Taos Bertrand: brutal syntax

Wed 14 Jun, 7.45pm
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
From £15
past event
past event
A man with his head leaning on his knee, wearing a sheer black top

The dancer and choreographer presents the world premiere of a celebratory club culture-inspired dance work, commissioned especially for Meltdown.

Taos Bertrand explains: ‘In brutal syntax, I invite a sorority of contemporary dancers and ribbon gymnasts to compose a dance language sustaining an architecture for trouble, ornamentation, lust and rebirth.

‘It’s like an adolescent reminiscence, a celebration of the 2000s where excessive techno beats, poetry, sassy baroque mutations and R&B aesthetic can bloom within the soundscape designed by producer Kelman Duran.

‘Brutal as a trans-choreographic genre where dance and ribbon gymnastics, organic grace and machinic time, club culture and ambient can f*ck to reach a realness in our contemporary space.’

As writer and scholar McKenzie Wark says in her book Raving: ‘Techno began as the sound of blackness giving itself a future in the ruins ... A trans time, with no future, yet which makes a present of the present. Then gates to paradise are locked. It became private property. But we can go round the back and hop the fence.’

Taos Bertrand studied literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne, as well as contemporary dance at the Conservatoire des abbesses in Paris.

Taos Bertrand has previously worked with Christine and the Queens and collaborators including choreographers Olivier Dubois and Adam Linder, Erwan Ha Kyoon Larcher, Valentin Noujaïm, Jean-Luc Verna, the collective (LA) HORDE and pianist Koki Nakano. Her work is motivated by questions of writing and materiality, prophecy and trouble, ghosts and avatars.

She has worked on Noh theatre during her residency at Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto, and recent works include 2022’s The end of the forests, a trio on cruising mythology, in collaboration with the sound designer PYUR; and Promettre, a duet co-written with Erwan Ha Kyoon Larcher for Vive le sujet du Festival D'Avignon.

In 2023, Taos Bertrand dances for Adam Linder at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and is co-creating a workshop for the students of Beaux-arts de Paris at Lafayettes Anticipations.

brutal syntax is in collaboration with LA-based Dominican producer Kelman Duran.

The visuals are created by Karim Boumjimar.

Need to know

Please note that strobe, haze and loud music are used during this performance.

Follow @meltdownfest on Twitter for all of our Meltdown updates.

Dates & times

Wed 14 Jun, 7.45pm

Approximate run time: 30 mins.
Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.


  • Standard entryFrom £15*
  • Concessions25%**

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