the art of bodies in motion

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Dance, Art, and a Fashion House Collaborate
"New Settings" presented in Paris at
Théâtre de la Cité internationale
November 3-15, 2014

“A business generating nothing but profits is poor indeed.” - Pierre Alexis Dumas, President of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès

I went to see each of the five works that were funded this year by the Hermès Foundation's "New Settings" program. This program supports performance projects that bring visual and performing artists together in what we in the US would refer to as “a collaboration.” The aim is to expose these artists to new skills, to “spark a dialogue between their creative processes” and enable new forms to emerge. The criterion is excellence.

It is an interesting bit of not entirely useless information that the word “collaboration” is colored here in France with strongly negative memories of Nazi ‘cooperation’ during WWII. In all of the written material on New Settings there is not one reference to artistic collaboration, and yet, from a US-based English language perspective, this is what New Settings is all about: coming together as a team with diverse skills to explore and create new works and new forms… MORE (to read the article on New Settings, click here)

I was astonished by the beauty of the feather saddle that was in the showroom window when I went in to interview Catherine Tsekenis, the Director of the fashion house's foundation.