Manifesto for a Dancing Museum

download the full version of the Manifesto

excerpts of the « Manifesto for a Dancing Museum »:

[...] I propose mixing all the tasks normally associated with a National Choreographic Centre and shaking them together inside a framework that would be both ancient and modern, humorous and antiquated, dusty and stimulating, a Museum with no equivalent in the world. [...]
This museum intends to be an introduction, an appetizer, a place for enhancing public awareness of dance and choreographic culture in the broadest sense, of the history of the body and its representations. However, it is not centred exclusively on choreographic art: it does not seek to establish a taxonomy of dance, its goal is not to offer a settled definition of the subject. Its ideal isn't to give an exhaustive representation either of the different dances performed around the world. It wishes to stimulate the desire for knowledge. [...]

To not cut the matter short, ten commandments :
a micro-museum but a real one: it fully takes up its museum tasks and upholds a balance between its various functions of conservation, creation, research, exhibition, diffusion, enhancement of public awareness, mediation, without neglecting any of them. Such an interdependence is what justifies the creation of a museal structure.

a museum of artists searchers, collectors, exhibition commissioners take part in the museum's life, but above all it is the doing of artists who invent it by creating works. It is therefore an artistic project initiated by Boris Charmatz, but produced by numerous artists.

an eccentric museum it intends to be an introduction, an appetizer, a place for enhancing public awareness of dance and choreographic culture in the broad sense, of history of the body and its representations.
However, it is not centred exclusively on choreographic art: it does not seek to establish a taxinomy of dance, its goal is not to offer a settled definition of the subject.Its ideal isn't either to give an exhaustive representation of the different dances performed all around the world. It wishes to stimulate the desire for knowledge.

an incorporated museum it can develop only provided that it is built by the bodies moving through it, those of the public, the artists, but also of the museum employees (attendants, technicians, administration
staff, etc.), who activate the works, become actors themselves.

a provocative museum it approaches dance and its history through a resolutely contemporary vision. It spends time questioning the ingenuous knowledge everyone has about dancing. It induces improbable linkings, confrontations between worlds usually far appart from one another. It questions the accepted opinions going round about dance... and therefore elsewhere in society.

a transgressive museum it fully acknowledges the fact that its activity does not limit itself to the quest for and the representation of the "authentic" object; it encourages artists and visitors to take hold of the works, it stimulates plagiarism. Artistic creation and the visitor's experience are at the core of its action. Being a place of life, a social space for controversy, a place of talk and interpretation, it is not only a space of accumulation and representation.

a permeable museum it defends the principle according to which the fact of opening oneself up to a broadened conception of dance, means to accept to be crossed by other movements, to extract oneself
from a fixed identity. To open up to difference.

a museum of complex temporalities it thinks both the ephemeral and the perennial, the experimental and the patrimonial. Active, reactive, mobile, it is a viral museum which can be grafted on other places, can spread dance in places where it was not expected. It is also a museum with a programme evolving by the rythm of seasons, able to settle down on beaches in the summer period or to propose a winter University...

a cooperative museum it is independant, but works in connection with a network of partners, cooperates with institutions linked to dance (contemporary, classic and traditional, scholarly and popular),
to museums, to art centres and galleries, to research centres and universities, and it sets itself under no circumstances against them. It builds deep relationships with individuals,
wether they be artists of international fame like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Steve Paxton or William Forsythe, or passionate amateurs.

an immediate museum it exists a soon as the first gesture has been performed.