Love Letters to Valeska Gert by Eszter Salamon with Boglárka Börcsök (2016)

©Paco Rubio All rights reserved.

Monument 0.3: Love Letters to Valeska Gert Eszter Salamon’s work for Art–Music–Dance is an artistic correspondence with Jewish dancer Valeska Gert (nee Gertrud Valesca Samosch, 1982 Berlin, DE—1978 Kampen/Sylt, DE) and her works of the 1920s and 1930s. It is a physical and spiritual response from almost hundred years of distance from an artist to another artist. Here the voice becomes the vehicle for thoughts, feelings of friendship and love, for gratitude, joy and hope. It is a territory of experimentation, full of consciousness and desire to relate in order to re-invent a historicity and genealogy that canonical art history is incapable of. Valeska Gert was a figure of the avant-garde turning her back to modern dance already at the beginning of it’s rising. Gert has developed an experimental practice of performance by combining theater, dance, cinema, poetry and singing, a mixture of expression familiar to Berlin’s cabaret scene of that time.


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presented in the frame of 20 Dancers for the XX Century by Musée de la Danse, Boris Charmatz at the Tanzkongress Hannover, Germany

MONUMENT 0.3: Mit Valeska, a solo performance developed after MONUMENT 0.3: Love Letters to Valeska Gert (2016), a sound installation by Eszter Salamon, presented for the first time at Museum der Moderne Salzburg in the frame of the group exhibition Art-Music-Dance. Both works were created and developed in collaboration with Boglárka Börcsök.

In empathy with Valeska Gert’s counter-hegemonic positioning and lifelong engagement in experimental performance practices, these letters not only celebrate artistic affinities but also stress the problematics of history making and the ‘power to narrate’. This choreography made of shifting perspectives between subjectivities and leaps between pasts and presents invites the visitors into a temporally and spatially unstable fiction where movement and voice become the extension of each other.




performed in 20 Dancers for the XX Century by Musée de la Danse, Boris Charmatz at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain

Organized by:
Museo Reina Sofía in collaboration with Comunidad de Madrid
A project by:
Boris Charmatz / Musée de la danse
Boglárka Börcsök, Magali Caillet-Gajan, François Chaignaud, Ashley Chen, Raphaëlle Delaunay, Olga Dukhovnaya, Antonia Franceschi, Latifa Laâbissi, La Ribot, Mark Lorimer, Filipe Lourenço, Vera Mantero, Fabrice Mazliah, Mani Mungai, Olga Pericet, Sonja Pregrad, Marlène Saldana, Frédéric Seguette, Frank Willens and Thomas Wodianka.

General stage manager: Mathieu Morel

Direction of productions:

Martina Hochmuth with the collaboration of the Musée de la danse team

Project produced by:
Musée de la danse / Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et de Bretagne, directed by Boris Charmatz. The association is subsidised by the Ministry of Culture and Communication (the Regional Department of Cultural Affairs / Bretagne), the city of Rennes, the Regional Council of Brittany and the Ille-et-Vilaine General Council. The Institut Français also regularly supports international tours by the Musée de la danse.
Thanks to:
Vito Acconci, Jerôme Bel, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Esther Ferrer, William Forsythe, Sanja Iveković, Eszter Salamon, Meg Stuart, The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, The George Balanchine Trust.

Choreography by Merce Cunningham © The Merce Cunningham Trust. Merce Cunningham’s choreography is performed by Mr Ashley Chen with the permission and support of the Merce Cunningham Trust. All rights reserved.

Museo Reina Sofía presents 20 Dancers for the XX Century by the French choreographer and incumbent director of the Musée de la danse, Boris Charmatz. The piece will feature the participation of twenty dancers and performers and will be executed across different gallery spaces housing the Museo’s Collection.

20 Dancers for the XX Century is conceived as a living archive in which twenty dancers from different generations perform, recall, appropriate, explain and transmit extracts from a selection of 20th-century dance solos, originally created and performed by pre-eminent figures from the discipline. Each dancer will put forward their own “museum”, freely interacting with diverse spaces in the Collection, and the piece sees Charmatz explore and expand upon the notion of the museum as a living institution with room for dance practices.

Paraphrasing Boris Charmatz, the project, more than an inheritance, encompasses a kind of archaeology: it seeks to elicit past gestures, restored gestures, reinterpreted by the dancer’s body in the present. From a metaphorical and literal perspective, a dance museum’s collection resides in dancers’ bodies; the body is the most operative storage space: formed by gestures and inhabited by memories which are ready to be activated, in the present and future. The dancers, artists and actors participating in this piece are free to choose and remember, to teach, speak, repeat, reproduce and reappropriate the solos of their choice. Their knowledge of particular works could hail from education or could have been performed previously, while their exercises could adopt the form of wild appropriation or respectful homage, of a division, text, or the reading of documents. The solos are shown where the dancers feel they should be shown and are presented and embodied, but without being allocated a place or time. In this way, emphasis is placed on the mobility and fluidity of bodies: there is no programme to follow, no schedule to adhere to; no one knows exactly who will present what, or where or when. However, everyone is invited to discuss, talk, question and comment.



Staging the Derra de Moroda Dance Archives

With new works by Jonathan Burrows, Philipp Gehmacher, Andrea Geyer, Ulrike Lienbacher, Kelly Nipper, Paulina Olowska, Lia Perjovschi, Eszter Salamon, Ania Soliman, Sergei Tcherepnin

March 19 to July 3, 2016

This exhibition was inspired by the Derra de Moroda Dance Archives, which have been at the University of Salzburg since 1978. The interdisciplinary project takes the treasures in this extensive collection as the backdrop for an artistic reflection on 1920s and 1930s dance culture and dance’s standing in the museum today. The multifaceted dance culture of the time was defined by fertile creative tensions between classical dance and expressive Ausdruckstanz, between theatrical, ethnic, and social dance formats, spurring a quest for new ways to convey the effect of dance performances in a variety of media. It is the first time the Museum der Moderne Salzburg has commissioned a considerable number of new works to be produced for presentation in one of its exhibitions. The show thus draws a unique connection between what is known as (dance) modernism and contemporary art.

The archive is named after its founder, the artist, teacher, choreographer, scholar, and collector Friderica Derra de Moroda (b. Bratislava, 1897; d. Salzburg, 1978), who played a prominent role in the history of twentieth-century dance. In the 1920s—she was living in London at the time—Derra de Moroda started systematically collecting a wide variety of dance-related documents, laying the foundations for one of the earliest archives of its kind in Europe. The extensive collection now includes published materials on dance and neighboring fields from six centuries.

The show interweaves two distinct expositions: important artifacts from the archives are on display in five spaces that frame new works by contemporary artists that make their public debut at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg. It surveys the archive’s holdings in four thematic divisions: Dance elsewhere, Writing movement, Correspondences, and Conceiving modern dance. A fifth room is dedicated to Derra de Moroda herself. The itinerary leads through arrangements of selections from the archives in dialogue with works by ten contemporary artists from six countries in media ranging from painting, drawing, and collage across video and sound installations to performance art.

The exhibition was organized in cooperation with the University of Salzburg, Dance Studies.

Director: Sabine Breitwieser
Curator: Beatrice von Bormann, Head of Collection, Museum der Moderne Salzburg
Assistant Curator: Barbara Herzog, Museum der Moderne Salzburg

In conjunction with the exhibition a catalogue is published.