When I look at a Strawberry, I think of a Tongue. – coming back to you!

What better way to return to meeting each other live and celebrate this year’s midsummer’s night than a unique performance of When I look at a Strawberry, I think of a Tongue ?

Each performance is unique, because the narrative varies according to the location, the day on the calendar and the audience in the room.

In When I Look at a Strawberry, I Think of a Tongue, dancer Lisi Estaras, musician Mirko Banovic, theatre maker Kristien De Proost and dramaturge Sara Vanderieck combine their disciplines and are inspired by The Art of Joy, the great novel in which Goliarda Sapienza explores the concept of what it means to be ‘free’.

For this unique edition at the invitation of 30CC, the makers are not only joined by guests Toon Walgrave and Sayouba Sigué, but they also transform the performance for a beautiful location: the Botanical Garden in Leuven.

Make sure to be there!


Cliniques Dramaturgiques: a Quebec-Flanders bilateral cooperation

I am proud to announce that les enfants du garage‘s new dramaturgical collaborative project Cliniques Dramaturgiques – an intercontinental artistic pollination has been rewarded with the support of the Flemish and Québécois authorities within the Quebec-Flanders bilateral cooperation.

The Cliniques Dramaturgiques, originally developed by Jessie Mill within the framework of the Festival TransAmériques (FTA) as a basis for inspiring support for local arts practices on the one hand and the development of an open dramaturgical platform on the other, are evolving into an intercontinental durational collaboration.
Since 2016, the Cliniques Dramaturgiques have formed a support and exchange platform within the programming of the FTA between makers in the performing arts – choreographers, authors, directors, performers, etc. -. This unique context on the one hand stimulates encounters between guest dramaturges from different backgrounds and, on the other hand, offers local artists a form of one-off support.

In a collaboration with CAMPO (BE), Kunstencentrum Nona (BE) and LA SERRE- arts vivants (CA), les enfants du garage (BE) and Festival TransAmériques (CA) will bring the practice of the Cliniques Dramaturgiques to Flanders and share the Belgian dramaturgical practice with the Québécois community.

Coming back to you with more news soon!

VRETEN! is on its way …

Last season director Lola Bogaert and I were introduced to each other during her research residency at Ostend’s cultural centre De Grote Post. Programmer Liv Laveyne knew Lola’s work and saw a possible connection with my dramaturgical practice. What a matchmaker she is!

After Monkey Mind, Lisi Estaras‘ inclusive dance performance, VRETEN! is my second experience in collaborating with a performer with Down’s Syndrome. A second research into a dramaturgy on how to share thoughts and questions about an inclusive society. VRETEN! is also a first: my first dramaturgy for an all ages performance (6+).

As we are going into our final week of creation, I can only share my huge enthusiasm about the work Lola is creating together with performers Sophia Rodríguez, Adnane Lamarti and Giel Roels, set designer Anouk van Kolfschoten, figures creator Paul Contryn and last but definitely not least soundscape-composer Sam Serruys.

So I suggest: offer yourself and your kids an immersion into our imagination!

The gym looks like every other school gym. Dancers seem to be ordinary dancers. Feet look like normal feet. Hands resembling ordinary hands. Until: look at that tongue! It is very long, isn’t it? I’m sure you can gobble down a lot with it!

Bodies become different,  limb by limb. One body looks like a woman, the other one looks like a man, the next one is also a man, but different. Different from that first man. Different to that first man. Or to the other one. Who is who in VRETEN!?  Who is normal? And who decides? Can the differences be bridged?


30 November 2019, De Grote Post (Ostend, BE)

08 December 2019, De Maan (Mechelen,BE)

Tour schedule

Sharing the dramaturgical practice.

© Yel Ratajczak/Sara Vanderieck

I am happy to announce that the Brussels based research centre La Bellone invites Alexandros Mistriotis (GR), Daniel Canty (CAN), Camille Louis (FR) and myself to each host one of the 4 ‘modules’ with a focus on exchanging our dramaturgical practice.

