Conception: J?r?me Bel
With Gala, J?r?me Bel continues his patient deconstruction of the institutional representation of dance, concerning himself less with destroying dogmas than with questioning what is absent, or fortuitously silent, and what is voluntarily forgotten. After having had mentally handicapped dancers perform (Disabled Theater), then members of the audience, (Cour d’honneur) the choreographer again gives the stage to those who are generally kept off it, here a group of amateurs giving rein to their amateurism in the fullest sense of lovingly doing art. His fight against generalised exclusion from performing in a show takes here the form of a gala, a non professional collective celebration, sapping the authority of the idea of «dancing well» to the benefit of the pure pleasure of being your own producer. Gala explores the physical and intellectual plasticity of these novice bodies by mobilising their desire to express themselves through dance and their capacity to embody, albeit minimally, a choreographic knowledge.
J?r?me Bel J?r?me Bel lives in Paris and works worldwide. nom donn? par l’auteur (1994) is a choreography of objects. J?r?me Bel (1995) is based on the total nudity of the performers. Shirtology (1997) presents an actor wearing many T-shirts. The last performance (1998) quotes a solo by the choreographer Susanne Linke, as well as Hamlet and Andr? Agassi. Xavier Le Roy (2000) was claimed by J?r?me Bel as his own, but was actually choreographed by Xavier Le Roy. The show must go on (2001) brings toghether twenty performers, nineteen pop songs and one DJ. V?ronique Doisneau (2004) is a solo on the work of the dancer V?ronique Doisneau, from the Paris Opera. Pichet Klunchun and myself (2005) was created in Bangkok with the Thai traditional dancer Pichet Klunchun. Follows C?dric Andrieux (2009), dancer of Merce Cunningham. 3Abschied (2010) is a collaboration between Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and J?r?me Bel based on The Song of the Earth by Gustav Malher. Disabled Theater (2012) is a piece with a Zurich-based company, Theater Hora, consisting of professional actors with learning disabilities. Cour d’honneur (2013) stages fourteen spectators of the Cour d’honneur of the Palais des Papes in Avignon. In Gala (2015), the choreographer stages together professional people from the dance field and amateurs coming from different backgrounds. In Tombe (2016), performance created at the invitation of Op?ra National de Paris, J?r?me Bel proposed to some dancers of the ballet to invite, for a duet, the person with who they would never share the stage.
Сonception: J?r?me Bel
Assistant: Maxime Kurvers
Assistants for the local restaging : Sheila Atala and Chiara Gallerani
By and with: casting in progress
Costumes: the dancers
Coproduction: Dance Umbrella (London), TheaterWorks Singapore/72-13, KunstenFestivaldesArts (Brussels), Tanzquartier Wien, Nanterre-Amandiers Centre Dramatique National, Festival d’Automne ? Paris, Theater Chur (Chur) and TAK Theater Liechtenstein (Schaan) – TanzPlan Ost, Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, Th??tre de la Ville (Paris), HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen), La Commune Centre dramatique national d’Aubervilliers, Tanzhaus nrw (D?sseldorf), House on Fire with the support of the European Union cultural program
Production: R.B. J?r?me Bel (Paris)
With the support of: Centre National de la Danse (Pantin) and M?nagerie de Verre (Paris) in the framework of Studiolab for providing studio spaces
Artistic advice and company development: Rebecca Lee
Production manager: Sandro Grando
Technical advice: Gilles Gentner
R.B J?r?me Bel is supported by the Direction r?gionale des affaires culturelles d’Ile-de-France, French Ministry for Culture and Communication, and by the Institut Fran?ais, French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, for its international tours.
Duration: 1h30 approx
'Gala forces audience expectations to the fore, and blurs the lines between failure and
success in performance as it suggests that theater is community, both onstage and off. It’s a tour
de force, wildly
and truly radical'.
Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times, May 13th, 2015
'Take a different approach to dance. Open up theatre to those who are never represented
there. Ask how art leads us to a common ground. A major artist of the contemporary scene,
J?r?me Bel is returning with
proposal which came to the fore during a workshop with amateurs in Seine-Saint-Denis. The gala,
an art form that is both festive and collective, brings together dance professionals and amateurs of
backgrounds. The different acts never call on us to pass judgement, but they reveal the way in
which each person’s cultural repertoire involves them in a singular relationship with that desire for
something else, for
perfection, transfiguration and political divides which dance is. An inventory of this “unqualifiable
dance” does not only show the multiplicity of its aesthetic models. It plays its role through a
'If this is a natural aptitude, the simple expression of the relation of our body to time and
space of which art is only the sophisticated form, the excuse ‘I can’t dance’ no longer holds true.
For Bel, as for Ranci?re,
valorising an intuitive and unconsciously absorbed knowledge, which puts intelligence at the
service of what we want, and is capable of destroying the inhibitions of the desires to dance, Gala
should finally be
understood as a hedonistic manifesto of dance without complexes'.