Statement in response to the subsidy cuts:
We would like to quote the writer Amin Maalouf: "In times of crisis, it is better for society to invest in Education, Science and Culture, because we cannot expect the banking industry or business sector to come up with creative solutions." Investing in heritage like Bokrijk on the one hand and making substantial cuts (of up to 60%) to project subsidies (relatively small subsidy amounts for starting artists) on the other, is contradictory. As we see it, today’s young talent are tomorrow’s heritage. We are particularly worried about public statements like the one made recently by Peter De Roover, a member of the party that will be managing the culture budget in the years to come. In “De Afspraak”, a programme on Flemish television, De Roover stated: “There used to be a time when our artists at least had a keener eye for beauty”. Is he suggesting, perhaps, that it falls to politics to define what constitutes beauty and, based on that judgment, that politics should dictate who is entitled to what support? We cannot shake the feeling this trend is slowly manifesting itself as it is. We can already see every conceivable form of self-censorship rearing its ugly head around us. We hope, however, that the public remain highly vigilant with us. That, together, we can put up a radical resistance against this evolution. Because places like these are the only and increasingly rare sanctuaries where beauty can be redefined time and again. We spend 10% of our subsidies to developing new talent (e.g. Co-laBo), we share our infrastructure, turning every euro we receive into three and taking our cultural products across borders, to the four corners of the world. Can the Flemish government say the same thing? If cuts have to be made, we want to take a seat at the decision-making table, help assess the situation at the broadest level, and not be relegated to a corner where we have to scramble for whatever crumbs fall off it. After all, we have become quite the experts at making the most out of less. newsitem added on 17.01.'20
Day of the Dance 2020 V O Y A G E -workshop with Tister Ikomo- Rhythm – body – group : these are the basic ingredients Tister will use to take the participants along in an intensive dance workshop.Dancer and percussionist Tister Ikomo combines Congolese traditional dance forms with elements from contemporary dance, percussion having an important role in it. His workshops start from his afro-dance style to warm up and free the body. For the Day of the Dance, Tister continues with tasks for group choreography and together with the participants he develops movements that explore the dynamic of the group. PRACTICAL DETAILS Age : young and adult people (14+) When: Saturday 25 April 2020, from 2pm till 5pm Where: Studio S3 les ballets C de la B, Bijlokekaai 7 9000 Ghent Inscription: free, but please register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org TISTER OKOMO Biography newsitem added on 07.02.'20
BLOOMSBURY PUBLICATION A time to rejoice at les ballets C de la B. English-language publishers Bloomsbury have just published the academic publication put together by Christel Stalpaert, Guy Cools and resident dramatist Hildegard De Vuyst. An impressive tome, the publication consists of several contributions that look back at an eventful 35-year journey: from collective to platform to Alain Platel’s company. It coincides beautifully with a new turning point in the history of les ballets C de la B. To put an end to any and all misconceptions: Alain Platel does not stop making productions. The next one will be called Mein Gent and will be produced at Vooruit, together with Frank Van Laecke. The fact is, an artist does not retire. True, the organization will no longer be built exclusively around his works. But that was never the case to begin with. Les ballets C de la B has always looked for ways to share resources, infrastructure and knowhow. These past few years, this idea gained extra traction via the “Co-laBo” residency programme. It gave us a first-hand chance to witness the works of Serge-Aimé Coulibaly, Lisaboa Houbrechts, Ehsan Hemat, Selma & Sofiane Ouissi and Arkadi Zaides, a.o. It is with these people we will continue to talk about the future. To think about Platel’s real legacy together: the grand gesture. How can you make a grand gesture for the world today, using an intimate medium like a stage and a small instrument like a body as your conduit? A festive book launch of The Choreopolitics of Alain Platel's les ballets C de la B is planned for Saturday 21 March, the day after the premiere of C(H)ŒURS 2020 at Kunsthuis (Opera Ballet Vlaanderen), a Platel creation from 2012 (a collaboration, at the time, with the Opera of Madrid, as commissioned by the late Gerard Mortier). We will be setting up conversations about C(H)ŒURS 2020 and the future at the salons of the Ghent Opera House, from 3pm onwards. Want to know more about the book? www.bloomsbury.com/9781350080010 More information on Co-laBo: www.lesballetscdela.be/en/projects/in-co-labo/introduction/info/
newsitem added on 24.02.'20
In creation: C(H)OEURS 2020
C(H)OEURS 2020 In 2012 Gerard Mortier – former intendant of the Teatro Real – convinced famed director Alain Platel to start working with the operas of Verdi and Wagner. With the Arab Spring, the financial crisis and the Indignados movement making the papers, the choral songs blew Platel away; Wagner and Verdi wrote their compositions in equally troubling times filled with revolution. Their music grew to become patriotic anthems.
