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Improvisation is the vehicle that drives creativity in music as well as in dance. Boris Charmatz, throughout his career, has frequently taken part in ephemeral forms bringing together, for the duration of an improvisation, artists and media, writing and singular worlds. In addition to improvisations with other choreographers, such as Meg Stuart, Boris Charmatz often improvises alongside musicians. This was the case for example during the festival Jazz à la Villette (2006), with Hans Bennink, Archie Shepp, and with Saul Williams. With Médéric Collignon, the improvisational project is more long-term, simply entitled “Improvisation.” The two artists engage their shared potential—the technical mastery and a deep sense of derision—in a structured and always renewed improvisation. The gesture of dance, as well as the pocket trumpet are clearly present but also leave room for electronic music, spoken word, song, vocalizations, for gesticulation and stomping… This improvising duo explores an extremely broad range of subjects which they engage with directly through their instantaneously shared writing.

Source : Boris Charmatz

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Charmatz, Boris

Born in Chambéry (France), on January 3, 1973

After studying at the Ecole de Danse de l'Opéra de Paris and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon, Boris Charmatz was engaged by Régine Chopinot to dance Ana (1990) and Saint-Georges (1991). In 1992, he was asked by Odile Duboc to join her company Contrejour to dance 7 jours/7 villes (1992), Projet de la matière (1993) and Trois Boléros (1996). He also took part in the premiere of K de E, choreographed by Olivia Grandville and Xavier Marchand (1993).

In 1992, he co-founded edna association with Dimitri Chamblas. Following the premieres of works the pair choreographed together À bras-le-corps (1993) and Les Disparates (1994), Charmatz began creating his own works: Aatt enen tionon (1996), a vertical piece for three dancers, herses (une lente introduction) (1997), a piece for five dancers and a cellist set to music by Helmut Lachenmann. In 1999, he choreographed Con forts fleuve (1999), a group piece performed to texts by John Giorno and musics by Otomo Yoshihide. In 2002, he premiered héâtre-élévision, a provocative installation piece influenced by russian Matryoshka nesting dolls that was designed to be seen by one spectator at a time. In 2006, he premiered régi, a performance with Julia Cima, Raimund Hoghe and himself, as well as Quintette Cercle (2006), a live version of héâtre-élévision. La danseuse malade (2008) performed by Jeanne Balibar and Boris Charmatz, was inspired by the texts of Tatsumi Hijikata, founder of butoh dance. One of his latest works, 50 years of dance (2009), is performed by former dancers of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Conceived like a choreographic flip-book, it takes the book “Merce Cunningham, Fifty Years” by David Vaughan as its score. Roman Photo (2009) is the version for non-dancers, students and amateurs and Flip Book (2009) the one for professional dancers. Levée des conflits (2010) is a performance for 24 dancers and 25 mouvements. Associate artist of the 2011 Festival d'Avignon, Boris Charmatz creates at the Cour d'Honneur of the Pope's Palace enfant, a piece for 26 children, 9 dancers and 3 machines.

Since 1997, in collaboration with Angèle Le Grand, he developed varied projects within the association edna. The purpose of such propositions was to create a space open to multiple experiments: thematic sessions, production of films (Les Disparates by César Vayssié, Horace Benedict by Dimitri Chamblas and Aldo Lee, Une lente introduction by Boris Charmatz), Hors-série programmes proposed by the edna team (La chaise and Visitations by Julia Cima, Jachères by Vincent Dupont), production of installations (Programme court avec essorage), organisation of exhibitions (Complexe, Statuts), and trans-media projects (Ouvrée - artistes en alpages, Entraînements-série d'actions artistiques, Facultés, Education).

While maintaining an extensive touring schedule, he also participates in improvisational events on a regular basis (recently with Saul Williams, Archie Shepp and Han Bennink) and continues to pursue his performing career (with Odile Duboc for Projet de la Matière and Trois boléros, as part of the piece d'un Faune (éclats) by the Albrecht Knust Quartet and with Fanny de Chaillé for Underwear), to name a few.

From 2002 to 2004, while an artist-in-residence at the Centre national de la danse in Pantin and driven by the idea of exploring the theme of education in depth, he developped the Bocal project, a nomadic and ephemeral school that brought together students from different backgrounds. He was visiting professor at Berlin's Universität der Künste, where he contributed to the creation of a new dance curriculum which was installed in 2007.

He is the co-author of a book with Isabelle Launay: Entretenir / à propos d'une danse contemporaine (published jointly by the Centre National de la Danse and Les Presses du Réel) published in English in 2011 under the title undertraining / On A Contemporary Dance (Ed. Les Presses du Réel). Boris Charmatz is also the author of “Je suis une école” (2009, Ed. Les Prairies ordinaires) related to the adventure Bocal.

Director since 2009 of the Rennes and Britanny National Choreographic Centre, Boris Charmatz proposes to transform it into a Dancing Museum of a new kind. A manifesto is at the origin of this museum, which has received, amongst others, the projects préfiguration, expo zéro, rebutoh, service commandé (on commission), brouillon (rough draft), Jérôme Bel en 3 sec. 30 sec. 3 min. 30 min et 3 h., Petit Musée de la danse, « Rétrospective » par Xavier Le Roy and has travelled to Saint Nazaire, Singapore, Utrecht, Avignon and New York.

He creates the piece manger at the Ruhrtriennale in Germany on September 23rd, 2014, danse de nuit as part of the Built-Festival of Geneva in 2016, then 10 000 gestes in 2017 at the Volksbühne of Berlin.

Source : Boris Charmatz’s website

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Musée de la danse

Né d’un croisement entre le musée, lieu de conservation, la danse, art du mouvement, et le centre chorégraphique, lieu de production et de résidence, le Musée de la danse est un espace pour penser, pratiquer et élargir les frontières de la danse. S’il est inscrit à Rennes, il est aussi une idée nomade. Dirigée par le chorégraphe Boris Charmatz, cette institution-laboratoire explore les possibilités de croisement entre exposition, geste performatif et articulation d’un discours. Ateliers, débats, spectacles, résidences d’artistes et de chercheurs ; propositions décalées et collections fantasmées naissent directement d’une réflexion sur ce que pourrait être ce musée ludique et hybride.

Le CCN de Rennes et de Bretagne, rebaptisé Musée de la danse par Boris Charmatz, a été dirigé par Gigi Caciuleanu jusqu'en 1993, par Catherine Diverrès et Bernardo Montet jusqu'en 1996, puis par Catherine Diverrès seule jusqu'en 2008. Depuis 2009, Boris Charmatz assure sa direction. A compter de janvier 2019, c'est le collectif FAIR[E] qui prendra le relais. Le collectif est composé de Bouside Aït-Atmane, Iffra Dia, Johanna Faye, Céline Gallet, Linda Hayford, Saïdo Lehlouh, Marion Poupinet et Ousmane Sy. 

Le Musée de la danse / Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne est une association subventionnée par le ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (DRAC Bretagne), la Ville de Rennes, le Conseil régional de Bretagne et le Conseil départemental d’Ille-et-Vilaine. 

Le Musée de la danse fait partie de l'Association des Centres chorégraphiques nationaux.

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Choreography : Boris Charmatz

Sound : Médéric Collignon

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Musée de la danse

Duration : 50'

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