ZOO / Thomas Hauert Brussels


In 1998 Thomas Hauert, having built up a wealth of experience dancing alongside Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Pierre Droulers, David Zambrano and Gonnie Heggen, decided to set up his own company, ZOO. With four fellow dancers - Mark Lorimer, Sara Ludi, Mat Voorter and Samantha van Wissen - whom he had met at the Rotterdam Dance Academy and in the Rosas dance company, he started work on creating Cows in Space. The show premiered in Kortrijk was an immediate hit, won prizes at the renowned Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis, and went on to be performed in numerous venues in Belgium and abroad. The same quintet went on to create Pop-Up Songbook (1999), Jetzt (2000) and Verosimile (2002). In 2001, Thomas Hauert presented his solo piece Do You Believe in Gravity? Do You Trust the Pilot?. For the ZOO company's fifth production, 5 (2003), the choreographer invited each dancer to produce a personal piece. For his own, Common Senses, he directed an improvisation for ten dancers. The original members of ZOO were then joined by Martin Kilvady and Chrysa Parkinson, who went on to be involved in many of the ZOO productions.

In the space of a decade, the Swiss dancer and choreographer Thomas Hauert has imposed his original voice on stages in Belgium and abroad. Accords, his latest creation, is an abstract choreographic composition that feels like a work of music. The dancers physically translate the dynamics, harmonies, melodies and counterpoints - amplifying or deflecting them in their bodies - as well as the sensual experience of the vocal and instrumental performance. Their movement enables the spectator to hear the music differently. ZOO's shows are based on the confidence the dancers have in each other, and here it is expressed through the principle of "improvised unison"; in other words, reaching agreement at the very instant a movement is created.

NXTSTP partners: Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), Alkantara Festival (Lisbon)