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Talk + Performance: Jérôme Bel, Isadora Duncan

Studio A2, Upper Level

A choreographer discusses working towards a creative response to the climate emergency in conjunction with an excerpt of his final work in a series of portraits of dancers, Isadora Duncan with dancer Catherine Gallant. Capacity for this event is limited. RSVP is required. Click here to RSVP.

On the 21st September, Jérôme Bel will greet the viewers at the Art Center via Skype to discuss his new working process, and Catherine Gallant, a New York-based dancer, historian, and Duncan specialist, will perform a short excerpt of Isadora Duncan. Isadora Duncan examines an artistic pioneer from her American roots to her ultimate demise in France. The piece uncovers a woman who was a feminist, Darwinist, communist, and an advocate of free love. In bringing the same spontaneity, naturalness, and freedom she exhibited in life to the stage, she established the origins of modern dance. The work is the culmination of Bel’s series of portraits of dancers, and has been commissioned by Crossing the Line. For ecological reasons, R.B. Jérôme Bel company doesn’t travel by plane anymore. This piece has been, thus, rehearsed by Skype. It will premiere as part of the festival on Wednesday, September 25th.

About Jérôme Bel

Jérôme Bel was born in 1964, lives in Paris. In his early pieces, Jérôme Bel applied structuralist operations to dance in order to single out the primary elements from  theatrical spectacle. His interest subsequently shifted from dance as a stage practice to the issue of the performer as a particular individual. The series of portraits of dancers (Véronique DoisneauCédric AndrieuxPichet Klunchun and myself…) broaches dance through the narrative of those who practice it, emphasizes words in a dance spectacle, and stresses the issue of the singularity of the stage. Through his use of biography, Jérôme Bel politicizes his questions, aware as he is of the crisis involving the subject in contemporary society and the forms its representation takes on stage. In The show must go on, which was awarded a Bessie in 2005 and Disabled Theater, he started dealing with questions about what the theatre can be in a political sense. In offering the stage to non-traditional performers (amateurs, people with physical and mental handicaps, children in Gala), he shows a preference for the community of differences over the formatted group, and a desire to dance over choreography, and duly applies the methods of a process of emancipation through art. In 2016, he created MoMA Dance Company, performed by some of its staff members and he has also been invited to contemporary art biennials and museums, where he has put on performances and shown films.


About Catherine Gallant

Catherine Gallant has been dancing, choreographing, and teaching for more than 30 years, in both traditional and alternative venues. Gallant has received funding for her work from the Harkness Foundation for Dance, LMCC/Creative Engagement, the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Trust, City Parks Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, and NYFA. She has taught college dance courses at Boston Conservatory, Curry College, and MIT. She has been creating new works as Catherine Gallant/DANCE since 1999. Catherine is also the director and co-founder (with Patricia Adams in 1989) of Dances by Isadora, which performs, teaches, and collaborates with Duncan dancers throughout the world. She began her study of the technique of Isadora Duncan with Julia Levien, a student of Anna and Irma Duncan, in 1982. She is currently on the Duncan Archive Committee and is a regular contributor to duncanarchive.org. Catherine is currently a fulltime dance educator at PS 89 in Lower Manhattan. She and her students were featured in the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary, PS DANCE! She was on the writing committee for NYC Blueprint for the Arts in dance and is on the faculty of the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL). Ms. Gallant is a graduate of Boston Conservatory and holds an MFA in dance from Temple University.