Babel 7.16

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet

Dance Contemporary Film
  • NAC Dance

  Dec 8 - 19, 2021

  • Partial nudity
  • Strong language
“Babel is a clever mix of nationalities, bodies, personalities like Noah's ark to try to save what escapes us. The show offers us a real clash of cultures, languages, thoughts with a beautiful dose of hope and respect.”

Internationally acclaimed choreographers and multi-disciplinary artists - and Ottawa favourites - Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet recreated their Olivier Award-winning piece Babel(words) into Babel 7.16 especially for the 70th edition of the Festival d’Avignon in 2016, one of the most important contemporary performing arts events in the world.

The recreation of the piece arose from the need to reiterate and reimagine how language is integrated within technology and to explore opposition and unity between the archaic and the contemporary.

Inspired by the biblical myth of the same name, Babel 7.16 calls on the clash of languages and bodies from different nationalities, on the diversity and the difficulty to coexist, confronting uniqueness and community. It questions our attitude towards change, when technology is constantly modifying the notions of empathy and human connections. 

Babel 7.16 is a timely and dynamic dance theatre performance that features a cast of 22 dancers of 15 nationalities to share their legacies, at once immutable and constantly changing.

Film (1 hour 51 minutes)
Pre-film documentary (20 minutes)
Total digital presentation is approximately 2 hours 11 minutes.


Digidance is an initiative of DanceHouse (Vancouver), Danse Danse (Montreal), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto) and the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), in association with Springboard Performance (Calgary).

Note: Once you have purchased your access to the film Event, a link will be emailed and will be available to watch from 12:01 AM (Eastern Standard Time) on December 8, 2021, to 11:45 PM (Eastern Standard Time) on December 19, 2021. You can view the film as many times as you wish with your link. Available in Canada and the USA only.

Consider donating to the National Arts Centre as it continues to support Canadian dance artists. Tickets have a $35 (Engaged) or $85 (Supporter) donation option. Thank you!


  •  ©Mats Bäcker
    Choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
  •  ©Mats Bäcker
    Choreographer Damien Jalet
  •  ©Koen Broos
    Stage designer Antony Gormley

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