Jérôme Bel (November 2012)
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Bel discovered contemporary dance at the 1983 Festival d'Avignon, where he saw two important pieces, Nelken by Pina Bausch and Rosas danst Rosas by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, which inspired him to study dance. He studied 1984-1985 at the Centre chorégraphique national in Angers. From 1985 to 1991, he danced for a variety of choreographers in France and Italy, including Angelin Preljocaj, Régis Obadia, Daniel Larrieu, and Caterina Sagna. In 1992, he became the assistant to Philippe Decouflé for the ceremonies of the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.
He worked twelve years with Frédéric Seguette. He began choreographing in a style along the lines of "non-dance," and became one of the leading figures of that movement, creating provocative and entertaining pieces influenced by performance art and challenging some of the conventions of performance.
In 2004, the Paris Opera commissioned from Bel a theatrical documentary about Véronique Doisneau, a dancer in their corps de ballet. In 2005, a residency in Thailand resulted in the piece Pichet Klunchun & Myself, a choreographic dialogue between Bel and traditional Thai dancer Pichet Klunchun. in 2010, he collaborated with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker to create 3Abschied.
His work has been shown at Tate Modern, London; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and MoMA, new York. His work has been included in Performa, New York, Kunsten Festival des Arts, Brussels, and Festival d'Avignon as well as dOCUMENTA 13 (2012) in Kassel. Films of his shows have been presented at biennials of contemporary art in Lyon, Porto Alegre, Tirana and at the Centre Georges-Pompidou in Paris and in Metz, at the Hayward Gallery and the Tate Modern in London, and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York).