The Tricky Definition of “Conceptual Dance”

The French choreographer Jérôme Bel (b. 1964) is often associated with the conceptual dance scene of the 1990s, but it would be more accurate to speak of him as a semiotician of choreography. Semiotics is concerned with the formation of signs and meanings in society, culture and language. Jérôme Bel himself links his work to semiotics, and in particular to the philosophy of Roland Barthes, and in all his artistic works he has explored the relationship between language and choreography, theatre and dance, in an analytical way.

Xavier Le Roy in Self Unfinished. Katrin Schoof.

Like other choreographers often associated with the conceptual dance scene, such as Vera Mantero (b. 1966), Xavier Le Roy (b. 1963), La Ribot (b. 1962) or Boris Charmatz (b. 1973), Jérôme Bel does not necessarily identify himself with the definition of conceptual dance, which is a very general characterisation of artists who each have their own specific relationship with dance, philosophy and the history of art and performance practice. However, many renowned artists who began their choreographic careers in the 1990s share an interest in how the meaning-creation in dance and choreography is always constructed in relation to broader conceptual paradigms and discourses that produce meaning and value, i.e., practices of communication.Bringing these relationships to the fore, to be seen and examined through choreography and performance, has often required some dismantling, stopping or ‘doing otherwise’ of conventional dance practice, and bringing text and language into the performance.

In the 1990s, one of the choreographic tools of the so-called conceptual dance was precisely stopping, slowing down or the complete absence of movement and its replacement by objects or the object-like nature of the performer. The critical gaze may have focused on, for example, the normative performance capability of the performer or the compulsion of continuity of movement, the ‘kinetic imperative’, as a way of examining how modern society has tied itself to a set of practices and norms taken for granted. A wedge has also been driven between the merging of the dancer and dance to highlight the problematic nature of identity categories, the performative construction of identities and the cultural value hierarchies in the embodiments and aesthetics of dance. The epistemologies of knowledge and the definition of thinking have been questioned by bringing philosophical texts and kinaesthetic thinking into dialogue with each other, or by examining the relations between (choreographic) writing, power, authorship and identity. The relationship of the human being to the object has been explored by situating objects as performers and the human being as objects. In the 2010s in particular, questions of decolonisation extended in many ways into the aesthetic, pedagogical and performance practices of dance, and the environmental crisis has stimulated the exploration of material-ontological interactions through movement and performance.

The categorisation of dance as “conceptual” depending on the quality or quantity of (dance) movement is problematic also in that, despite the different thematic starting points, the performer who dances is not completely dismissed in these works. Choreography continues to evolve, for example through an experiential bodily response to imagination, through bodily perception and intuition, or through the development or exhaustion of movement motifs and sequences. Rather than the quality or quantity of movement, it is perhaps more pertinent to consider dance in relation to its ability or purpose to explore broader conceptual paradigms and meaning-creation practices. Some works bring these aims more explicitly to the fore and limit their choreographic options to exploring conceptual themes, while others are constructed through a more material and intuitive approach to movement.

Although the discursively conscious, unconventional and often confusing choreography of the 1990s was not mainstream dance, its influence on contemporary dance has been considerable. Overall awareness of dance’s involvement in broader aesthetic-conceptual structures in culture has expanded throughout the 21st century, and this can be seen as part of the merit of the “conceptual dance” of the 1990s, of extensive performance research and of heightened social-political awareness. 21st-century contemporary dance cannot be unaware of how its own aesthetic choices and practices connect to broader social structures of meaning; contemporary dance does not have aesthetically “neutral” ground, but only artistic choices within specific contexts, and art historical genealogies.

Both artists and works are unique. The artistic study of meaning-creation in dance as manifested from the 1990s to the 21st century is varied and aesthetically multifaceted. The pieces construct their own interpretative frameworks in their compositional development and in relation to performance practices. Awareness of art history, diverse performance practices and the cultural landscape is therefore often a key factor in the creation and interpretation of works. The boundaries of language and new meanings emerge when they are projected onto existing language. Some works articulate what they say more consciously or accessibly than others.

