Boris Charmatz: 10000 Gestures, Volksbühne, Berlin, 2018

Celebrated French choreographer and dance artist Boris Charmatz returns to Tate Modern for the London premiere of his recent work, 10000 Gestures, co-presented by Tate Modern and Sadler’s Wells. The performance will be staged with an ensemble of 24 dancers against the dramatic backdrop of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Composed of the literal 10,000 gestures of the title, it is performed in a torrent of unrepeating movements which are executed then dismissed. Each gesture is unique, questioning the nature of dance’s relationship to time. Two evening performances will be accompanied by a programme of free events and performances.

Internationally renowned for his experimental approach to contemporary dance, Boris Charmatz has staged performances at theatres and museums around the world including Museum of Modern Art, New York and Théâtre de la Ville, Paris. In January 2019 he launched his new structure Terrain after heading the Rennes & Brittany National Choreographic Centre from 2009 to 2019, which he transformed into the cutting-edge Musée de la danse. In 2015 in partnership with Sadler’s Wells, he imagined a transformative project titled If Tate Modern was Musée de la danse? as part of the ongoing BMW Tate Live programme. The project activated the museum’s galleries and public spaces with live performances and interactive events attracting over 54,000 visitors in one weekend.

First shown at the Manchester International Festival and Volksbühne Berlin in 2017, Tate Modern will host two ticketed performances of 10000 Gestures on the evenings of 22 and 23 June, available to purchase online from 15 April. Alongside a formal ticketed presentation of this major work, set before a raked seating structure in the Turbine Hall, Boris Charmatz continues his exploration of dance in the public space of the museum. Devising two new public formats especially for Tate Modern, on the Saturday afternoon the artist will present, an open ‘lecture-demonstration’, in which the language and composition of his choreography is analysed. On the Sunday afternoon a set of solos extracted from the performance will unfold throughout the gallery to create an extended three hour piece.

As a counterpoint to the grand scale and proliferation of movements within 10000 Gestures, Emmanuelle Huynh and Boris Charmatz will present free off-stage performances of their intimate duets étrangler le temps and bolero 2, in which they appear sculpture-like amid the movement of the public on the Turbine Hall ramp. Each a tribute to the work of choreographer, Odile Duboc, étrangler le temps and bolero 2 will take place during gallery hours over the weekend.

Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern said: “Following the success of If Tate Modern was Musée de la danse? in 2015, we are delighted to welcome Boris Charmatz back to Tate Modern for the London premiere of 10000 Gestures in partnership with Sadler’s Wells. Live performance is an integral part of Tate Modern’s programme and we look forward to bringing this major work to the Turbine Hall.”

Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells, said: “Having seen its premiere in a former train station, Mayfield Depot, as part of the Manchester International Festival, I always knew 10000 Gestures would work best in a non-theatrical space. The Turbine Hall provides an ideal setting, continuing our partnership with Tate to present Boris Charmatz. With his radical dancing museum (Musée de la danse) concept, Boris has expanded dance beyond the boundaries of traditional choreography and the stage. His emphasis on unscripted, broader movement and gestures and on blending professional dancers and audiences in a space anchor his work in the moment, offering it up for us to experience, question and reflect on.”

First produced by Musée de la danse in coproduction with Volksbühne Berlin, Manchester International Festival, Théâtre National de Bretagne-Rennes, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Chaillot – Théâtre National de la Danse (Paris), Wiener Festwochen, Sadler’s Wells and Taipei Performing Arts Center (ongoing/en cours).

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10000 Gestures was produced by Musée de la danse in coproduction with Volksbühne Berlin, Manchester International Festival, Théâtre National de Bretagne-Rennes, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Chaillot – Théâtre National de la Danse (Paris), Wiener Festwochen, Sadler’s Wells and Taipei Performing Arts Center (ongoing/en cours).


Boris Charmatz: 10000 Gestures
22 June 2019 at 20.00–21.00 & 23 June 2019 at 19.00–20.00
£20 and concessions available. Members and Tate Collective presale 12 April 2019. General sale from 15 April 2019.
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Tate Modern is the world’s most popular museum of modern and contemporary art and the most visited tourist attraction in the UK. Located in the former Bankside Power Station by the river Thames, it opened to the public in May 2000 and attracts around 5 million visitors each year. In June 2016, a new rehung and expanded Tate Modern opened to the public, presenting an even more diverse and international perspective on modern art. It is one of four Tate galleries around the country, and part of a wider network of partner institutions – the Plus Tate network – which champion the visual arts in the UK. Tate manages a growing national collection of over 70,000 works of art, acquired and cared for on behalf of the public and shown in venues throughout the UK and across the world.


Sadler's Wells is a world-leading creative organisation dedicated to dance in all its forms. With over three centuries of theatrical heritage and a year-round programme of performances and learning activities, it is the place where artists come together to create dance, and where people of all backgrounds come to experience it – to take part, learn, experiment and be inspired.

Audiences of over half a million come to its London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions at venues across the UK and around the world, and accessing its content through digital channels.

Sadler's Wells commissions, produces and presents more new dance work than any other theatre in the world, embracing the popular and the unknown. Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 160 new dance works to the stage, many of them involving its 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and four Associate Companies – the most exciting talents working in dance today.

It also nurtures the next generation of talent through research and development, running the National Youth Dance Company and a range of programmes including Wild Card, New Wave Associates, Open Art Surgery and Summer University. Sadler's Wells' learning and engagement activities reach over 25,000 annually through programmes that take dance out into the community and invite communities into the theatre. Projects include community productions and the renowned Company of Elders, its resident over-60s performance group, while events range from pre and post-show talks with dance artists to classes, workshops and assisted performances.

Located in Islington, north London, the current building is the sixth to have stood on site since entrepreneur Richard Sadler first established the theatre in 1683. The venue has played an illustrious role in the history of theatre ever since, with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera having all started at Sadler's Wells.