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Dia Art Foundation Presents François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea at Dia:Beacon

February 7, 2017

Dia Art Foundation Presents François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea at Dia:Beacon

Friday, May 12–Sunday, May 14, 2017
Friday, May 19–Sunday, May 21, 2017

New York, NY – Continuing Dia Art Foundation’s long-term commitment to supporting performance, Dia has commissioned Paris-based choreographers François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea to develop a multipart program for Dia:Beacon. Over two weekends in May 2017, the program will trace the trajectory of the artists’ twelve-year creative partnership. Each performance will include three consecutive episodes, transitioning through the layered references that inform their collaborative work—from the musical structures of polyphonic singing, through the transcendent dance of Sylphides (2009), to the recent ensemble work Dub Love (2014).

The program will be staged in Dia:Beacon’s lower-level gallery. Evoking the industrial architecture of this former factory space, the work will be textured with echoes of alternative art scenes and spaces that have influenced the artists. In the program, Chaignaud and Bengolea, along with Erika Miyauchi and Alex Mugler, will use their bodies as musical, visual, and kinetic objects.

Each three-part performance will begin with traditional Georgian vocal polyphony, a musical format embracing shifting melodies and dissonant rhythms that Chaignaud has studied for the past decade.

This musical episode will lead into Sylphides, a work that positions the body as living sculpture and references the mythic figure of the sylph, described by sixteenth-century philosopher Paracelsus as invisible beings of the air. The reference also provides the inspiration for the well-known twentieth century ballet Les Sylphides. In Chaignaud and Bengolea’s Sylphides, dancers perform inside of specialty sensory-deprivation latex bags, breathing through an air tube.

Finally, in Dub Love, the artists’ explore their interest in the commonalities and divergences of musical and physical forms. In Dub Love, the four dancers perform en pointe to a live DJ mix of reggae and dub songs emitted from a large-scale sound system. Installed by Brooklyn's Dub-Stuy collective, this iconic speaker tower serves as an acoustic sculptural installation in the gallery. The choreography highlights a diversity of movement, from the religious dance of Candomblé to urban dancehall, alongside the extreme physical contortions of ballet.

Chaignaud trained in dance and music at conservatories in France, and Bengolea studied philosophy along with anthropological and modern dance in Argentina. In 2004, the two met in Paris through a mutual interest in labor activism for sex workers’ rights. Since then, they have developed a daring practice that is as rigorous as it is inventive and playful. Calling upon a diverse vocabulary, their choreography combines classical forms with contemporary references while reflecting their radical politics and cultural associations. Their practice is well-known for bringing together singular mixes of ballet, modern dance, and choral singing with dancehall, dub, voguing, and other influences drawn from club culture.

Performance Schedule
Friday, May 12, 2017, 3 pm
Saturday, May 13, 2017, 3 pm
Sunday, May 14, 2017, 3 pm
Friday, May 19, 2017, 3 pm
Saturday, May 20, 2017, 3 pm
Sunday, May 21, 2017, 3 pm

3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY 12508

Reservations are recommended, but not required. For more information, visit

Related Program
Monday, May 15, 2017, 6:30 pm
François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea in conversation with associate curator Kelly Kivland
Cultural Services of the French Embassy
972 5th Ave, New York, NY 10075

This program is made possible in part by support from the LUMA Foundation, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, and Jeffrey Deitch.

François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea have been collaborating since 2004. Their work has been presented at the Festival d’Avignon, Tanz im August in Berlin, Festival Montpellier Danse, Tate Modern and Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, Lyon Biennial, Abrons Art Center and the Kitchen in New York, Centre Pompidou and Festival d’Automne in Paris, and Impulstanz in Vienna. In 2014 they received the Young Artist Prize at the Gwangju Biennale in Korea, and in 2009 they received the Prix de la révélation chorégraphique from the Syndicat de la critique in Paris. Their choreographed work includes Pâquerette (2005–08), Sylphides (2009), Castor et Pollux (2010), (M)IMOSA (cowritten and performed with Trajal Harrell and Marlene Monteiro Freitas; 2011), altered natives’ Say Yes to Another Excess – TWERK (2012), Dub Love (2014), and DFS – CREATION (2016). In recent years, they have realized commissions with the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon (HOW SLOW THE WIND, 2014), Ballet de Lorraine (DEVOTED, 2015), and TanzTheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch (The Lighters – Dancehall Polyphony, 2015).

Cecilia Bengolea was born in Buenos Aires in 1979. She lives and works in Paris. Bengolea trained at the University of Buenos Aires in philosophy and art history, and has collaborated with artists Charles Atlas, Monika Gintersdorfer, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Knut Klaßen, and Marinella Senatore. In collaboration with Jeremy Deller, she codirected the film RythmAssPoetry, commissioned by the Lyon Biennial in 2015. Their second film, Bom Bom’s Dream, was commissioned by Hayward Gallery London and the São Paulo Biennial in 2016.

François Chaignaud was born in Rennes, France, in 1983. He lives and works in Paris. He graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, and has danced for choreographers Alain Buffard, Boris Charmatz, Emmanuelle Huynh, and Gilles Jobin. He has collaborated with fashion designers Romain Brau and Charlie Le Mindu, artists Marie-Caroline Hominal and Théo Mercier, cabaret performer Jérôme Marin, legendary drag queen Rumi Missabu of the Cockettes, and photographer Donatien Veismann. As a writer, he has published L’affaire Berger-Levrault: Le féminisme à l’épreuve (1897–1905) (Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2009).

Dia Art Foundation
Founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is dedicated to commissioning, supporting, and preserving extraordinary art projects.

Dia has a long-standing institutional commitment to presenting new works and retrospective projects in dance, music, and performance. The program recognizes both artists represented in Dia’s permanent collection and those from other generations who continue to work in dialogue with the developments that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, with a focus on engaging the work of living artists. Previous performance programs at Dia:Beacon have featured celebrated artists including Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham, Joan Jonas with Jason Moran, Isabel Lewis, Lisa Nelson and Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, and Robert Whitman.

Dia:Beacon opened in May 2003 in Beacon, New York. Dia maintains several long-term, site-specific projects, including Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, which was inaugurated at Documenta 7 in 1982), and Dan Flavin’s untitled (1996), all of which are located in New York City; the Dan Flavin Art Institute (established in 1983) in Bridgehampton, New York; De Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel, Germany; Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) in the Great Salt Lake, Utah; and De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977) in western New Mexico.


For additional information or materials contact: Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, or 212 293 5518.

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