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2020 / 2021 editorial

Written before the Covid-19 epidemic, this text reflects the vision and the intuition of this season’s artists.

The moment before…

The moment before designates this specific, strong and fragile state when the performer prepares to enter the stage. What rituals does he/she implement? Can the spectator go through a similar process? The moment before is also the subject of collapse, but most of all of resilience, that of what happens after. The moment after, that of recuperation, prolongation and sharing.

... Chaillot is changing century!

In 2020, Chaillot celebrates its centenary: on the 11th of November 1920, Firmin Gémier inaugurated the first Théâtre national Populaire (TNP) [National Popular Theatre], the result of a lengthy battle led by intellectuals, politicians and syndicalists. The popular theatre was a communal house that gathered people around the sharing of art. Refounded in 1951 by Jean Vilar, the TNP embodied the utopia of an “elite art for everyone” using Antoine Vitez’s expression, for whom public theatre must assert its requirement of shared excellence for the largest audience. In nine decades out of ten, theatre presided over Chaillot’s destiny, while the greatest dancers of the century also performed there. With the development of dance and a wide support of the public, it seemed obvious that one out of the five national theatres should become the National Theatre of Dance. Chaillot was also the venue for founding political and symbolic events: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed here in 1948. For Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse, celebrating a century of history is mainly a way of talking about the present, building it and fully experiencing it so that the time that follows can be elaborated. It is always question of fighting for more equality and more freedom, resisting obscurantism of all kind and facing – now with a sense of urgency – the consequences of climate change. In this context, our models of society must reinvent themselves. We are at a tipping point where it is of our duty to contribute in the construction of the upcoming world. At once painful and fertile, new perspectives open in terms of creation and programming, where the sensitive experience now makes up the common thread of what is proposed. A common thread or an ensemble of threads of all different colours, that weave a representation of a rich and diverse world.

The world at Chaillot, Chaillot throughout the world

We are inviting you this season to the presentation of many scenes: the African, Italian, Indian, Australian scenes – thirteen new companies will be here to be discovered. You will also find the creations and repertoire of the greatest contemporary choreographers, familiars of Chaillot.

Chaillot also journeys worldwide with more than one hundred representations of our three homemade productions. Another way of vibrating to the world’s beat. Chaillot’s artists and teams invite you to join in the circle of emotions and to experience the vertigo of dance.

Didier Deschamps, general director