Pew Center for Arts and Heritage

Get our monthly newsletter in your inbox for the latest on cultural events, ideas, conversations, and grantmaking news in Philadelphia and beyond.

Main page contents

Questions of Practice: Choreographer Boris Charmatz on Creating a Museum of Dance

Choreographer and dancer Boris Charmatz spoke with curator and Center colleague Simon Dove about the idea of a collection for Musée de la danse—an experimental space Charmatz founded for “thinking, practicing, and pushing further the borders” of dance. 1 Beyond a collection of objects of “what stays after a dance is performed,” Charmatz sees Musée de la danse as a fluid space “where history is being activated,” he says.

With Center support, Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design brought Charmatz to Philadelphia for a residency and public presentation of his performance piece for 24 dancers, Levée des conflits (Suspension of conflicts), in September 2016. As part of this residency, Charmatz led a workshop and performance of Levée des conflits on the terrace of The Philadelphia Museum of Art during its “Museum as Score”  symposium. Watch Charmatz discuss the possibilities of presenting dance in a public space.>>

Boris Charmatz is a choreographer, dancer, and director of Musée de la danse (Museum of Dance). With Musée de la danse, Charmatz initiated projects including préfiguration, expo zéro, rebutoh, brouillon (rough draft), 20 Dancers for the XX Century, Fous de danse (Mad about dance), and Petit Musée de la danse. Charmatz served as associate artist of the 2011 Festival d'Avignon, and he has collaborated on projects with museums around the world, including MoMA and Tate Modern.