Luea Ritter moved to Brussels when she was 24 years old. At the time she
felt she needed to get out of Switzerland. It had become too small for what
she wanted to do: integrating dance and visual arts. What she missed in
Switzerland were cities like Brussels with a lot of international exchange
and input from being surrounded by other cultures. Besides, she wanted to
stand on her own feet and learn new things. She describes Switzerland as a
country with a strong visual arts scene but without a very present dance
scene. Brussels is unique in the sense that there are so many different
cultures living together, unlike in Zurich and Berlin for example, where
the majority of the dance community is still German-based.
Ritter feels part of a community that is not geographically located. It is
a kind of net of people spread around the whole world. It consists of
people she feels connected to, who have similar intentions, dreams and
ambitions. She also feels part of a Brussels dance community. Because of
her job in Les Bains, she got quite quickly ‘into’ it. She is in
contact with the larger dance community when she is working or going to
shows. She tries to limit the number of performances that she goes to. When
she sees too many, it is difficult to stay open and neutral. She sees more
interesting things happening on the Flemish side. A possible explanation
could be that the Flemish performance culture is still very young, while
the French side has difficulties to leave behind a whole tradition of
text-theater and ballet.
Brussels is Ritter’s social and work city; home is the place where she
lives at this moment: the countryside. Living there pulls her a little bit
out of the community. She finds it quite challenging sometimes to come to
Brussels: the noise, the smell, the rush hours, the way people treat each
other,… Although Ritter is originally a visual artist, she feels more
connected to the dance community than to the visual arts community. The
latter is less visible and does not have as many centers and institutions.
She thinks institutions play an important role in establishing a community.
Another connecting factor is a common language to speak about
At the moment, the focus in Ritter’s professional life is on her job as a
project coordinator but she would like to bring her own art work more to
the fore. As for her job as a coordinator, she usually feels recognized by
the Brussels dance community. When she feels underrecognized, it is when
she realizes that she works a lot for little money.