Charmatz’s danse de nuit in London multi-storey car park

Vera Liber

Dancer, choreographer and agitateur Boris Charmatz returns to London from 17 to 20 May 2017 with the UK première of danse de nuit, a co-production with Sadler’s Wells.

Made after the Paris terrorist attacks of 2015, Charmatz’s work reflects on the political art of the cartoon and on humour and danger at the top of a multi-storey car park in Stratford and features six dancers in an intensely physical, urban night dance that challenges the established order.

Boris Charmatz said, “I did not want it to be a piece that would preach on the current situation, but speak very quickly and say many things that would cross our minds, about what we’d want to say and do today. It is really like a sort of logorrhoea, even a sort of glossolalia, of these thoughts and ideas.

"Public spaces are places where we assemble and yet it is true that in the public space today, especially in France and in Europe, we are haunted by security and danger. danse de nuit is an example of what could be done in terms of choreographic assembly where the choreography of the audience is part of the overall choreography.”

Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive, said, “holding a significant place in the development of contemporary dance today, Boris Charmatz’s work is remarkable in its clever disregard of expectations, inviting us to deal with the complexities of our human experience in unexpected ways.

"His latest work danse de nuit encompasses some of the uncertainty that is being felt globally and raises questions about how we see the world. Including a powerful response to the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack, this piece promises to challenge the audience’s relationship with dance and its concept of theatre.

"The production also gives us a unique opportunity to go beyond our walls and present a site-specific piece which is vital and relevant.”

Later this summer, Charmatz’s 10000 Gestures will be unveiled at Manchester International Festival from 13 to 15 July, in a co-production with Sadler’s Wells. The work will première at the Volksbühne Berlin on 14 to 17 September and will be presented at Sadler’s Wells in 2019.