Political Meditation – Vera Mantero[1]

Portuguese Vera Mantero, who started as a choreographer in the 1990s, has worked with writing, text, philosophy and embodiment in a variety of ways throughout her long career. For her, writing and the relationship with language can be an intimate practice for developing artistic work, a performative reading of an art manifesto, as in Olympia (1993), or an intuitive and improvisatory duet of philosophical text and movement (What can be said about Pierre, (2006/2011). Rather than seeking to address one particular theme, Mantero proposes an aesthetic diversity that brings philosophy and intuition, the verbal and the nonverbal, the rational and the irrational into interaction. Mantero does not want to destroy the body. She is interested in “the soul, in a spirit not ashamed of its desires and its gender, spirit that wants to eradicate deep ignorance and the poverty of horizons”.[2]

The 1996 work Uma misteriosa Coisa disse e.e. Cummings (also known in English as One mysterious thing, said e.e. cummings) is a tribute to the African American performer Josephine Baker. It is also a powerful work that evokes the complex landscape of Portugal’s and Europe’s colonial past, racism and cultural appropriation that exploits the Other. In a reading by André Lepecki, Mantero succeeds in proposing a political meditation on historical oblivion of colonial horrors through the ghostly presence of the African American woman. Standing painfully in goat-hooves, covered entirely with black skin paint except for a white minstrel mask on her face, Mantero approaches from the darkness, reciting in Portuguese a litany: “uma tristeza, um abismo, uma nãovontade, uma cegueira…atrozes. atrozes [a sorrow, an impossibility, atrocious, atrocious].[3]

Mantero’s relationship with philosophy is creative and embodied, sensual and poetic. Mantero seeks to discover a dance whose imagination can exist on multiple sensory levels. She relies on writing – its aural, rhythmic and semantic inner music – to bring out the sensory realm of philosophy in its most traditional, performative form.[4]

The Self Unfinished – Xavier Le Roy

Originally a microbiologist, Xavier Le Roy has had an extensive career in choreography since the 1990s. Le Roy’s work can be seen as contributing to the critique of representation in performance and choreography, the first explicit manifestations of which were seen in the North American postmodern dance of the 1960s. Both Le Roy’s and Jérôme Bel’s works often seem to address the philosophical question of how Western dance art participates in, reproduces or re-enacts structures or ideologies that are perceived as problematic. This question is summed up in the problem of the primacy of identity and draws on the work of philosophers such as Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes and Gilles Deleuze. According to these philosophers, the complexity of the modern world cannot be articulated through prefabricated and often binary identities and categories but rather through the observation and analysis of the creative forces, differences and singularities that lie beneath.

Le Roy’s Self Unfinished (1998) is set in a white room, where the performer Le Roy is surrounded by a table, a chair and a nonfunctioning radio. Through simple actions and postures, such as standing, sitting and lying down, wearing a shirt and trousers, Le Roy changes the view of his body so much that the audience no longer knows what kind of creature they are looking at: sometimes he is a two-legged monster, half man, half woman, at other times his naked body, with its head apparently gone, “looks like an uncooked processed chicken, sort of.”[5] The work is more like a living sculpture than a typical dance piece, and sets identification-based observation into motion.

André Lepecki reads the work against the philosophies of Deleuze and Guattari and interprets Le Roy as replacing fixed categories with a series of pure “becomings”: “In his ongoing becoming machinic and organic, human and objectal, subjective and indeterminate, man and woman, animal and sculptural, black and white, active and passive, joyous and sad, solitary and multiple – by constantly disorganizing and reorganizing that fundamental question profoundly binding philosophy and dance: what can a body do?”[6]

Xavier Le Roy low pieces (2009–). Vincent Cavaroc.

Le Roy’s work has also addressed issues such as the principles of choreography’s formation, audience relationship and the authorial agency. In Project (2003), a group of performers on stage play various games. Sometimes they use a ball, sometimes not; sometimes they follow previously agreed rules, sometimes the ball game takes its own path; the rules also become more complex as the game progresses. Everyone involved in the game is a performer, but also an artist and an individual, ready to adopt and negotiate the rules of the game according to their own history.[7] In his series low pieces (2009–), instead of individual identities Le Roy deals with oscillation of individuals, groups, humans, animals, materials and elements and instead of a conventional form of compositional structures, he creates durational events and situations. In the 2018 version, a few simple actions and events are repeated over several hours. Some performers seek small moments of conversation with the audience around them. In between, the performers undress and form cautiously moving clusters of naked bodies. In our imagination we see lions lounging in the sun, sea grass rippling in the water, motionless rocks, social situations, people in dresses and without clothes in conversation. The choreographic event creates a porous and intimate event in which human individuals become an indeterminate cluster of bodies and a series of choreographic landscapes provides a space for thinking about, for example, a bodily relationship to the environment or ecological interconnectedness and interactivity.[8]

Language and Meaning – Jérôme Bel

I don’t distinguish between theatre and dance. They’re just forms of language.


