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Jérôme Bel’s Gala is a triumphant celebration of dancing – amateur, professional and everything in between. It is a liberating show that encourages us, the audience, to re-consider the judgements we make watching performers on stage.
Twenty dancers fill the space. They are Londoners, who come from all walks of life, some young and fit, some older and less so, but together they shatter the sanctity of the stage with a mixture of joy, passion and often failure.
Jérôme Bel is an experimental choreographer with a reputation for being controversial. The Paris-based artist provokes his audiences with witty, cerebral presentations that often break down the traditional barrier between performer and audience, and that pose questions about virtuosity and the nature of dance.
Having worked as a dancer in France and Italy, performing for world famous choreographers including Angelin Preljocaj, Bel’s first choreographic work was nom donné par l’auteur (1994). Other works include Véronique Doisneau (2004), created for the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet and The show must go on (2001) which, although controversial, brought him to great prominence and has toured consistently ever since.
Catch GALA at Tate Tanks on Sat 15 Oct or Sadler’s Wells on Tue 18 & Wed 19 Oct, find out what else Dance Umbrella have in store on their website.
An outrageously entertaining show. Funny, moving and beautiful
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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 entertaining, and through the deliberate exploitation of conventional form, truly radical.
New York Times
New York Times
A mischievously entertaining conceptualist who is less interested in movement than in messing with your head
The Guardian on Jérôme Bel