In French-speaking Belgium, dramaturgical practices are unknown. La Bellone notices a real lack of knowledge of this function, although essential in the field of the stage arts both within the venues and within creative teams. This is why the centre offers a cycle of modules combining theory and practice that meet the needs of both students and (self-taught) practitioners.

The modules are open to anyone with experience in watching stage arts, providing artistic advise, participating in a creation process as ‘outside eye’ or playwright.

You can find all information here.

I will be very happy to share my practice and research around an intuitive dramaturgy with you from March 16th to March 20th!

📅 Application deadline: December 13, 2019

Simon, Garfunkel, my Sister and Me kick-off.

© Kristien De Proost

Today I am joining Kristien De Proost and Bwanga Pilipili in C-Takt for their first residency in the process of creating Simon, Garfunkel, my Sister and Me. Excited doesn’t begin to describe the energy this project awakens in my dramaturg’s mind and being!

2019: Simon, Garfunkel, my Sister and Me. : white theater maker and actress Kristien De Proost invites black theater maker and actress Bwanga Pilipili for an ultimate reenactment of Simon & Garfunkels live concert in Central Park.

Who interprets Art and who interprets Paul? Will Bwanga and Kristien survive the confrontation with these two immortal musicians? With each other? Will they stay upright? Will the public get value for their money? Will we all make it to the last song? And are there winners and / or losers at the end? Simon, Garfunkel, My Sister and Me will be a performance about rivalry in all its forms. Live versus tape, female versus male, black versus white, Europe versus America. Over bridges and turbulent water. About feelin’groovy. About boxers, hometowns, old friends and the 50 ways to leave your lover. But especially about the right to keep singing what you want to sing.

Simon, Garfunkel, my Sister and Me will première at Kunstencentrum NONA on April 22nd 2020.

A new collaboration with Bára Sigfúsdóttir!

© Aëla Labbé

I am very happy to announce that after our inspiring exchanges for THE LOVER, TIDE and being, Bára has invited me into the creation process of her new work: FLÖKT – a flickering flow.

Today is our first day together in the studio. I am truly looking forward to this new journey together!

In FLÖKTchoreographer and dancer Bára Sigfúsdóttir joins forces with visual artist Tinna Ottesen, composer Eivind Lønning, light designer Jan Fedinger, and dancers Aëla Labbé and Meri Pajunpää who join Bára on stage.

FLÖKT offers an exploration of our bodily connection with the world surrounding us. It suggests that nature is not something that solely exists outside of us but also something we can sense and experience through our bodies. The audience is invited into a white silk dome, an environment which is in a constant state of transition and allows you to feel the close proximity of things, bodies, the space, the sound, the lights and the massive presence of this environment which literally surrounds you. Together we undertake a journey inside an interconnected poetic miniature of our world.

2019 – Best Wishes!

I wish you dreams with no end and the furious desire to realize some of them.

I wish you to love what should be loved and forget what you need to forget.

I wish you passion, I wish you silence, I wish you to hear birds singing and children laughing when you wake up.

I wish that you respect other people’s differences because the merits and value of each person are worth discovering.

I wish that you resist getting stuck, that you resist being indifferent and that you resist the negativity and righteousness of our time.

Finally, I wish that you never renounce discovery, adventure, life, love because life is a magnificent adventure and no reasonable person should renounce it without a courageous battle.

I especially wish you to be yourself, to be proud of who you are and happy because happiness is our true destiny.

I wish you to love what should be loved and forget what you need to forget.

I wish you passion, I wish you silence, I wish you to hear birds singing and children laughing when you wake up.

I wish that you respect other people’s differences because the merits and value of each person are worth discovering.

I wish that you resist getting stuck, that you resist being indifferent and that you resist the negativity and righteousness of our time.