The French choreographer Jérôme Bel often addresses issues of identity, cultural visibility and power in a conscious and consistent way. His works are not theatrical in the sense that they build drama, narrative or movement language around their themes. Rather than a dramatic presentation, they operate within a postdramatic framework, drawing on theatrical and dance historical references and the study of performance practices as a choreographic strategy.[10] In this sense, they can be seen as meta-theatre or meta-dance, commenting on the meanings inherent in the construction of theatre and dance rather than presenting, through theatre and dance, a story external to dance or choreographic movement study.

Bel’s works can be seen as building on the legacy of Pina Bausch’s postdramatic dance theatre of the 1980s or the postmodern choreography of the 1960s, for example Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer. (See Multidisciplinary Dance Collective – Judson Dance Theater and Yvonne Rainer and the Questioning of Choreographic Conventions). But according to Bel, the most important starting point for his artistic strategies and thinking is Ronald Barthes’s poststructuralist semiotics. Barthes’s semiotics explores social and cultural signs and chains of meaning. From chains of meaning, one can distinguish, for example, denotations as unambiguous meanings and connotations as cultural meanings, which are always ambiguous. According to Barthes, the theatre, for example, is a machine that sends several unique but differently rhythmic messages simultaneously. These messages come from the set, the costumes, the lighting, the place of the actors, their gestures, their facial expressions, their speech; it is a “theatrical” polyphony of information.[11] Bel’s work focuses on the exploration and choreography of these signs and chains of meanings. Bel says he enjoys the theatricality of some traditional forms, such as kabuki or bharatanatyam, but in his own work he tries to reduce the theatricality and produce as few signs as possible so that the intended message is articulated as clearly as possible.[12]

Bel likes to use the traditional theatre setting and cultural history references in his works. For him, dance is a mode of language and the more precisely one can perceive the framework and boundaries of language, the more precisely one can address the process of meaning formation in the moment of performance. Gerald Sigmund analyses Bel’s subtle and precise choreography, the accessibility of the aesthetics that emerge from the relationship between pop culture and movement, and the subtle humour that emerges precisely through linguistics. According to Sigmund, contemporary dance has long believed, due to its purely corporeal, nonverbal means, that it does not “speak about the body” but “expresses with the body” and that it thus has access to a deeper truth. In Bel’s aesthetics, this truth is found on the surface of the symbolic treatises which make up the body. In Bel’s works, bodies do not come into conflict, nor do they have to seek dramatic “confessionalism.” Bodies are always already recognised by the public; they are products of the culture they embody.[13]

Minimalist Early Works 1994–1998

In his first works nom donné par l’auteur (1994), Jérôme Bel (1995), Shirtologie (Shirtology, 1997) and le dernier spectacle (The Last Performance, 1998), Bel applied strict semiotic principles and distanced himself from the aesthetic conventions of dance and choreography.[14] In these pieces, the action was reduced to a minimum in order to make the critical connotations as clear as possible. The works are a kind of search for the extreme boundary between theatre and dance, minimalist absolute zeroes where only choreographic and theatrical codes remain. In nom donné par l’auteur, there are only two actors on stage moving objects. There is no dancing or acting, no costumes, no lighting, just the performance space, which is the minimum requirement for choreographic theatre practice, and a lot of time for the chains of meaning to emerge from the moved objects.[15] According to Bel, this piece was received terribly, with the audience falling asleep or leaving the auditorium. In Bel’s words, “That was a shock but I realised one thing that is in fact obvious and that helped me a lot later on, which is that for a show to happen you need an audience.[16]

Jérôme Bel: le dernier spectacle (The Last Performance 1998) Herman Sorgeloos
Jérôme Bel: le dernier spectacle (The Last Performance 1998) Herman Sorgeloos

