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INSIDE THE WHITE CUBE - “Choreography” - Part II

“Choreography” - Part II
22 April –3 May 2003

The second stage of “Choreography”, which began with the creation and exhibition of Trisha Brown’s stunning performance drawings, will continue with a three-day live improvisation by Boris Charmatz and fellow choreographer Julia Cima and a film by César Vayssié and Boris Charmatz, after a choreography by Boris Charmatz and Dimitri Chamblas.

Boris Charmatz, Julia Cima, César Vayssié, Dimitri Chamblas

Working as a dancer and choreographer since 1990, Boris Charmatz formed Association Edna in 1992 with fellow dancer and choreographer Dimitri Chamblas, accompanying their first choreographical works, including A bras les corps (1993) and Les Disparates (1994). Association Edna coordinates diverse choreographical activities in order to develop a context open to multifaceted experimentation in the performative field. This research assumes various forms: thematic sessions, film production, exhibitions, and the creation of settings for critical reflection on artistic practices. Most recently, Charmatz has developed a series of critical projects - Education, Facultés and Statuts - aimed at a multiplicitous approach to dance and the body.

Boris Charmatz / Julia Cima
Danse Suggerée (Suggested dance)
22 – 24 April

Instrumentalising the chamber-like gallery space and its audience, Charmatz and Cima will conduct specific improvisational activities to investigate attitudes of active and passive performance, directly implicating visitors to the space.

In Danse suggerée (Suggested dance), a person sits on a chair, eyes closed, completely still. Another person attempts, while avoiding direct contact at all cost, to affect the sitter.

Are we then to believe in the potential exchange between the space of the chair and the energy being deployed around it? This state of singularly focussed concentration reveals an attentiveness verging on obsession, so then, what is actually happening?

The sitter keeps still, while the performer attempts to awaken, bewitch, court, maybe even terrify the sitter. The space and the performance may become completely absorbed by the stone-like presence of the sitter, and the usual sovereignty of the gaze that is part of all dance and body work may be counteracted by the fact that other viewers may feel the possible sensations that the sitter is experiencing.

Thus the activity in the space, driven as it is by the non-activity of the sleeper-sitter, becomes a purely mental reconstruction, dance and event are suggested rather than demonstrated, having to do more with cheap hypnotism than peep-show.

Note: This performance is a live improvisation of lasting approximately half an hour, conducted alternately by Boris Charmatz and Julia Cima over three afternoons. It requires a member of the public to participate as the sleeper-sitter. All potential participants are welcomed according to availability of performance time.


Performance times are as follows:

Tuesday 22 April
4.00pm, 4.30pm, 5.00pm, 5.30pm, 6.00pm, 6.30pm

Wednesday 23 April
3.00pm, 3.30pm, 4,00pm, 4.30pm

Thursday 24 April
3.00pm, 3.30pm, 4.00pm, 4.30pm

Les Disparates
22 April – 3 May
[Running time approx. 25 minutes]

From 22 April, Les Disparates by César Vayssié, an innovative film made after the choreography of the same name by Boris Charmatz and Dimitri Chamblas, will be projected in the gallery space continuously until 3 May.

How can an autonomous cinematographic work be made out of bodywork? With an evident technical mastery, which mixes learning with real discoveries inspired by a particularly inventive choreography, César Vayssié offers a striking look at dance and a dancer.

In this film, jumps and skips in time chop up the solo danced by Boris Charmatz and catapult him into different places: the seaside, a street, a factory or a bar. For the spectator, it is above all a straightforward and explosive experience.

Les Disparates contains, along with many allusions and play with space, time and humour, the unassailable force of the dancing body. The choreography of Dimitri Chamblas and Boris Charmatz, interpreted by the latter, explores such notions as exhaustion, weary perseverance, energy and effort, existentialism born from a critique of the rationale of a maniac. The dancing is depicted like a promenade through the city, in ‘fast forward’. It functions like a touch of irony, a pirouette, within the linearity of the everyday life.

Vayssié’s film is the product of a joyous subversion of the unities of time (the length of a day, the length of the passage of a ship), of place (at water level, the port, the beach, the swimming pool) and action (the absurd putting-into-perspective of a romanticism tied to the sea and other clichés), these formal unities imposed by the framework of theatrical representation (defined duration of the performance, limited stage space, alternation light/darkness of the representation-darkness). And this is the film’s intention; Charmatz and Association Edna once again playing with the constraints defined by form (after the stage, now film) by experiencing the limits, but from the interior. Because this dance film - where the dancer is a rather minuscule silhouette with a nose reddened by the cold, or this twirling Fred Astaire-like character in the local café - is no longer really a ‘dance film’, but rather a ‘danced film.’

Inside the White Cube will be open from Tuesday through Saturday, 10am – 6pm, with changing exhibitions opening on the first Tuesday of every month. Inside the White Cube can also be followed as a sub-site on the White Cube website: For further information please contact Susannah Hyman or Honey Luard on 020 7930 5373.

Inside the White Cube is generously presented in association with Dornbracht, /, the German manufacturer of high-quality design fittings, accessories and interiors.


White Cube
48 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6PB
tel 020 7930 5373


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