News: Dance at Tate Britain

Tuesday 26 April 2016 by Carmel Smith

Pablo Bronstein's 'Historical Dances in an Antique Setting', Tate Britain. Photo: Bettina Strenske

A new exhibition at Tate Britain – Historical Dances in an Antique Setting , features a continuous live performance by three dancers. It is the most ambitious project to date from internationally renowned artist Pablo Bronstein.

The work has been created for the annual Tate Britain Commission, supported by Sotheby’s, which invites artists to create a new large-scale work in response to the neo-classical Duveen Galleries at the heart of Tate Britain.

Visitors will be confronted with two large scale architectural structures spanning the width of the Duveens. Each is overlaid with visually manipulated images taken from Tate Britain’s exterior architecture, visually turning the gallery inside out. At its centre three classically trained dancers continually weave up and down the gallery, blending gestures and movements of Baroque choreography with the minimalist style of contemporary dance. Performances will take place between 11am and 5pm every day. For the duration of the exhibition 12 dancers will be performing in the three roles.

Historical Dances in an Antique Setting is inspired by Bronstein’s interest in history and the potential inaccuracies that occur when the past is re-created – particularly pertinent in the Duveen Galleries, whose style re-interprets that of classical architecture. The performance takes inspiration from the Italian concept of sprezzatura – a long standing interest of the artist – with the dancers striking elegant and refined poses while traversing the galleries.

Pablo Bronstein said: “Grand architecture is one of the things I’m most interested in, so it was a rare opportunity to be able to create work in such a unique setting as the Duveen Galleries. The commission also presented a perfect and challenging opportunity to work with performance on a large scale.”

Alex Farquharson, Director, Tate Britain, said: “Pablo Bronstein’s work consistently makes for deliciously jarring encounters between past and present, and between art and society. It’s fantastic to see his work come to life in the aesthetic and institutional grandeur of Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries.”

Oliver Barker, Chairman, Sotheby’s Europe, said: “With each commission, the transformation of the Tate’s historic Duveen galleries surprises and enthralls audiences for what has become an unmissable event on the art world calendar. The installation and performances created by Pablo Bronstein for this famous space stand as another great chapter in this tradition. Now in its eighth year, we are immensely proud to continue our long-standing support for the commission.”

Born in Argentina in 1977, Pablo Bronstein is known for humorous, erudite and beautifully executed drawings, structures and performances that reflect his fascination with the aesthetic and social attributes of pre-Modern European design and architecture. In his work, invented or fictionalised 17th, 18th and 19th century buildings and interiors become characters in an elaborate, irreverent comedy of manners.

He has previously made work featuring performance for the ICA and Tate Modern. He is currently working with Rambert on Mark Baldwin’s new staging of Joseph Haydn’s masterpiece The Creation, which opens at Garsington in July. More

Free Admission. Open daily 10am – 6pm, with live performances from 11am – 5pm

Photos: Bettina Strenske. Dancers: Rosalie Wahlfrid, Margarita Zafrilla Olayo, Emilia Gasiorek and Luke Crook

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