In Jérôme Bel, Bel wanted to avoid two culturally dominant representations of the body, “the erotic body and the perfectly muscular body, the body as warrior”.[17] Instead of a monadic, self-mirroring body unit, the work manifests the “rhizomatic” notion of self and body theorised by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: the body as an open collective process, as multiplicities.[18] In the work, four naked dancers walk onto the stage carrying a lit light bulb and some white chalk. During the hour-long performance, they write their own names and their numerical data, such as age, bank account balance or telephone number, as well as those of other people, in chalk on the back wall above their heads and stand for a while under the names. For example, one of the dancers (Yseult Roch) writes the name Stravinsky, Igor and sings almost the whole composition The Rite of Spring. Another dancer (Gisèle Tremey) holds a light bulb and stands under the name Thomas Edison. In this work, Bel disrupts the way in which the power of naming and representation perpetuates the idea of the subject’s unity and self-sufficiency. At the same time, Bel questions the role and originality of the choreographer-auteur.[19]

Shirtology continues the representational exploration of language and the rhizomatic concept of the body. This time, the body emerges as a layered and associative surface of writing and as a component of the production economy. In the work, the dancer enters the stage three times. Each time they wear a dozen t-shirts, which they peel off one by one until the dancer reaches the one closest to the skin. Each shirt has a print, an image or a logo. The first section consists of a series of descending numbers: Lille 2004, France 1998 World Cup, Euro-Disney 1992 and finally One T-Shirt for the Life. Later in the work, one of the shirts features a drawing by Keith Haring which reads “Dance or Die.” The dancer chooses life and dances for a minute, humming Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, which has previously been seen as the text for one shirt.[20] Bel reveals how the culture of representation flourishes in the poetics of the repetition of logos and brands, but also how performance can allow for liberation and distancing from the branding of identity. In the 1997 collective version, Bel and his team use the energy of capitalism to liberate self-expression and humour. The messages on the shirts are appropriated as a language of communication between the performers.[21]

The Last Performance extends the question of representation into the history of art, choreography and dance and blends the cultural frames of the stage. In it, Bel continues one of his discursive strategies, using quotations as part of the choreography. Bel is interested in the ecological aspect of quotation, but beyond that, quotation allows Bel to place contemporary dance in historical perspective and to define the logic on which the performance is based. Quotation is also his way of compensating for his “incapacity to produce dance.”[22] Bel was given permission to use a four-minute solo choreography from German choreographer Susanne Linke’s Wandlung (1978). Four dancers in white dresses, Claire Haenni, Antonio Carallo, Frédéric Seguette and Jérôme Bel, perform and repeat the choreography one after the other. The choreography is the same, but each repetition raises the question of origin, originality and authorship. By recycling the choreography of Linke, Bel creates a link not only to the history of dance but also to the history of Germany and Europe. Wandlung is accompanied by an excerpt from Franz Schubert’s landmark work Der Tod und das Mädchen (The Girl and Death). The choreography establishes a relationship both to the weighty heritage of the German Folkwangschulen Ausdruckstanz (see article Developments of Dance Modernisms from the 20th Century Onwards) and to dance on the ruins of a culture destroyed by war. In Christophe Wavelet’s reading, Bel does not underestimate the importance of such a historical moment. He knows that the repetition of the dance, albeit transposed into a new frame, allows him to reconstruct the whole story.[23]

The work also borrows from drama and sport. At the beginning of the piece, a man enters, walks towards the audience, stops at the front, in the middle and announces, “I am Jérôme Bel.” He then activates the stopwatch on his wrist. Sixty seconds later, when the bell rings, he turns and leaves. Then another man in a tennis player’s outfit appears and announces: “I am André Agassi.” He then turns to the back of the stage, hits several balls in a row against the wall, stops and walks out. Other names are introduced in a similar way: “I am Susanne Linke”; “I am Calvin Klein.” Then Antonio Carallo, a dancer staring at the audience, says: “I am Hamlet.” After a short pause he says “to be,” walks from the stage to the backstage area and after a pause shouts “or not to be,” walks back on stage, stands at a microphone in the middle of the stage and quietly says “that is the question.”[24]

