Boris Chamatz's 'Manger'. Photo © Ursula Kaufmann

Boris Charmatz’s ‘Manger’.
Photo © Ursula Kaufmann

David Mead

For 48 hours on 15 and 16 May, As part of BMW Tate Live, the Tate Modern’s performance programme, the building will temporarily be turned into “Musée de la danse”, as noted French choreographer Boris Charmatz and a team of over 75 dancers present an unfolding programme of dance.

The collaboration between Tate Modern and the Musée de la danse in Rennes, France, directed by Charmatz, goes beyond inviting dance into the museum. Rather, it aims to consider how the museum can be transformed by dance. Charmatz suggests that this transformation might, in part, be like putting on a pair of glasses with corrective lenses that open people’s perception to the found choreography happening everywhere.

Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, usually dedicated to single, monographic commissions will feature a succession of works that are set up, performed, and dismantled to create a state of permanent transformation from dance lesson to performance, from participation to party, and from set-up to take-down to set-up again.

A public warm-up, an introduction of sorts to the entire event will be given by Charmatz, and will presage the subsequent building and unbuilding of his major choreographic works: “A bras-le-corps” (1993) “Roman Photo” (2009), “manger” (2014) and “Levée des conflits” (2010). These presentations will be interwoven with the teaching of elements of the choreography to the audience.

The Rennes Musée de la danse’s regular workshop format, Adrénaline, a dance floor that is open to everyone, will be stages as a temporary nightclub complete with disco ball, emerging as part of this changing space. The Turbine Hall’s public space constantly transforms, in this project.

Upstairs in the galleries, “Musée de la danse” will display its own collection of ‘gestures’: “20 Dancers for the XX century” will explore the history of dance in all its forms; and “expo zero”, an exhibition without art objects that is performed by key international artists and thinkers who have been invited to discuss, perform and share their own ideas of what a Musée de la danse might be. And anyone else can send in their ideas and thoughts about a ‘dancing museum’ using the hashtag #dancingmuseum.

Boris Chamatz and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker in 'Partita 2'.  Photo © Anne Van Aerschot

Boris Charmatz and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker in ‘Partita 2’.
Photo © Anne Van Aerschot

Some events will be streamed live online, with artist statements, visitor contributions, and text and image documents also available via Internet.

As part of “Musée de la danse”, Charmatz’s “manger” will also be staged at Sadler’s Wells on 19 and 20 May. Charmatz will also appear at the theatre on May 22 and 23 in “Partita 2”, a collaboration with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker that, we are promised, will depart from her usual meticulous construction of dance and embrace Charmatz’s more improvisatory and whimsical instincts.

“Musée de la danse” is at the Tate Modern, 15-16 May 2015
Admission free (some performances ticketed)
For more details, go to

For details of Sadler’s Wells performances, go to