Dances of Death
Michiel Vandevelde (BE)
Dances of Death is a physically intense performance with seven dancers and one singer. We encounter a community coming together on stage to commemorate death. The performers evoke a ritual in which they 'time travel' through different associations to dances of death, from the distant past to more recent history. Building upon the ashes of the past, they dance, they breathe, they cry, they laugh, they sing, in a cycle between life and death.
The dance material is based on three short 16mm videos that choreographer Michiel Vandevelde inherited from his mother. Her dance consists of movements with influences from social, folkloristic, and modern dances.
In the 21st century the notion of ‘death’ is yet again very present. New incurable diseases are haunting us, suicide rates are increasing yearly, climate change calls forth images of apocalypses. How can we cope with the idea of death? In Dances of Death the quest is to physically cope with death through dance. How would a dance of death be danced today?