Bel can build his work on quotations, because his starting point is not a movement style or an existing movement language, but rather the idea of language, the collision and re-framing of different paradigms of meaning. In dance, Bel is attracted by its language. He has no aesthetic preference for contemporary dance, hip hop or classical ballet. Each style has its own codes, its own signs and rules that form a language. Bel is not interested in defining and recreating each language, but in revealing the rules of the language and especially the effects of the rules.[25]

The choreographic structures of Bel’s pieces are intentionally simple and minimalistic. Instead of thriving for complex movement structures the aim is for what he calls a dramatic composition. The works are mainly based on the dramatic composition of simple actions, where the focus is on “how the meaning is expressed throughout the show, how it develops and what conclusions it draws at the end.”[26]

From Jérôme Bel’s work, The show must go on (2001). SZENE Salzburg, 25.1.2000. Bernhard Müller.

The Entertainment, Accessibility and Politics of the Avant-GardeWorks of the 2000s

The Show Must Go On was a success in 2001 and was performed for years on various European stages and festivals.[27] The choreographic and dramaturgical structure is simple. A DJ sits in front of the stage with their deck playing 19 well-known pop songs during the performance. On stage, an ensemble of 20 dancers performs a choreographed gesture or event chosen for each song. The songs are read literally. David Bowie’s Let’s Dance has people dancing privately, while during Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On, the dancers pair up to form the iconic gesture of the film Titanic made by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet on the bow of the ship moments before the disaster, and The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine leads the dancers one by one down a yellow-lit stage trapdoor. The dramaturgy of the piece is built not on a single broad arc but on a repetition of variations. Rather than a closed finale, the work leaves the viewer in a collectively experienced landscape of the performance. In a way, the work is a musical counterpart to Shirtology, in which the audience was challenged to read and experience complex linguistic and cultural messages. The Show Must Go On draws on the collective and private realm of memories and experiences that the well-known pop songs and insightful choreographic gestures evoke. Rather than nostalgia or melancholy, the dramaturgy of the work brings the history of pop culture, unrealistic embodiment, choreographic humour and the unifying power of music to celebrate the everyday to the stage of high culture.[28]

In 2004, Bel began a series of works that focus on the performer and the performer’s persona, both the individual and the institutional history of dance. After seeing The Last Performance, the director of the Paris Opera Ballet, Brigitte Lefèvre, offered Bel the opportunity to work with the ballet. Bel gladly accepted the offer, which brought together several of Bel’s interests: classical ballet as a language, as an institutional structure and as a cultural memory in relation to the dancer’s life and experience. Véronique Doisneau (2004) was born out of interviews with solo dancer Véronique Doisneau on the eve of her retirement. Doisneau tells her life story through dance fragments and intimate speeches on the main stage of the Paris Opera. The work shows the ballet institution as seen through the eyes of the “Bel ethnologist” but also through Doisneau’s personal experiences and choice of subjects. The possibilities and demands of ballet on the individual come close to the viewer through Doisneau’s stories of physical suffering, the institution, the people she meets, her own limits and what she wants and desires.[29] By 2022, Other works in the series include Pitchet Klunchun and myself (2005), Lutz Förster (2009), Cédric Andieux (2009) and Xiao Ke (2020).

Jerome Bel: Disabled Theatre (2012). Performers from left to right Remo Beuggert, Matthias Grandjean, Lorraine Meier (on front), Miranda Hossle, Sara Hess. Michael Bause.

Perhaps the most political and polemical of Bel’s works from the 2000s is Disabled Theatre (2012), in which Bel worked with professional actors from the Swiss theatre company HORA.[30] HORA’s actors have mental disabilities and varying degrees of learning difficulties. Disabled Theatre does not attempt to obscure the actors’ social or theatrical aesthetic Otherness but opens up a space where these discursive practices are confronted face to face. People with learning disabilities have no representation in society and are very little talked about. Bel’s challenge was to make the community represented by these actors more visible and to show that these underrepresented actors can enrich experimental theatre, that their uniqueness holds promise for theatre and dance, just as their humanity should hold promise for society.[31]

