"I want to create a choreographic green space. A dance terrain. A human architecture project, where moving bodies form the visible, mobile architecture of a new institution.
The modern city faces multiple challenges in terms of climate, society, urban planning and aesthetics. Terrain is investing in human actions, movements and ephemeral gestures. Terrain is intended to be a gestural institution, an institution that runs on movement. A “dance ground”.
You have to imagine a sort of national centre for choreography that is wall-less, green, open and experimental. The public and artists appear in the cold, the wind, the rain, the sun and are exposed to the city air. They integrate the movements of passers-by. Of users. Of plants and of all the non-human movements that occupy outdoor space.
Boris Charmatz, notes of intent, 2019

Terrain is a project for choreographic experimentations, having no fixed walls – it is a place with itinerant foundations, embedded in the city and the public space. Its only architecture is human: an assembly of bodies in movement and in contact, of ephemeral gestures bringing together the public and the artists in a shared experience, a “dance-ground,” a “Tanzgrund.”

Terrain finds its place in theaters, but also (and above all) elsewhere: in the streets, in green spaces, museums, train stations, wastelands, stadiums, or the mining landscapes of post-industrial Europe. Terrain generates a high level of activity: this hearth of burning art is sustained in the abundance of actions.

From a solo all the way to a piece danced by a thousand people, to a choreographic line performed by 200 professional and amateur dancers in the street, Terrain offers hybrid formats combining repertoire and creation, theory and transmission. Porous to its immediate environment, every Terrain event gives rise to an urgent dance and seeks to test its relationship to the world, confronting the social, ecological, urban, and democratic issues that animate it.

With Boris Charmatz’s nomination as Director of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in August 2022, Terrain’s action will stimulate choreographic acts open to wind and rain, sun and city air, which will complement the legendary choreographer’s vibrant repertoire as a part of an unprecedented project of artistic cooperation between Germany and France.