Le dernier spectacle (1998)
Jérôme Bel belongs to a group of choreographers who came to attention in the mid-1990s for taking apart the most fundamental elements of traditional dance and radically reconnecting the medium. His work is probably best described as what fellow choreographer Xavier Le Roy once called 'choreography after dance'. In Le dernier spectacle, Bel examined issues of identity, representation, truth and make-belive through four dancers. The first played himself, the second tennis champion Andre Agassi, the third Shakespeare's Hamlet and the fourth German choreographer Susanne Linke. Each character appeared on stage four times and repeated exactly the same routine, after which they disappeared behind the curtain to leave the stage empty. Or almost empty: a Walkman attached to a microphone was left behind, playing the sounds of the previous performances. Bel then handed the stage over to the spectators, who were asked the complete the piece in their mind and to draw images from their memory of what they had just seen.
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