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© JC Carbonne

"Empty moves is composed of actions and movements inspired by the words and phonemes read by John Cage at the Teatro Lirico in Milan, and recorded live on 2 December 1977.

The notion of the alienation effect, of the disintegration of the movement and of a new manner of choreographic phrasing takes precedence over their meaning and essence. Through these means this dance work connects with the text by Henry David Thoreau which was John Cage’s starting point, and attempts to reach the unflappable pugnacity of the mastermind behind that evening in Milan."


Angelin Preljocaj



"Empty moves is a laboratory: Angelin Preljocaj invents pioneering gestures, combinations of bodies, new passes and portés and a vocabulary that is more flowing and less angular than at his beginnings. To illustrate his process, he refers to John Cage: Empty words is a random suite of phonemes, a demonstration through action that abstraction exists and that it is unbearable because the audience violently boos the imperturbable “performer”.

Thirty years after, in Empty moves the same process continues: in spite of their inalienable materiality, the four dancers refuse to signify. They tell no tale, refuse any speeches any emotion or any theme and continuously unroll an inexorable flow of movement. In this way, they impose an enjoyment of their existence, saluted by an audience that has accepted, if not to listen, at least to look at abstraction."


Agnès Freshel



"In his ballet Empty moves, angelin Preljocaj, the most programmed contemporary choreographer in France and abroad, offers a spectacular insight into how he is motivated by a passion for the pure strength of bodies in motion. On the bare stage, the dancers of the Ballet Preljocaj explain nothing and tell no story, they simply express their being in a striking way, offering a presence in space, creating shapes, lines and states.(…). Their bodies intertwine, often slowly, carry one another, rise, coil up, testing their weight and elasticity in new, calm, spell-binding harmonies."


Le Figaro, April 06, 2006



"Anything is permitted in this foursome, but each one listens to the others. Watching their simple movements, feeling their weight when they lean on one another, without troubling to think about possible meanings or resonances, you relax and concentrate only on the kinaesthetic variations. Once again you realise the benefits of the abstract. It leaves you in peace, without insisting that you weep or laugh. Empty moves plays with empty space but there is nothing vain or empty about it.”


Libération, April 06, 2006



For 4 dancers

Duration 63 minutes

Choreography and scenography

Angelin Preljocaj



John Cage (Empty words)


Special thanks

Goran Vejvoda


Associate Artistic Director

Youri Van den Bosch



Dany Lévêque



Empty moves (parts I & II), 2007 creation


Festival Montpellier Danse 2007



Empty moves (part I), 2004 creation

Commission and co-production

Biennale nationale de danse du Val-de-Marne

2006 Restage, co-production

The Joyce Theater's Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work

Diaporama Imprimer