Wim Vandekeybus opens dance studios in Brussels

The New York Times described him as the most exciting and original modern dance choreographer at work today. But it has taken the Belgian choreographer 25 years to find a permanent base for his company Ultima Vez. Vandekeybus has now found a large studio space for his experimental dance group in the Molenbeek district of Brussels, a former industrial quarter with a large immigrant population. Located in a converted industrial building, the work space has two rehearsal spaces and several offices. Surrounded by animals Born in 1963 in Herenthout, Vandekeybus grew up in the countryside surrounded by animals. He claims that this powerful physical environment influenced his later work as a choreographer. In 1986, he launched Ultima Vez in collaboration with a group of dancers based in Madrid and thrilled audiences with his first work, titled What the Body Does Not Remember, in which the dancers hurled bricks at one another. Raw physical energy In later productions, he has incorporated short films and photographs into the productions. But it is raw physical energy that drives his performances and astonishes audiences across the world. At the opening day on December 8, the public gained a rare glimpse behind the scenes as dancers performed scenes from Vandekeybus’s first work What the Body Does Not Remember. Work with the neighbourhood The decision to move to Molenbeek surprised some observers as the district suffers from a reputation for crime. “We are not naïve,” Vandekeybus told De Standaard in an interview, “but we want to work with the neighbourhood as far as possible.”

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