Nor does the work hide the question of the power of the director in theatrical production, but the issue of power relations is at the heart of its structure. At the beginning of each section of the piece, the audience is told what Bel, as director, has asked the dancers to do: to state their names, to look at the audience for a minute, to name their disabilities, to prepare a dance solo to a piece of music of their choice, to give their opinion of the piece, and finally to accept their thanks. The performance shows that the dancers are in control of the way they want to perform and that they can easily repeat their texts and dances throughout the piece, as well as comment on the tasks they have been given and the director’s instructions. According to Gerald Siegmund, the work literally plays with the power relations within the performance, making them negotiable and shared with the audience.[32]

All dancer-actors are fluent in the language of popular culture, borrowing and interpreting its gestures, movements and emotional content. Through the performative “speech act” they have ownership of their names and act as responsible subjects. Like the dancers in Bel’s other works, the performers in HORA are given the freedom to speak and act in their own way. Jouissance, imagination, pleasure and joy come to the fore, as do a sense of self-worth and of the situation. This pleasure carries the work to its most political content. The focus shifts from the regulatory mechanisms that produce hierarchical difference (training, talent, the power of the director or choreographer) to a space where these differences do not matter, and pleasure emerges. Like the actors of Theatre HORA, everyone can dance according to their imagination. Thus, political equality is the aesthetic difference thateradicates the very power of distinction and transcends social boundaries. Disabled Theatre is therefore a political work because it is highly aesthetic.[33] Bel himself defines his aim as exploring how the individual relates to the social structure to which he belongs and how the performer relates to the choreographic structure he performs, how politics and art, real life and performance work together, and how art produces tools that can at least make society think, if not evolve.[34]


1 André Lepecki used the term political meditation in his poetic interpretation and description of Vera Mantero’s work Uma misteriosa Coisa disse e.e. Cummings (One mysterious thing, said e.e. cummings) in his book Exhausting Dance. Performance and the Politics of Movement, 2006, 224.

2 Vera Mantero 1996, in the programme of Uma misteriosa Coisa disse e.e. Cummings in Lepecki 1999.

3 Lepecki 2006, 115, 106–122.

4 Lepecki 1999.

5 Lepecki 2006, 41, 40–43. Van Kerkhoven, 2003.

6 Lepecki 2006, 41.

7 Peeters 2007; Van Kerkhoven 2003.

8 Maxime Fleuriot, Festival d’Avignon 2011; Lepecki 2016, 95–100. My description is based on the work I saw in Tanzplatform Essen in 2018.

9 Chabot 2006. 10–2006 Divers. Theatre Public. Jérôme Bel interviewed by Clyde Chabot on 10 February 2006.

10 The term postdramatic here refers to a concept defined by theatre scholar Hans-Thies Lehmann in his book Postdramatisches Theater (1999), translated into English as Postdramatic Theatre (2006). Postdramatic theatre does not focus on the staging of a dramatic text but develops a performative aesthetic in which the materiality and eventfulness of performance play an important role. (see articles Choreographic Concept – Simone Forti and Multidisciplinary Dance Collective – Judson Dance Theater 1962–1964)

11 Wood 2014. 7–2014 Divers. Catherine Wood & Jerome Bel. Theatricality and Amateurism with Catherine Wood. Jérôme Bel is referring to Roland Barthes: Littérature et signification. Essais critiques, Seuil/Points, 1981 (1963), 258.

12 Wood 2014.

13 Siegmund 2002.

14 The works Jérôme Bel and Shirtology visited the Kiasma Theatre in Helsinki in 1998.

15 Alphant 2002.

16 Alphant 2002

17 Bel 2000. By the time of the English translation of this article (Autumn 2023) the Bel 2000 text was not available on the Bel website. However, I found an English quote of it in the blog by Nicolaavanstraaten. Accessed on 6.9.2023.

18 Lepecki 2006, 50–51. A rhizome (Greek: rhísoma) is a botanical soil stem that grows horizontally. As Deleuze and Guattari’s concept in Thousand Plateaus (1980), it describes a nonlinear network that can connect any point to any point. In theory and research, it allows for multiple, nonhierarchical approaches to the representation and interpretation of data.

