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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Somnole / Boris Charmatz

Oct 10–11, 2023
Largo di Torre Argentina, 52, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

No wonder Boris Charmatz’s latest outing is about sleep: he can’t be getting much of it lately. The French iconoclast who has made a career of persuading bulky institutions to let him dismantle them has lately taken over the directorship of the venerable Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. He plans to combine the famous German troupe with his own deliberately provisional laboratory of ideas, called [terrain]—yes, the brackets are part of the name. The merger may sound unwieldy, but as the people at Wuppertal have assured Charmatz, “It was my specialty, working on impossible things!” Though his dances have grown increasingly populous and anarchic since his beginnings in the 1990s, this latest, Somnole, is a solo—for himself. Trained at the Paris Opera ballet school, which set him up early to know what he didn’t want from dance, Charmatz is a big man who moves with uncommon grace. The 60-minute piece, we are told, “is like a body seeking sleep.” —Apollinaire Scherr

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