​10,000 Gestures by Boris Charmatz review

10,000 Gestures takes something that seems utterly random and turns it into a truly beautiful dance piece.

​10,000 Gestures by Boris Charmatz review

Before going to see 10,000 Gestures, a couple of colleagues went to see Boris Charmatz and cast's open rehearsal. I asked for no spoilers but it was clear from their faces that I was to expect something exciting and unique.

In the eery and bleak abandoned Mayfield Depot, the audience is met with an almost empty space other than a couple of bright white lights and silver floor panels.

After the audience had eventually filled almost every seat, a female dancer entered. She dressed in a bright red, glittery, matador style outfit. She starts to dance her gestures while quoting "1084 just one more, 1085 just one more," hinting that she is addicted to doing her gestures.

Eventually, the remaining dancers chaotically rush in to join her, all dressed randomly from outfits like ninjas to people in their underwear. Again, adding to this idea that these gestures are chaotic.

All the dancers start what seems like their own individual choreography of several different gestures varying from the comic to the absolutely absurd. It was hard to watch everything at points, but I felt this was Boris Charmatz' intention; only to catch certain glimpses of gestures.

The dancers would sometimes make noises with certain gestures such as singing the Dirty Dancing theme tune or screaming at the top of their lungs, shifting the audience perception to one dancer at a time. One of the most powerful scenes, in my eyes, was when all the cast were screaming as well as gesturing, varying from a war scene to giving birth.

The piece flowed beautifully; there were moments of what seemed like utter chaos to the next minute of calm. It was simple yet deeply complex. The way in which it seemed all the dancers were individual but in fact knew exactly what the others were doing. Created an interesting, unique and dynamic piece.

The use of space was widespread; nothing was off limits including the audience. The dancers, on numerous occasions, came into the audience. Firstly, just the one, who ended up kissing an audience member. To, eventually, building up to the whole cast joining and climbing over us, laying on us and even lifting an audience member up whilst chanting in French.

10,000 gestures was a triumph. A bizarre rollercoaster of emotions full of beautiful imagery. I could not speak more highly of Charmatz and cast; what an amazing and interesting show from MIF.

  • Image, 10,000 Gestures directed by Boris Charmatz, courtesy of MIF.


Fay Beesley

Fay Beesley Local Reporter

Currently working as the Education and Outreach Officer for Kala Sangam.

Work since 2015 as a freelance theatre facilitator.

Graduated for in Theatre at York St John University

Based in Oldham/Bradford

Recent posts by this author

View more posts by Fay Beesley


  • Luke Taylor

    On 20 July 2017, 11:17 Luke Taylor Contributor commented:

    It even looks brilliant!

  • Innis Major

    On 23 November 2017, 10:59 Innis Major commented:

    Looks great Fay it really shows dancing at it's best.

Post A Comment

You must be signed in to post a comment. Click here to sign in now

You might also like

Blood Brother's review

Blood Brother's review

by Maisie H

Read now