19 Lepecki 2006, 49–50.

20 Lepecki 2006, 55.

21 Etchells, 1999; Lepecki 2006, 55–58.

22 Bel 2000. 02.2000 divers. ADC Geneva interview.

23 Wavelet 1999.

24 Wavelet 1999; Lepecki 2006, 47.

25 Bel 2004. Bel in an interview by the Paris National Opera, in relation to the performance Véronique Doisneau.

26 Chabot 2006. 10.2006 divers – theatre public. Clyde Chabot interviewing Bel.

27 The work also visited Helsinki in 2008 for the Moving in November festival.

28 Etchells 1999; Siegmund 2002.

29 Bel 2004.

30 The work visited the Moving in November festival in Espoo in 2013.

31 Bel 2012 in the interviews by Chiara Vecchiarelli and Marcel Buglel on Disabled Theatre on the Jerome Bel website.

32 Siegmund 2015.

33 Siegmund 2015.

34 Bel 2012.


Alphant, Marianne. 2002. Divers – Catalogue of the Roland Barthes exhibition. on the webpage RB Jerome Bel Accessed on 6.5.2022.

Bel, Jérôme. 2004. Bel interviewed by the Paris Opera. on the webpage RB Jerome Bel Accessed on 18.5.2022.

Bel, Jérôme. 2000. 2.2000 divers. ADC Geneva interview on the webpage RB Jerome Bel Accessed on 16.5.2022.

Bel, Jérôme in interviews by Chiara Vecchiarelli and Marcel Buglel, 2012. Disabled Theatre. on the webpage RB Jerome Bel Accessed on 19.5.2022.

Chabot, Clyde. 2006. In 10.2006 divers – theatre public. Accessed on 6.9.2023. on the webpage RB Jerome Bel

Etchells, Tim. 1999. Shirtologie. on the webpage RB Jerome Bel Accessed on 28.4.2022.

Fleuriot, Maxime. 2011. Avignon Festival Handbook. Accessed on 13.5.2022.

Lehman, Hans-Thies. 2006. Postdramatuc Theatre. London and New York: Routledge.

Lepecki, André. 2006. Exhausting Dance. Performance and the Politics of Movement. Great Britain: Routledge.

Lepecki, André. 2016. Singularities. Dance in the Age of Performance. Great Britain: Routledge.

Lepecki, André. 1999. The Dancing Book. A portrait of the Portugese choreographer Vera Mantero. Ballettanz 1.3.1999 Accessed on 10.5.2022. From SARMA. Laboratory for discursive practices and expanded publication.

Peeters, Jeroen. 2007. Living Together on Stage. Autumn. Theory to practice. 1.9.2007. Accessed on 10.5.2022. from SARMA. Laboratory for discursive practices and expanded publication.

Peeters, Jeroen. 2002. Places of Allowance: Untwining Mind and Body in Writing, Gestures and Speech. Notes to Vera Mantero’s Workshop ‘Thought, poetry and the body in action’ at ImPulsTanz Vienna 2002. Accessed on 29.6.2022. From SARMA. Laboratory for discursive practices and expanded publication.

Siegmund, Gerald. 2015. “What Difference Does It Make? Or: From Difference to In-Difference »Disabled Theater« in the Context of Jérôme Bel’s Work.” In Umathum Sandra, Wihstutz Benjamin, eds. Disabled Theater. Zürich-Berlin: Diaphanes.

Siegmund, Gerald. 2002. The Show Must Go On. on the webpage RB Jerome Bel Accessed on 2.5.2022.

Van Kerkhoven, Marianne. 2003. Focus Xavier Le Roy. Accessed on 13.5.2022. From SARMA. Laboratory for discursive practices and expanded publication.

Wavelet, Christophe. 1999. Le dernier spectacle. (The Last Performance). on the webpage RB Jerome Bel Accessed on 28.4.2022.

Wood, Catherine. 2014. “7–2014 Divers.” In Catherine Wood & Jerome Bel. Theatricality and Amateurism with Catherine Wood and Jérôme Bel on the webpage RB Jerome Bel Accessed on 6.5.2022.


Kirsi Monni

Kirsi Monni (Doctor of Art in Dance, 2004) is Professor of Choreography at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki. She has worked extensively in the field of dance as a choreographer, dancer, researcher, lecturer, curator and in various positions of trust since the 1980s. Her own research deals with historical, ontological and theoretical questions in dance art and choreography. Monni is one of the founders of the Zodiak – Centre for New Dance and was involved in its development for two decades before accepting a professorship at the Theatre Academy in 2009.