20 Dancers for the XX Century

Boris Charmatz

December 17, 2016 - 4:00 p.m.
General ticket to the Museum until full capacity is reached
Sabatini and Nouvel Buildings, exhibition galleries

5 hours

A project by

Boris Charmatz / Musée de la danse


Boglárka Börcsök, Magali Caillet-Gajan, François Chaignaud, Ashley Chen, Raphaëlle Delaunay, Olga Dukhovnaya, Antonia Franceschi, Latifa Laâbissi, La Ribot, Mark Lorimer, Filipe Lourenço, Vera Mantero, Fabrice Mazliah, Mani Mungai, Olga Pericet, Sonja Pregrad, Marlène Saldana, Frédéric Seguette, Frank Willens and Thomas Wodianka.

* cast susceptible of changes

General stage manager:

Mathieu Morel

Direction of productions:

Martina Hochmuth with the collaboration of the Musée de la danse team

Project produced by:

Musée de la danse / Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne, directed by Boris Charmatz. The association is subsidised by the Ministry of Culture and Communication (the Regional Department of Cultural Affairs / Bretagne), the city of Rennes, the Regional Council of Brittany and the Ille-et-Vilaine General Council. The Institut Français also regularly supports international tours by the Musée de la danse.

Thanks to:

Vito Acconci, Jerôme Bel, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Esther Ferrer, William Forsythe, Sanja Iveković, Eszter Salamon, Meg Stuart, The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, The George Balanchine Trust.

Choreography by Merce Cunningham © The Merce Cunningham Trust. Merce Cunningham’s choreography is performed by Mr Ashley Chen with the permission and support of the Merce Cunningham Trust. All rights reserved.

Marco Antonio Álvarez Fernández, Laura Andreu Sedeño, Elisa Angelina Antunes, Matías Daporta González, Ana Isabel Guzmán Morales, Irene Holguín Gómez, Anastasiia Lauhina, Helena Llorente de Carli, Ana Martín García, Nicole Pérez Rapp, Daniel Raventós Puchol, Marta Salas Lozano and Clara Santiago Beato.

Organized by
Museo Reina Sofía in collaboration with Comunidad de Madrid

Museo Reina Sofía presents 20 Dancers for the XX Century by the French choreographer and incumbent director of the Musée de la danse, Boris Charmatz. The piece will feature the participation of twenty dancers and performers and will be executed across different gallery spaces housing the Museo’s Collection.

20 Dancers for the XX Century is conceived as a living archive in which twenty dancers from different generations perform, recall, appropriate, explain and transmit extracts from a selection of 20th-century dance solos, originally created and performed by pre-eminent figures from the discipline. Each dancer will put forward their own “museum”, freely interacting with diverse spaces in the Collection, and the piece sees Charmatz explore and expand upon the notion of the museum as a living institution with room for dance practices. 

Paraphrasing Boris Charmatz, the project, more than an inheritance, encompasses a kind of archaeology: it seeks to elicit past gestures, restored gestures, reinterpreted by the dancer’s body in the present. From a metaphorical and literal perspective, a dance museum’s collection resides in dancers’ bodies; the body is the most operative storage space: formed by gestures and inhabited by memories which are ready to be activated, in the present and future. The dancers, artists and actors participating in this piece are free to choose and remember, to teach, speak, repeat, reproduce and reappropriate the solos of their choice. Their knowledge of particular works could hail from education or could have been performed previously, while their exercises could adopt the form of wild appropriation or respectful homage, of a division, text, or the reading of documents. The solos are shown where the dancers feel they should be shown and are presented and embodied, but without being allocated a place or time. In this way, emphasis is placed on the mobility and fluidity of bodies: there is no programme to follow, no schedule to adhere to; no one knows exactly who will present what, or where or when. However, everyone is invited to discuss, talk, question and comment.

The activity will be held alongside an encounter with the choreographer, to take place on Tuesday 13 December inside the Nouvel Building’s Auditorium 400

The projects of Boris Charmatz (Chambéry, France, 1973) focus on investigating, rethinking and developing dance from different perspectives. Internationally renowned for his experimental creations, Charmatz’s works have featured at major international festivals and in museums like MoMA, New York. He was also recently the subject of a programme at Tate Modern and Sadler’s Wells, in London, which explored at once his strongest elements of choreography and performance. After passing through Les Champs Libres (Rennes, 2012); MoMA (New York, 2013); the Foreign Affairs Festival (Berlin, 2014); Tate Modern (London, 2015), and Palais Garnier (Paris, 2015), 20 Dancers for the XX Century arrives at the Museo Reina Sofía to coincide with the participation of the Musée de la danse at the Madrid Community’s XXXIV Autumn to Spring Festival with the piece manger (Wednesday, December 14 and Thursday, December 15 at 8:oo p.m. in the Teatros del Canal). Both works are presented within the framework of a two-fold programme which provides audiences with a sharper focus on the figure of the choreographer through different perspectives.

In collaboration with: