to participate at selected moments in a warm up, a workshop and even a nightclub dancefloor in the Turbine Hall. The event poses the question: what If Tate Modern was Musée de la danse? What would this dancing museum be like? As part of Musée de la danse in London, two new works by Boris Charmatz will also be staged at Sadler’s Wells from 19 – 23 May, extending the boundaries of these two institutions to meet across sites.
During the Musée de la danse take-over of Tate Modern, dance will be performed, displayed, taught and disseminated all over the building, presenting individual works but also highlighting the ‘found’ choreography of everyday activity around the museum. In the Turbine Hall a series of major dance works by Charmatz will be staged and visitors will be able to join in and dance. Dancers will also be dispersed throughout the collection displays, and a live exhibition will invite artists and theorists to discuss, perform and share ideas on what a ‘dancing museum’ might be.
Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall will feature a succession of works which are set up, performed and dismantled. A public warm up will give way to the subsequent building and unbuilding of Charmatz’s major choreographic works: A bras-le-corps 1993, Roman Photo 2009, Manger (decomposed) 2014 and Levee des conflits 2010. These presentations of Charmatz’s work will be interwoven with the teaching of elements of choreography to the audience. The Musée de la danse’s regular workshop format, Adrenaline – a dance floor that is open to everyone – will be staged as a temporary nightclub complete with disco ball, emerging as part of this changing space. The Turbine Hall’s public space will constantly transform from the dance lesson to performance, from participation to a party, and from performance’s set-up to its take-down and set-up again.
As part of this transformation from Tate Modern to Musée de la danse, some performances will be live-streamed online from the gallery. Both online and offline audiences will be asked ‘how would you imagine the dancing museum’, inviting anyone in the world to take part in the action by sending in their thoughts using the hashtag #dancingmuseum
The work of other international choreographers and artists will be explored throughout the galleries with Expo Zero and 20 Dancers for the 20th Century. Expo Zero, a work by Charmatz which has never been shown in London, will include performances, personal perspectives and discussions about a new possible museum of dance. The audience is invited to witness and join in with these discussions, led by key figures from the world of art and performance including Tim Etchells, Mette Ingvartsen, Meg Stuart, Claire Bishop and Sung Hwan Kim. Throughout the galleries, 20 Dancers for the 20th Century will explore the history of dance, from ballet and contemporary to folk, pop and hip hop, as dancers of all genres respond to the art in Tate Modern’s galleries. Visitors will also be able to take guided tours throughout the re-imagined collection displays from a choreographic perspective.
The commission at Tate Modern will coincide with the UK premiere of Charmatz’s new work Manger at Sadler’s Wells, as well as the UK premiere of Partita 2, a work by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, performed by De Keersmaeker, Boris Charmatz and Amandine Beyer at Sadler’s Wells. On Tuesday 12 May at Tate Modern, BMW Tate Live Talks will also provide an opportunity for the public to celebrate and critically investigate the phenomenon of artists creating their own museums. There will be a panel discussion where practitioners, theorists and experts from different fields will explore the diverse motivations behind artists setting up their own real and fictitious museums across the globe.
Boris Charmatzoriginally trained at the Paris Opera Ballet and has been challenging preconceived notions of dance for over twenty years. In 2009, Charmatz became director of the Centre Chorégraphique National de Rennes et de Bretagne in France, which he renamed Musée de la danse. His concept of a museum as the framing device for dance – the most ephemeral of cultural forms – redefines the very notions of museum and collection.
The BMW Tate Live programme explores the diverse ways in which artists approach live performance in the 21st century whether in the gallery or online. Throughout the programme, artists collaborate across dance, film and other art forms. Now entering its fourth year, BMW Tate Live is a major partnership between BMW and Tate which focuses on performance and interdisciplinary art in the gallery and online.
BMW Tate Live: Performance Events and Performance Room are curated by Catherine Wood, Curator, Contemporary Art and Performance, and Capucine Perrot, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern.