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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Sezione Danza EN (new)


Ultima Vez / Wim Vandekeybus

23 / 24 June at 8:00 p.m.
Teatro alle Tese - Arsenale
booty Looting    (world premiere)
direction, choreography, scenography Wim Vandekeybus
performed by and created with Jerry Killick, Birgit Walter, Elena Fokina, Dymitry Szypura, Luke Jessop, Kip Johnson
artistic assistant, dramaturgy Greet Van Poeck
movement assistant Máte Mészáros
live original music by Elko Blijweert
sound Antoine Delagoutte
lighting Davy Deschepper, Francis Gahide, Wim Vandekeybus
costumes Isabelle Lhoas, Fréderick Denis
live photography Danny Willems
production Ultima Vez 
co-production of La Biennale di Venezia, KVS (Brussels), Schauspiel Köln
Ultima Vez is supported by the Flemish Authorities and Community
Dancer, choreographer, director, filmmaker Wim Vandekeybus belongs to the fertile Flemish scene that brought us so many figures in the contemporary arts throughout the Eighties and Nineties: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Jan Fabre, Frédéric Flamand, Ann De Mey, artists who, though in different ways, exhibit an intense multilingualism.
Wim Vandekeybus, who made his stage debut in the late Eighties with What the Body Does Not Remember, a production that was overwhelming in its impact, winning the Bessie Award in New York, brings the premises of his anti-academic training to its most extreme consequences, shaping a dance that is so aggressive and full of adrenaline that it transforms the stage into a battlefield: the bodies, dominated by the dynamics of attraction and repulsion, are shaken in a vortex of running, falling, hurling, grabbing, pushing. Aesthetics of conflict that are incarnated in a savage humanity, driven by instinct. Spiegel, composed for the twentieth anniversary of his company – Ultima Vez, founded in 1986 – offers a sampler of Vandekeybus’ vocabulary, in which other media, such as video and film, are being included more constantly. Monkey Sandwich, presented in 2010 at the Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg, the Royal Flemish Theatre in Brussels, is built entirely around a video. Last year Vandekeybus worked with Cidi Larbi Cherkaoui, for whom he had previously created a solo at the Festival d’Avignon in 2002, on a performance which is also a dance lesson, IT 3.0.

For Venice and the 8th International Festival of Contemporary Dance, Vandekeybus has reserved the world premiere debut of booty Looting, thus titled because the six performers involved, plus a musician and photographer, “steal from each other what has already been stolen”. The sequence of still-frames that compose the piece is described as follows in the company’s preliminary information notes: “A wizard has invented a mirror that has memory. I look into it and I remember my own birth. My mother’s dress. The hospital room. … Ice on the beard. Flames among the trees. Two drunkards who stay up by leaning against one another. A dirty doll lying on the street. A brand-new Mercedes Benz, never driver before. A bottle of vodka passed over the fire…. A photo kills the present and freezes the past. Memories are rooted in these frozen moments and grow… The bodies move bathed in sweat while inside the frame nothing changes.”