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Boris Charmatz

Conflicts in collectives, the celebration of communities, and the expansion of the concept of dance are the main topics explored by French choreographer and dancer Boris Charmatz, who pursues a redefinition of choreographic and institutional space. In 2009, when he took over as artistic director of the Centre Chorégraphique National de Rennes et de Bretagne, he declared the institute a museum of dance. Contemporary artists, writers and thinkers from all disciplines are regularly invited to work together on new themes and performative forms. The Musée de la danse is now a “museum in progress”, a platform and impetus for new developments in contemporary dance. In addition to his choreographic work, Charmatz develops improvisational formats and dance workshops with students, children and amateurs. From 2006 to 2008 he was a guest lecturer at the Universität der Künste, Berlin and co-founder of the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz (Inter-University Centre for Dance).

Charmatz studied at the Paris Opera’s school of ballet and rose to international acclaim as a 19-year-old through his own work. His choreographies are presented worldwide, including Flip Book (2008) and Roman Photo (2009). In co-production with the manifesta 8, he developed Levée des conflits (2010), a choreography for 24 dancers that reveals commonalities between man and machine. In 2011, he was named an Artist Associé des Festival d’Avignon and created the internationally celebrated dance piece enfant, for the stage in the Papal Palace. His movement sculpture manger (2014) explores the daily ritual of eating; with the performance Danse de Nuit (2016), Charmatz draws attention to the threat to the human body in public space.

His live exhibition expo zéro was shown at Springdance / BAK basis voor actuele kunst in Utrecht (2010) and at Performa 11 in New York (2011). As co-curator of the exhibition Moments. A History of Performance in 10 Acts (ZKM Karlsruhe, 2012), he developed performative strategies of appropriation with colleagues from art and academia. In November 2013, the Musée de la dance performed its piece Three Collective Gestures at MoMA, New York. From 2012 – 2014, Boris Charmatz was among the most influential artists at the Ruhrtriennale under the direction of Heiner Goebbels. In 2015, with If Tate Modern was Musée de la danse? the Tate Modern, London, presented a multi-day retrospective of the artist in the Turbine Hall and exhibition spaces. As a dancer, Boris Charmatz can be seen in various choreographies including those by Meg Stuart, Tino Sehgal and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. He has co-authored numerous books on contemporary dance, most recently Je suis une école and (together with Jérôme Bel) Emails 2009-2010. Boris Charmatz lives in Rennes and Brussels, and is a member of the Volksbühne’s programme advisory board.

Picture: Donald Christie

> "Boris Charmatz, what can this 2,500-year-old theatre ritual right now bring forth?"

Past productions

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