Thomas Hauert

Thomas Hauert was born in Switzerland in 1967. He lives and works in Brussels.
He has worked with Rosas (Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker) and with Gonnie Heggen, David Zambrano and Pierre Droulers.
After creating his solo Hobokendans he founded ZOO in 1997 and initiated the Cows in Space project, a performance for 5 dancers. This performance received the Prix d'auteur and the Jan Fabre Prize at the Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis (Bagnolet, France, 1998).
With this same group of dancers, he went on to create Pop-Up Songbook (Springdance, 1999), Jetzt (Luzerntanz, 2000) and Verosimile (Swiss Dance Days, 2002).
In April 2001 he created the solo Do You Believe in Gravity? Do You Trust the Pilot?.
For the performance 5 (Kaaitheater, 2003) Thomas directed Common Senses, an improvisation with 10 dancers.
Thomas Hauert was awarded the "Swiss Dance and Choreography Award 2005" for his latest creation modify (Julidans, 2004) with his company ZOO, attributed by Pro Tanz to the most outstanding performance in the field of contemporary dance by a Jury of Swiss Dance Professionals.
More or Less Sad Songs (Nadine, 2005) is the result of the work in progress in the development of Walking Oscar.
Thomas Hauert also teaches workshops, a.o. at P.A.R.T.S. where he created Lobster Caravan on the music of Rêve d'Elephant Orchestra and at LABAN where he created Fold and Twine (London, 2006). For the Alma Txina project in Maputo, Mozambique, he choreographed Ha Mais.

Hauert moved to Brussels in the 90s because of the big artistic appeal of the Belgian dance scene at the time. Hauert experiences the Brussels dance community as a very loose rather than a well-defined category, characterized by an undefined number of members, a big turnover and an overlap with other communities, such as the art community, the theater community and the gay community. Although the dance community is based on a common interest in dance, the body and movement in general, it is very diversified and in a constant process of renewal because of conflicting forces and ideologies that replace each other. Hauert considers himself part of the so-called ‘Brussels dance community’, which results in a sense of belonging and is linked to feelings of solidarity and pride. His position in the dance field is a by-product of his activities and not the result of active ‘networking’.
Hauert feels that the Brussels dance community has become more competitive and aggressive than it was ten years ago, due to a general atmosphere of intolerance: cities become crowded, people get scared of each other and are scared to share. The same mechanisms are present in the Brussels dance community with its limited resources and many (would-be) dancers... In that respect, Hauert admits that he is in a privileged position because his artistic needs do not interfere with his economic needs. He is able to realize his work the way he wants to.
Although Hauert feels that his work is recognized by the Brussels dance community, he thinks that ‘dance’ as an art form is undervalued. Because ‘modern dance’ is a relatively young form of art there is a lack of references (limited canon) and no thorough credit system for dance criticism. Dance is a non-verbal medium and deals with the body, its forces and movements. It is limited to the moment and cannot be multiplied and distributed. Because of this ephemeral character, dance is difficult to pin down in existing categories and structures.

Open-minded, tolerant ? confrontation with differences, scared to share, competition, aggression, “kicking and pinching” < overcrowded,
solidarity, pride, belonging to the dance community ~feeling at home
fuzzy edges
no fixed number
constant renewal
flexibility, variety
common interest in dance, movement, the body

ephemeral >< multiplication & distribution
non-verbal, physical overvaluing of written language
problem of recognition / lack of canon / credit system

struggle, ambition, unpaid work ? artistic ~professional freedom, no concessions, funding, paid work, contract
Privilege of priority shift < economic position, ‘survival’ needs ~artistic needs


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