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NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
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NYU Skirball Presents GALA, A New York Premiere by Jerome Bel, March 1-3

by Helene Davis
February 9, 2018
NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square
New York, NY 10012
Choreographer Jerome Bel’s Gala, featuring 20 New Yorkers of all abilities from all walks of life, will have its New York premiere March 1 -3 at NYU Skirball. Gala’s cast, ranging in age from 8 to 80 years old, is a mix of professional dancers and amateurs dancing on stage for the first time.

There will be a special family-friendly matinee on Saturday, March 3 at 3 pm, for children ages 7 and up; special pre-show activities begin at 2 pm. The matinee is a co-production of NYU Skirball’s Serious Fun Family Matinee series and the third annual Tilt Kids Festival, an arts festival for families presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF).

Through their movement, the gentle humanity of each performer lights up this inspired production. Breaking the sanctity of the stage, this is a jumble of joys, failures, and stumbling insights into the uniting power of dance.

Jerome Bel, the “mischievously entertaining” (The Guardian) Paris-based choreographer, explores the relationship between choreography and popular culture, dancer and audience, often using humor to break the formality of a theater apparatus. Bel’s work has often been referred to as conceptual. He questions both art and contemporary dance by deconstructing modes of presentation and the notion of authorship while problematizing the historical prominence of technical virtuosity in dance. Disabled Theater, featuring non-traditional performers (amateurs, people with physical and mental handicaps, children…), was presented in NYC as part of the 2013 Performa Festival. His works have been seen at international contemporary art biennials and museums, including the Tate Modern, MoMA and the Louvre. Bel received a Bessie Award his 2005 work, The Show Must Go On. jeromebel.fr


NYU Skirball, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is one of New York City’s major presenters of international work and has been the premier venue for cultural and performing arts events in lower Manhattan since 2003. The 860-seat theater, led by Director Jay Wegman, provides a home for internationally renowned artists, innovators and thinkers. NYU Skirball hosts over 300 events annually, from re-inventions of the classics to cutting-edge premieres, in genres ranging from dance, theater and performance arts to comedy, music and film.

NYU Skirball’s unique partnership with New York University enables it to draw on the University’s intellectual riches and resources to enhance its programming with dialogues, public forums and conversations with artists, philosophers, scientists, Nobel Laureates and journalists. www.nyuskirball.org.


Tilt encourages a sense of freedom and adventure in the ways young people encounter art. Kids and adults alike discover new works by renowned artists that offer mind-opening experiences and celebrate diversity across cultures. Tilt Kids Festival is produced by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in partnership with leading cultural institutions, which this year include Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, ISSUE Project Room, Brooklyn Public Library, and NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. www.tiltkidsfestival.org

Tilt is co-curated by Rima Abdul-Malak, Cultural Attaché, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Lili Chopra, Executive Vice President and Artistic Director at FIAF, and Violaine Huisman, writer, translator, and curator.


Gala will be performed on March 1 & 2 at 7:30 pm; March 3 at 3 pm. Tickets are $40 and purchased online at www.nyuskirball.org, by phone at 212.998.4941, or in person at the NYU Skirball Box Office, 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00–6:00 P.M.

Subways: A, B, C, D, E, F, M to West 4th St.; R & W to 8th Street; 6 to Astor Place.

NYU Skirball’s Serious Fun family matinee series is made possible in part with support from Con Edison for family educational and enrichment programming.
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