At the crossroads of dance, theatre and music, 23 dancers of diverse backgrounds come together with fantastic energy in Babel 7.16, a show by Belgian choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet. An exhilarating and exotic journey where all languages meet and mingle.
Created especially for the 2016 Avignon Festival and filmed in the Court of Honour of the Papal Palace, Babel 7.16 is an update/recreation of Babel(words), the emblematic piece created by Cherkaoui and Jalet in 2010. Babel 7.16 borrows its title and its tone from the book of Genesis, which seeks to explain why people are scattered over the earth and why they speak different languages. The two choreographers have brought together 23 dancers from 15 different countries, each defending their culture, their nationality, and their spoken and physical language. Among them is Francis Ducharme, a dancer and actor from Quebec. On stage, singers and musicians take us on a journey of hybrid sounds. They transport us to India with Mahabub Khan and Sattar Khan, to Japan with the Taiko (Shogo Yoshii’s enormous Japanese drums), and to medieval Italy with Gabriele Miracle’s percussion and the voice of soprano Patrizia Bovi. English sculptor Antony Gormley designed the set, which features imposing three-dimensional metal structures that the artists manipulate in full view. From private to public, from intimacy to extroversion, from the individual to the collective: Babel 7.16.