Boris Charmatz is a dance interpreter, choreographer, thinker, writer, teacher and curator. In his practice, changing roles seems to be one of many strategies for constantly expanding the understanding of what dance might be. His own artistic work varies greatly in form as part of his commitment to exploring the endless possibilities and social implications of arranging bodies in space.
One of Charmartz’s tools for questioning our understanding of dance is his “Musée de la danse”, a museum that exists only as a permanent question with temporary answers. In it, Charles Chaplin, Esther Ferrer, Viennese Actionism, Michael Jackson, and Mike Kelley are all considered relevant to the history of dance. As Charmatz says, “all these artists change our idea of what a body is, of what art with a body is, of what dance could be”.
Redefining dance by taking cultural relevance as a guide implies focusing on how movement and structures inform our society, instead of merely considering a restricted set of genres. At the same time, creating tension between dance and museum conventions invites us to rethink many notions regarding temporality, materiality, economy and cultural value.
In this podcast, Boris Charmatz reflects on how to address power structures within the artistic field. He also talks about polisemy, collectivity, communities and anti-communities, radical pedagogy, dissent, the Musée de la danse, the complex and inexhaustible relationship between dance and history, working inside gestures, and the beauty of older people skateboarding.
Music commissioned to Enrico Malatesta. Interview by Quim Pujol. Produced by André Chêdas.