Ugo Dehaes


Ugo Dehaes came to study in Brussels at PARTS and stayed because he got a job and because he did not know any city that pleased him so much. However, it was not love at first sight. It took him some time to adjust because it was quite a shock to move from a quiet little town like Leuven to a more « rough » city like Brussels. But he feels he belongs there now. Brussels is not what he would call beautiful but he is charmed by the mixture of people and feels at home in this metropolis where he can easily disappear. He likes Belgium in general, not the least because the support system for arts and dance works quite well.

Dehaes thinks he belongs to the Brussels dance community, whether he likes it or not. He does not feel attached to everything that is made by other artists, but it is exactly this diversity that defines the community. When he had just moved to Brussels, he felt like a « tourist » in the dance community. It is only when he started working and earning money that he stopped being a tourist and started calling himself « a dancer ». The Brussels dance community is a small world : artists all turn around the same locations, programmers and producers ; they’re all facing the same reality. Something else that unites them is that they all try to make up their own definition of dance. In addition, an important characteristic of the Brussels dance community is the general interest in and the positioning towards each other’s work. Dehaes attributes a high potential to the dance community as an organized structure. Artists should realize that they should present themselves more as a group towards the government or programmers. The awareness that they can achieve more as a group (government support for example) is growing little by little. As a community, they should instigate the awareness that being a dancer or choreographer is a serious job (which should be paid for accordingly). At the moment, the dance field is saturated and theaters react to that. They give many artists a chance to present their work. A disadvantage of this evolution is that there is less commitment, fewer resident companies and long-term collaborations. It is difficult now for companies or performers to « stay » and turn into a structure. There is definitely no need for new big companies at the moment.

Contemporary dance interests Dehaes so much because it is so open and undefined. He stresses the necessity of pioneer work in the dance field: choreographers / dancers who explore the field and create tools that others can use. He feels the need to create and likes his job very much, but what bothers him is that in some periods he cannot have a regular social life because of his job. One of the main reasons why he wants to continue making dance pieces is the freedom he has, in creating as well as in the choice of the people he wants to work with. Financially, he is able to survive because of the unemployment system.


intensive program – laziness – adventure – mixture – neutral – disappear – websites – redefine – membership card – catholicism – tourist – salary – smoothly - pretentious – humiliating – small world – react against it – conceptual – unites – interdisciplinary work – economically interesting – avoid critique – evolve – opening your soul to the public – elitist – grandmother – field work – tools – pioneers – ignore – avoid the subject – regular social life – daily routine – time consuming – hanging out – saturated – instant satisfaction – fame = temporary


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