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.