Now the time has come for an update, according to Platel:
. Along with the dancers, the choir and the orchestra of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, he will analyse the state of the world in 2020. How does the progressive nationalism of the nineteenth century compare to the recent trend of populism and protectionism? When does solidarity regress into herd behaviour? C(H)OEURS 2020 Premiere: 20 March 2020, Opera Gent + followed by performances at Opera Gent and at Opera Antwerpen
newsitem added on 17.01.'20
Requiem pour L. – a book After months of preparation, creation and rehearsing, Requiem pour L. premiered in January 2018 in Berlin. More then ever, the whole process got under the skin of director Alain Platel and found its expression in his diary notes. As if he needed to write this performance out of his system, Platel developed the notes into a book. The book does not only tell about the personal experiences of Platel during the creation of Requiem pour L., it also takes you through the fascinating history of les ballets C de la B, from the living room experiment in the eighties towards the internationally acclaimed dance company that it is today. The book Requiem pour L. will be published in dutch by EPO. Everyone is warmly invited to the book presentation: June 19, 7.30pm at the Parnassuskerk (Oude Houtlei, Ghent)Free admission. Please, confirm your presency with this form: https://forms.gle/vL2noNrLWLgv5WRv5
Words by: Alain Platel, Thomas Blommaert (uitgeverij EPO), Elke and Dafne (L.’s daughters). Music: Russell Tshiebua. For more information, click on this link. newsitem added on 17.06.'19
Alain Platel received the Medaille van Erkentelijkheid van het Koninklijk Verbond der Gebuurtedekenijen Gent, City Hall Ghent 30 January 2020
newsitem added on 03.02.'20
The music of Fabrizo Cassol's
Requiem pour L. (inspired by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, conducted by Rodriguez Vangama and staged by Alain Platel) can be bought on cd either after the performance in the theatres or online through this link: https://outhere-music.com/nl/albums/requiem-pour-l-out-663 newsitem added on 03.10.'18
Summer workshops souvenir
For 25 years, Chris Van der Burght has his lens trained on les ballets C de la B's work. For the performance nicht schlafen, he came with his camera as close to the dancers as he could get. The magnifcent series of photos he produced have been brought together in a beautiful book in limited edition.
The book is sold after each show in the venues on tour and in the Ghent bookstore Paard van Troje. It can also be ordered by sending a mail to email@example.com. Price is 25 euro + shipping cost. photos: Chris Van der Burght text: Alain Platel graphics: Kurt Van der Elst newsitem added on 05.10.'17
Our dramaturg Hildegard De Vuyst came back from the Dream City Festival in Tunis, where she saw many inspirational projects and run into works by Serge Aimé and kabinet K, artists familiar to our house. Some articles report about the more than interesting programme :
In De Volkskrant / De Morgen (Dutch). In De Standaard (Dutch). In Politis (French).
