This piece of choreography by Jonah Bokaer, who grew up speaking French in Tunisia, merits your time; it is simply beautiful. It was curated by Donatien Grau, Head of Contemporary Programs at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris for the Musee’s “Un Ouevre, Un Regard” series. Bokaer’s vivification of Louis Ernest Barrias’ sculpture, “Nubians,” is emblematic of the choreographer’s deep concern with merging the visual arts and design with dance.
I absolutely love this work. Jonah’s commentary at the video’s end, melodic in French, reveals his careful thematic grounding for the exercise: its environmental aspects, its evocation of conflicts in both animal and human kingdoms, and then, ever the dancer, Jonah’s observations about the “negative space” that impacts both dance and sculpture. How fantastic to bring living ‘plastique’ to this sculpture frozen-in-motion… the ultimate intra-art conversation. Thank you, Jonah, this is a gift.
Jonah Bokaer was my fellow Fellow at The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU. Added bonus, photo below: this former Merce Cunningham dancer has really good feet!