Jerome Bel’s ‘Gala’ in Tbilisi


On September 12-13, at the Nodar Dumbadze Children’s Theater, the world-famous performance ‘Gala’ by Jerome Bel, famous French choreographer, took place within the framework of the international showcase program of the Contemporary Dance Festival.

Gala is considered one of the best choreographic works of recent years on the contemporary dance stage. It has ben seen at numerous festivals and on many stages all over the world. It typically unites 20 local professionals and amateurs from different social strata and belonging to different age groups. In this case, the participants were aged from 6 to 79. The performance describes how dance can unite a diversity of people.

The conception belongs to Jerome Bel who is assisted by Maxim Carvers. The local staging assistants are: Chiara Galerian and Enrike Lopez. The costumes were chosen by the participants themselves. The Artistic and Company Development Consultant was Rebecca Lee; Production Manager, Sandro Grando; and counsellor in technical affairs, Jill Gentner.

“I'm a member of ‘Catharsis’ Mercy House,” Jemal Nemsitsveridze, veteran amateur-dancer and the oldest participant in the project, told GEORGIA TODAY before the performance. “We hold concerts there from time to time. I was chosen by TV project ‘You’ve Got Talent’ which filled me with positive emotions together with a sense of responsibility. I’ll be dancing Salsa tonight with ballerina Eka Surmava. I have participated in various contests of ballroom dance in Georgia, but I have never seen such a program. It is a novelty, fulfilled to a very high level”.

“It happened very easily, as a lot of artists abroad are interested in discovering Georgia. If there are relevant resources, goodwill and possibility, they come here with pleasure,” Giorgi Spanderashvili, Manager of the Contemporary Dance Festival, told us. “The Children’s Theater kindly agreed to give us use of the hall free of charge. This is a performance of a specific, unique format, which implies the participation of a lot of people coming from different social strata and age. There are only 5-6 professionals. This is a performance about each and every person, covering most human issues. Therefore, every spectator can enjoy it, regardless of their age and values. There is a choreographer involved, but in most cases the participants stage their dances themselves. In other words, they are free to interpretation,” he said.

The difference was reflected in the motley clothes. The show was full of humor, fed by the individuality of each amateur performer and bringing together people of different age, nationality, sexual orientation and (dis)abilities. Everyone was everyone’s friend, like in a dream land, dancing and having fun together, bringing laughter and joy to the spectators.

The performance was supported by the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) in South Caucasus, the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection, and Tbilisi City Hall.

Maka Lomadze 

Photo: Gala, by Jerome Bel. Photo by Herman Sorgeloos


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14 September 2017 18:15