A declaration of love
Jérôme Bel is committed to the creation of a series of pieces assembled under the generic term Gala. The project brings together a group of 20 people on stage – professional dancers and actors, as well as amateurs, gathered together on location for the performance. The challenge is for individuals from diverse cultures and aesthetics to coexist on stage. Gala celebrates the desire for spectacle, widely shared, well beyond its practitioners. In a form that might be reminiscent of a New Year’s Eve gala by way of its sincerity, overindulgence, and – occasionally – the amateurism of its participants, the project questions the culture of the performing arts, and how this has infiltrated our bodies and our imaginations. It is based on the ability to represent oneself and take ownership of those figures of dance or theatre belonging to our common culture. One could summarise the project by quoting Samuel Beckett: ‘Try again, fail again, fail better’, and William Forsythe: ‘Ballet is a philosophy of failure.’ For it is not about attaining excellence or virtuosity, but about doing the best within the means at one’s disposal. Ultimately, it is a declaration of love for the performing arts.
Concept & direction Jérôme Bel | Assistance Maxime Kurvers, Simone Truong | Artistic advice & development Rebecca Lee | Administration Sandro Grando | Technique Gilles Gentner | Production R.B. Jérôme Bel (Paris) | Co-production Kunstenfestivaldesarts in collaboration with Zinnema, TheatreWorks/72-13 (Singapore), Festival d’Automne à Paris, Nanterre-Amandiers Centre Dramatique National, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Dance Umbrella (London), Tanzquartier Wien, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, La Commune Centre dramatique national d’Aubervilliers