newsitem added on 16.10.'19
Since 2004 les ballets C de la B lends its active support to a cultural boycott of Israel. Because of the increasing tension, les ballets C de la B relaunches the call to support the cultural boycott of Israel. Alain Platel emphasizes the relaunch with an open letter:
Open letter by Alain Platel (les ballets C de la B). Ghent, 12 October 2015. I would once again like to make a clear call for the support for the (cultural) boycott of Israel. I really am not much of a hero and it is always with a heavy heart that I swing into action, when I feel that it is necessary. It is even harder when I am forced to disagree with fellow artists – whose work I admire immensely – in this respect when they claim that these kinds of actions or statements either are not ours to take or make, or don’t help matters whatsoever. My (artistic) collaboration with Jewish and Palestinian artists, both in the Occupied Territories and here in Belgium, however, leaves me no choice. Since my first visit to the Occupied Territories – in 2001, and this during the intifada – I became convinced that the resolution of the conflict in this part of the world could be crucial and could give a huge boost to a positive development in the whole region, and by extension, East-West relationships as a whole. Of course, this is very naïve and utopian, but I believe that harbouring such utopian hopes is a good thing. After all, I see very little or no evidence of how the existing political and military structures do/did get things moving. And this is why, more than ever, I want to make a plea for a delicate, yet special citizens’ initiative: the support for the (cultural) boycott of Israel. Recent hot news from this region only reaches us when unspeakable cruelties are inflicted on Jewish citizens. We are not told, however, what actually triggered them. It always seems as if yet another Palestinian extremist brutally attacked innocent Jewish civilians in a moment of insanity. What we don’t hear, for instance, is how Jewish settlers and other extremists meanwhile are allowed to engage in constant (often violent) provocations; what’s more, under the continuous protection of Israeli soldiers, in the Palestinian districts, at the Al-Aqsa mosque and by extension, permanently and everywhere in the Occupied Territories. Photographer Filip Claus has recently made a short film about such an event in the city of Hebron. This is a Palestinian city on the West Bank (so-called Palestinian territory!) with approximately 200,000 inhabitants, where 800 illegal settlers live who are permanently guarded and supported by some 2,000 (!) Israeli soldiers. The Jewish settlers take regular ‘sightseeing walks’ in the Palestinian part of the city, accompanied by a small army of Israeli soldiers, at that … A daily (!) shocking, provocative presence. This is one instance of continuous harassment, besides the much more radical actions. Gaza is still an open-air prison; land, properties and possessions of Palestinians are still being systematically and illegally confiscated or simply destroyed. Illegal settlements are still being built every day in Palestinian territories. Every day, Palestinians are still being harassed, discriminated against, picked up, locked up or – where ‘necessary’ – simply shot. The OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), a United Nations humanitarian organisation, for instance, regularly publishes the shocking figures of the ‘invisible victims’ who are killed there every year. (see: http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_the_humanitarian_monitor_2014_10_02_english.pdf). You could ask yourself here how it is possible that, at first glance, Palestinians seem to respond to this in such a resigned way. The massive military protection, the continuous legal and administrative preferential treatment of Jewish settlers, and selective reporting encourage this. As many have been predicting for a long time, this inevitably leads to radicalisation on both sides, which we have clearly seen increase for some considerable time now. And as many have been predicting for a long time, we once again find ourselves on the brink of an intifada. The third intifada, as it is being called. And if this one, just as predictably, is crushed in a horribly violent way, the situation may calm down again for a while … as we wait the fourth intifada and the fifth, the sixth … etc. to kick off. Unless much more, clear pressure is exerted on the Israeli government(s) to work on real, constructive and permanent solutions. A (cultural) boycott is nonviolent but is incredibly irritating and with ardent advocates such as archbishop Desmond Tutu is in very good company. Alain Platel les ballets C de la B Info about the Belgian Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel: www.bacbi.be www.vrede.be More information about the point of view of les ballets about the cultural boycott, can be read via this link. newsitem added on 10.05.'19
les ballets C de la B supports HART BOVEN HARD Hart Boven Hard is a citizens’ initiative that unites individuals and organisations concerned about the planned policies of the Flemish and federal governments. Ranging from students and pensioners to social and cultural organisations, they all aim for a society that opts for ‘heart before hard’. The initiative was born in Flanders and is gradually expanding into French-speaking Belgium too. The francophone counterpart goes by the name of Tout Autre Chose. More info: www.hartbovenhard.be newsitem added on 22.11.'19
Les ballets C de la B wants to invest in the next generation by taking in residents who will get the opportunity to be coached in their work by director Alain Platel and Hildegard Devuyst, Platel’s dramaturg for more than 20 years. The basic idea are one-month-residencies in one of the studios at les ballets. There are no prefixed artistic conditions, no exclusives when it comes to form or movement language. Young artists who think their work would benefit from a residency, can apply by mailing to Hildegard De Vuyst.
firstname.lastname@example.org newsitem added on 18.10.'17
les ballets C de la B in 15 minutes
les ballets C de la B in 15 minutes les ballets C de la B was founded by Alain Platel in 1984. Over the years it has developed into an artistic platform for a variety of choreographers. As a result of its unique mixture of artistic vision’, les ballets C de la B is not easy to classify. It is nevertheless possible to discern a house style (popular, anarchic, eclectic, committed), and its motto is ‘this dance is for the world and the world is for everyone'. les ballets C de la B immersed in its archives and came out with a video compilation.
newsitem added on 24.09.'18