Three Collective Gestures - MoMA

Dance and performance enjoy a growing presence in museums of contemporary art. New York marked this development in 2010 by simultaneous presenting Tino Sehgal at the Guggenheim Museum and Marina Abramović at the Museum of Modern Art.
Throughout its history, MoMA has featured works that included live, performative elements. Since 2008, the Performance Program has turned this art form into an essential component of the museum’s agenda.
Thanks to all these events, MoMA is an ideal space to host over a weekend a new form, another way of imagining dance through the prism of a museum, and vice versa, reimagining a museum through a dance form.

Musée de la danse: Three Collective Gestures is a three-week dance program in The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, conceived by French choreographer Boris Charmatz (b. 1973) in collaboration with his groundbreaking Musée de la danse. In 2009, Charmatz became director of the Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne in northwestern France, which he promptly renamed Musée de la danse (the “Dancing Museum”). Charmatz’s idea was to articulate a notion of dance divested of notions of choreography and “the center.” Through this gesture, as in his broader practice, Charmatz emphasized the museum as a space not just for predetermined, scripted movement and exhibition, but as a dancing institution—replete with exuberance, surprise, affective response, and shifting forms and margins, all firmly rooted in the present tense and available for critical inquiry and revision. Charmatz’s idea of a museum as the framing device for dance (the most ephemeral of cultural forms) redefines the very notions of museum and collection.
As he puts it in his “Manifesto for the Dancing Museum” (2009), “We are at a time in history where a museum can modify BOTH preconceived ideas about museums AND one’s ideas about dance… In order to do so, we must first of all forget the image of a traditional museum, because our space is firstly a mental one. The strength of a museum of dance consists to a large extent in the fact that it does not yet exist.”
Since then, Charmatz and his team have been carving out new and radical ways of interpreting the history, and imagining the future, of dance through the invention of a new kind of public space. The various formats of Musée de la danse are intended as open protocols available for experiment, change, and appropriation, enabling unpredictable events and gestures.
Over the course of three consecutive weekends, American and European dancers and performers will engage in three different projects, each reflecting on how dance can be thought through the museum and vice versa. The subtitle “Three Collective Gestures” suggests the importance of collaboration, participation, and transmission to all the three projects—as well as the interdisciplinary nature of Musée de la danse—challenging preconceived notions of dance.

Extract from MoMA’s website

Musée de la danse: Three Collective Gestures:
20 danseurs pour le XXe siècle
October Friday 18, Saturday 19, Sunday 20, 2013
Levée des conflits extended
October Friday 25, Saturday 26, Sunday 27, 2013
Flip Book
November Friday 1, Saturday 2, Sunday 3, 2013

Running time: From Friday October 18 to Sunday November 3, 2013

Production: Musée de la danse / Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne – Direction: Boris Charmatz. Association supported by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles / Bretagne), the city of Rennes, the regional Council of Brittany and the General Council of Ille-et-Vilaine.
The Institut français contributes regularly to the international touring of the Musée de la danse.
With the support of TransARTE / Institut français et l’Austrian Cultural Forum New York.
In partnership with Les Champs Libres (Rennes) et Foreign Affairs (Berlin).
The MoMA receives the support of the Culturals Services of the French Embassy in United States.

Cover picture: © César Vayssié / Levée des conflits extended, MoMA Three Collective Gestures, New York, 2013