Wim Vandekeybus

Date: 23/11/2006
Place: Offices @ Ultima Vez

Wim Vandekeybus has lived as a nomad for many years before he finally settled down in Brussels. Brussels is his « base », but he thinks he would not be able to live there if he would not travel. For Vandekeybus, « home » is not so much geographically determined. « Home » means the people he is with rather than the place he is in. He spends not enough time at home to really « feel at home ».

Vandekeybus describes the merits of working with an international group : the combination of different cultures creates a rich pallet of colors and different ways of approach. It is very interesting to him how the different nationalities merge and « contaminate » each other. Different cultural backgrounds offer endless possibilities when creating a new piece, because one idea will evoke a different association for everyone. In his projects with kids he worked with a mixture of different cultures as well.

He compares his work with a knit web ; with a pattern of strings that come from everywhere. The point where they come together is a « cocoon of energy that explodes ». He is not the center of this structure, but rather the organizer who provides the conditions to make it happen. Vandekeybus experiences freedom in his work because he can realize the projects he would like to do. Sometimes he refuses to repeat certain projects because he wants to keep himself from entering an established pattern.

He cannot deny that he belongs to the dance community: he realizes that Ultima Vez plays its role in the Brussels dance community and that it even attracts people to it. The Brussels dance community is situated in different locations and PARTS is definitely a very important one, with a lot of smaller locations around it. The division between the Flemish and Walloon dance field astonishes him. Just at the other side of the language boundary dance has a completely other audience and is evaluated by other criteria. Vandekeybus tells about the time when the dance community did not exist yet and they had to realize everything themselves: find out about how to found a non-profit organization, write texts, establish contacts, look for money… Now he feels that his work is recognized by the Brussels dance community and that Ultima Vez has its place and audience in Brussels, which has not always been the case. What bothers him a bit is that the dance field is a very closed and sometimes claustrophobic community, focused on itself. He prefers a mixed audience to an audience of professionals only. The question is whether being immersed in a dance community does not restrict one’s creativity. It gets more and more difficult for young dancers and choreographers to re-invent the medium or to create something completely different. The reason is that they are too well-informed, that everybody knows the work of everybody else. He believes, however, that when a piece has an incredible necessity and personality and some sort of ‘visionary effect’, it will survive.

His suggestion for a performance on the Brussels Dance Community would be to take abstracts from the interviews and re-order them to configure an argument an ‘imaginary war’ of opinions and ideas.

psychology – 15 shows – kid – “Ultima Vez English” – different auras – contaminate each other – orphanage – system – workshops – big nest – overpopulated – incredible necessity – too well informed – re-invent the medium – mainstream - visionary effect – mixed audience – amazing – new movie in South-America – judgement – incredible – editing – claustrophobic – guitar – anaesthetist – big chaos – garden – knit – cocoon – sparkle – recharge – for free –neoclassical – walking in circles – three lives - imaginary war


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