Valeska Gert, Tänzerische Pantomimen, 1925, filmstill. © Images des collections du Centre national de la danse CN D.
RADAR

5 reasons to look forward to Danser brut

BOZAR kicks off autumn with a surprising exhibition that looks at dance, movement, the body and health. Film, outsider art and medical documents are all thrown into this original mix. Discover how art and dance were influenced and shaped by unexpected sources: by pathologies and insanity, unusual movements and ‘abnormal’ bodies, as well as the most everyday gestures. An exhibition that pushes the envelope and dances across borders.

DANSER BRUT IS:

Sydney Pollack, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, 1970, filmstill © GR-DR.
Sydney Pollack, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, 1970, filmstill © GR-DR.
  • SUPERNATURAL

Have you ever found yourself in a trance on the dancefloor? Movement and possession, dance and (losing) control have been linked to each other for centuries. Delve into eerie tales of the dance epidemics that plagued Europe and dragged people into a frenzied dance that sometimes ended in death!

Yvonne Rainer, Hand Movie, 1966, filmstill © Video Data Bank, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Yvonne Rainer, Hand Movie, 1966, filmstill © Video Data Bank, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • EVERYDAY

Daily life is full of small yet meaningful movements. Hand gestures support our words but can develop into fully-fledged choreographies. Common gestures indicate your place in (or outside) society, or dance on the boundary between play and violence.

Louise Bourgeois, Triptych for the Red Room, 1994 © Mu.ZEE. Photo © Danny de Kievith, 2006.
Louise Bourgeois, Triptych for the Red Room, 1994 © Mu.ZEE. Photo © Danny de Kievith, 2006.
  • OUTRAGEOUS

Movements you cannot control, gestures that transgress the rules, bodies that go beyond the norms. Explore the influence that iconic images of epileptic and hysterical patients have had on visual art, cabaret, dance and film.

Vaslav Nijinski, Arcs and Segments: Lines, 1918-1919. Stiftung John Neumeier, Hamburg © Stiftung John Neumeier – Dance Collection © Succession Nijinski.
Vaslav Nijinski, Arcs and Segments: Lines, 1918-1919. Stiftung John Neumeier, Hamburg © Stiftung John Neumeier – Dance Collection © Succession Nijinski.
  • ART

Pencils and brushes can dance, too. The legendary dancer-choreographer Nijinsky drew a small yet fascinating body of work, Jackson Pollock’s physical actions in painting are as famous as the canvases they resulted in, and other artists such as Rebecca Horn, with her pencil mask on her head, drew with unexpected parts of their bodies.

Valeska Gert, Tänzerische Pantomimen, 1925, filmstill. © Images des collections du Centre national de la danse CN D.
Valeska Gert, Tänzerische Pantomimen, 1925, filmstill. © Images des collections du Centre national de la danse CN D.
  • FILM

Movement and film obviously go hand-in-hand. Artists embraced the new medium in order to record their choreographies and performances. Pioneer Méliès worked popular dance crazes into his fantastical cinema. Charlie Chaplin even built a whole image around his unique walk and recognisable facial tics. Lights! Camera! Movement!

See also