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© JC Carbonne

Premiere on June 22, 2014 at Théâtre de l'Agora, Montpellier Danse Festival



After creating Empty moves (part I) in 2004, followed by (part II) in 2007, Angelin Preljocaj wished to pursue his study of movement based on the work Empty Words by John Cage. Empty moves (part III) will be completed in time for the opening of the Montpellier Danse festival in 2014. On this occasion, the work will be presented in its entirety.

Empty moves consists of actions and movements inspired by the words and phonemes read by John Cage at the Teatro Lirico in Milan and recorded live on December 2nd, 1977. The notion of an alienation effect, the deconstruction of movement and a new expression of choreographic phrasing prevail over the definition and essence of the movements. Thus the piece establishes a link with Henry David Thoreau’s text, which was the inspiration for John Cage, and a connection to the unflinching determination of the instigator of that evening in Milan.

Angelin Preljocaj

Preljocaj in Motion

“... Preljocaj at his best, pushing to the limits an abstract and sensual dance where the couples appear to be continually embracing. One moment they are balancing on the tips of their toes, the next extending a leg over their head, all without apparent effort. The best is yet to come in this innovative piece for four, when the dancers interlock and appear to move as one. The choreographer’s passion for the body is so evident that it is impossible to disengage oneself. Angelin Preljocaj, one of the few choreographers who create a score for their dance pieces, has a culture of movement, which he loves to share and which is highly enjoyable. Empty moves, a looping cycle of movements, ends where it begins, as close as possible to this imaginary course.”

Les Échos, 13 April 2006


Choreography for 4 dancers
Duration 1h45

Angelin Preljocaj

John Cage, Empty words

Special thanks to
Goran Vejvoda

Initial cast (two different)
Natacha Grimaud, Nuriya Nagimova, Fabrizio Clemente, Baptiste Coissieu / Virginie Caussin, Yurié Tsugawa, Sergio Diaz, Yan Giraldou

Assistant, Deputy to the Artistic Director
Youri Van den Bosch

Dany Lévêque

Empty moves (parts I, II & III), Creation 2014
Coproduction Festival Montpellier Danse 2014, Théâtre de la Ville-Paris

Empty moves (parts I & II)
, Creation 2007
Coproduction Festival Montpellier Danse 2007

Empty moves (part I)
, Creation 2004
Commission Biennale nationale de danse du Val-de-Marne
Coproduction The Joyce Theater's Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work