“Bel’s work is genuine . . . exciting, smart, and great, great fun.” —Dance Europe
, notorious for his hotly debated conceptual dance work—
The show must go on
—that took Europe by storm in the 1990s and is influencing dance-makers around the world today, tours the United States for the first time. Using a visually captivating and physically impressive company of 18, Bel plays off a wide range of pop songs (spun live by an onstage DJ) to outwit audience expectations with radicalism and humor. See where dance/performance art is taking us in the 21st century in the final event of Walker Dance at the Pantages: Three Generations of Innovators presented by the Walker Art Center and Hennepin Theatre Trust at 8 pm Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2, at the Pantages Theatre. Presented in association with Alliance Française de Minneapolis/St. Paul. The show must go on contains nudity. The Historic Pantages Theatre is located at 710 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis.
Bel’s reputation as a provocateur is rooted in his radical, challenging interpretation of the traditional audience-performer relationship, and the ever-blurring boundaries between life and theater. His dances are philosophical explorations of life through movement – while remaining accessible and a spirited good time. Unassuming charm and a keen wit disguise a razor-sharp pop sensibility in The show must go on, an examination of the ways in which popular music infiltrates and influences contemporary society and our everyday lives. An anti-spectacle in the truest sense (a mass of 18 people on stage, sometimes doing nothing, sometimes going wild; one wonders, what is this story?), the work’s conceptual interpretation is left wide open. What is clear, however, is a delightful subversion of everything you thought you knew about dance.
Jérôme Bel was born in 1964. He studied at the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine at Angers, France, and went on to perform with Angelin Preljocaj, Joelle Bouvier and Régis Obadia, Daniel Larrier, and Catherina Sagna. Bel assisted Philippe Découflé with the direction of the opening ceremony for the XVIth Winter Olympics in Albertville.
In his more than 10 years as a choreographer, Jérôme Bel has routinely challenged traditional notions of dance and theater. His works—philosophical explorations of life through movement—have been controversial and confounding. The French dancer-choreographer refuses to create pieces that merely entertain; audiences throughout Europe have had strong reactions to his work, which entertains with a pop-culture sensibility.
The show must go on was originally produced by Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Gasthuis (Amsterdam), Centre Chorégraphique National Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon, Arteleku Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia (Donostia-San Sebastián), and R.B./Jérôme Bel (Paris).
Jérôme Bel’s tour is supported in part with funds from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Association Française d’Action Artistique (AFAA), and the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from National Endowment for the Arts and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with additional funding provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
R.B./Jérôme Bel receives the help of the direction régionale des affaires culturelles d’Ile-de-France-Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication.
This presentation of The show must go on is supported in part with funds from King’s Fountain/Barbara & Henry Pillsbury. Walker Dance at Pantages is supported in part with funds from the Walker’s Doris Duke Fund for Jazz and Dance. Walker without Walls is made possible by generous support from Target.
Tickets to The show must go on are $29, $23 ($25, $20 Walker members and Hennepin Theatre Trust subscribers) and are available by calling 612.673.0404, by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, or at the State Theatre box office at 805 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis. Group rates are available by calling 612.375.7600.
For audio and video clips of these and other upcoming Walker performances, visit calendar.walkerart.org.