American Realness

Eszter Salamon

Dance for Nothing

US Premiere

Presented by Museum of Modern Art

WEDS JAN 15 . 7:00 PM
THURS JAN 16 . 7:00 PM

Run time: 80 minutes (including a discussion with the audience)

Museum of Modern Art, Werner and Elaine Danheisser Gallery, fourth floor
11 West 53 Street* / tickets $12

Single Tickets

“I had a problem with insomnia so I thought I should empty my head. First, empty dance. Then, empty head.”

Thus begins Eszter Salamon’s Dance for Nothing, a performance that uses John Cage’s extraordinary experimental work Lecture on Nothing (c. 1949–50) as a spoken, rhythmic score.

Lecture on Nothing, a prose work, was composed on the page like a piece of music, replete with moments of pause, repetition, and a complex time scheme. Salamon recites the written text from memory, her movements becoming a parallel action, introducing different—and perhaps more contemporary—moods and temporalities. Over the course of the piece, Cage’s words and Salamon’s gestures intersect and diverge, depending on the connotative juxtapositions, along with each viewer’s predispositions and reaction. The two elements are meant to be interpreted independently, as Salamon explains: “The dance should be autonomous and never become an illustration or a commentary on the text.”

*Guests enter through the film entrance at 11 W 53 Street

Organized by Ana Janevski, Associate Curator, with Leora Morinis, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art.

Coproduction: DANCE 2010, 12.Internationales Festival des zeitgenössischen Tanzes (Munich), Festival Next (Valenciennes), Far – Festival des arts vivants (Nyon), TanzWerkstatt Berlin/Tanz Im August. Supported by the National Performance Network with funding provided by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and Botschaft (Berlin)

Supported by the NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ (NPN) International Guest Performance Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag.

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Concept & Dance: Eszter Salamon
Music: John Cage
Organisation: Alexandra Wellensiek

Thanks to: Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran/CAMP, Bojana Cvéjic, Paf-St. Erme, Jan Ritsema

Eszter Salamon (choreographer & performer) is a Berlin-based choreographer, dancer, and performer whose work has been presented widely in Europe and Asia. She is the author of the solos “What A Body You Have, Honey” (2001) and “Giszelle” (2001) in collaboration with Xavier Le Roy, “Reproduction” (2004), a piece for eight dancers, “Magyar Tàncok” (2005) with Hungarian folk dancers and musicians, “Nvsbl” (2006), a film-choreography in collaboration with Bojana Cvejic, “AND THEN” (2007), and, together with Arantxa Martinez, the concert-performance “Without You I Am Nothing” (2007) starring Lukas Minkus and Ramon Pozo, “Dance#1/Driftworks” (2008), in collaboration with Christine De Smedt, “Voice Over” (2009), a piece commissioned and interpreted by Cristina Rizzo, “Dance for Nothing” (2010) and, with Bojana Cvejic, Cédric Dambrain and Terre Thaemlitz, “TALES OF THE BODILESS” (2011).

Her work has been widely presented in Europe and Asia. As a dancer, she collaborated with Sidonie Rochon, Mathilde Monnier and François Verret. Her work in music theatre includes assistance to the opera “Theater der Wiederholungen” (2003) by Bernhard Lang, staged by Xavier Le Roy at Steirischer Herbst Festival, Graz, and staging the music of Karim Haddad for the project “Seven attempted escapes from Silence” (2005) at Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin. In 2008, she participated in 6Month1Location, an artistic research project based on self-organisation and self-education at CCN Montpellier. In 2009, together with the same group of artists, she co-curated and took part in the festival In-Presentable09, Madrid.

In 2009, Eszter Salamon developed “Transformers” with Christine De Smedt, a research project for a group choreography through workshops and artist residencies in Brussels, Madrid, PAF-St. Erme, Mexico City, Vienna, Tokyo and Stockholm. Following on from “Transformers”, Salamon and De Smedt presented during ImpulsTanz 2011 in Vienna their duet piece “Dance#2″. “Melodrama” is a solo ‘documentary performance’, which premiered in June 2012 as part of Berlin Documentary Forum 2 at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.