Tanzplattform 2018 – Part 2 – Boris Charmatz / 10 000 Gestures

This dance piece impressed me in an extraordinary way. It is pure dance, movement and let you feel the joy of having a body and the possibility to move it. The concept is easy to outline, gestures that evolve, live their live and disappear again – always long enough to be recognised but always too much happening at the same time to ever see all. It premiered at the Volksbühne Berlin on it’s temporary stage at the Tempelhofer Feld, a former airplane hangar. This setting is at the same time common and uncommon, the environment build of giant empty halls and grey cement is filled by 24 classically trained dancers. For the performance at Tanzplattform 2018 the setting was the Musiktheater am Revier, a pretty theatre building from after-war-times.

The dancers did their best to fascinate and overwhelm the audience, spoken both in metaphor and physics. The moment when they entered the spectator’s room was like an explosion, so much was happening both on stage and between the rows that you had no clue where to look at. Their constant counting and Bach’s Requiem accompanied the movement, the only time that interrupted this metronome when one harlequine-styled dancer hugged me and told me to inhale and exhale while she lifted me a little from my seat. Their movements were very personal, like if each of them had their very own body language and while watching you begin to wonder how a choreographer could overlook and organise all of them, building beautiful structures though out this appearing chaos.

Charmatz did it with unspeakably cleverness and counted on every member of his museum company. He is not only the founder of this company but also the head of the Musée de la danse, the only dance museum in France. This museum is a work-in-progress as it is as fluent as dance is – always changing, evolving and transforming, presenting both research and result.

If the opportunity opens up for me I would surely like to watch this dance piece a few more times to see it from different perspectives and with different focuses as I am sure there is much more to explore.

Text and Picture by Verena

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