Non-human dances

Jérôme Bel &
Estelle Zhong Mengual

Danses non humaines, Jérôme Bel et Estelle Zhong Mengual © Véronique Ellena
Danses non humaines, Jérôme Bel et Estelle Zhong Mengual © Véronique Ellena

28 > 30.03.24

CN D Pantin

How do we bring the living world into the world of dance? How do we bring non-human lives into human bodies? It is this paradox that the choreographer Jérôme Bel and the art historian Estelle Zhong Mengual invite us to explore. Through several selected pieces belonging to the repertoire of Western art dance, the two curators question the different strategies invented by choreographers to tackle the seemingly impossible challenge of becoming bodies other than our own: plants, animals, natural elements.

Most of these ancient dances are shown from our present time: that of the ecological crisis. This performance proposes to experience in vivo the relationships that choreographers have created with the living world, and thus to enrich our forms of sensitivity towards it, to dig a little deeper into its central place in our common world.

Jérôme Bel

See Associated artist page

Estelle Zhong Mengual

Estelle Zhong Mengual is an art historian. She teaches in the Master of Experimentation in Art and Politics (SPEAP), created by Bruno Latour, at Sciences Po Paris. She holds the chair Inhabiting the landscape: artistic practices of hospitality for living things at the Beaux-Arts de Paris. Her current research focuses on the relationship that art, past and present, has with the living world. She is notably working on the elaboration of an environmental history of art, which proposes a new regime of attention to the representation of the living world in art, using the tools of environmental humanities and the most contemporary natural sciences.

She is the author of numerous books, including Apprendre à voir. Le point de vue du vivant (Actes Sud, 2021), EcoloObs prize for the best essay in environmental thought of the year 2021, and Peindre au corps à corps. Flowers and Georgia O'Keeffe (Actes Sud, 2022).