Finally, I wish that you never renounce discovery, adventure, life, love because life is a magnificent adventure and no reasonable person should renounce it without a courageous battle.

I especially wish you to be yourself, to be proud of who you are and happy because happiness is our true destiny.

Jacques Brel – 1968.

WHY WE FIGHT – Belgian Première.

Eric Arnal-Burtschy invited me this fall to give some dramaturgical advice for his new creation WHY WE FIGHT. We had a beautiful exchange around this semi-autobiographical monologue in which he intertwines his own story with historical texts, letters and diary fragments from other people in an attempt to explore what can engage each of us.

I am happy to announce that WHY WE FIGHT will have its Belgian première at Les Brigitinnes as part of the Working Title Festival on December 1st.

KIRINA – from Marseille to the Ruhrtriennale


Using inspiration from his own African background and his reflections on today’s world, Serge Aimé Coulibaly creates Kirina, a narrative about his contemporary and globalized daily reality. Kirinais not the reenactment of a historic event from West-African History. The original epic only served as an inspiration during the creation, as did many other epic stories and real contemporary events. Kirina is not a performance by African artists about Africa. It is a performance by world citizens – a choreographer with and an artistic team of members both with and without African roots – and inspired by their actual globalized reality. Derived from these inspirations, Coulibaly creates a performance about people on the move, the events that color and possibly direct these migrations and their influences on society.

Using a form that is very close to that of a traditional ballet with different chapters, he creates different moments of great emotional impact. There is the man who goes against the natural flow of time, as if the future and the people on the move could be held back. There is the community which in order to survive calls for its most profound energies, as if only their instincts will help them to move on. There is the woman struggling with femininity as a strategy. There is a man that cannot or can no longer walk who is encouraged by his environment to stand up, a clear reference to the epic Soundjata who was handicapped but just as well to all those images of exhausted migrants. There is the celebration of the fittest. There is the man who is chosen to sacrifice himself for a better future and is sent out on the sea, a scene based on a contemporary African tradition in which the ceremony for the death of those leaving the community and risking their lives at sea is held before their departure in case they won’t return. There is the big human flow that symbolizes migrations from all times and the individuals that are destabilized by their strength. There is the celebration of a (feminine black) leader. There is a wedding. Life continues no matter what the circumstances are. There is a rain dance in the middle of a sandstorm. To survive certain contexts superstition is more effective than belief in statistics and numbers. There is the lapidation of a strange woman who refuses to adapt, her hunchback a clear reference to Soundjata’s mother Sogolon but a situation that occurs today involving “strangers” all over the planet who are treated as if they were human waste just because they are or behave different. There is a general panic for no clear nor present reason, so well-known since the concept “terror attack” has integrated our societies. There is the big battle between two superheroes, the epic Battle of Kirina for sure but how different is it from our contemporary entertaining elections and debates? And there is the creature that derives from it all. Dangerous? Beautiful? Seductive? Violent? Is he the herald of a better future? Does he predict the apocalypse? Or is he no more than one small individual who endures life in his own personal way?

And in between, before and after all of that … there is the walk. The endless walk of humanity towards its destiny.No matter what.

As in all of Coulibaly’s creations, Kirina does not offer its audiences a clear answer to the questions it puts on the table. The performance aspires to open a space for reflection and dialogue about our contemporary global society and its ways of dealing with “the other” and migrations. In order to do so, it uses a great West-African epic to seek in those roots the moments of survival, bravery, virtue, regeneration and heroism and to share those human values with our world.

After a first successful première at the Festival de Marseille, Serge Aimé Coulibaly takes his new performance Kirina and it’s artistic team to Gladbecks Maschinenhalle Zweckel for a second première adapted to the special location in Germany’s famous Ruhrtriennale.

Serge Aimé Coulibaly presents KIRINA.

© Jean van Lingen

The word is out: the Festival de Marseille and Ruhrtriennale will present Serge Aimé Coulibaly‘s new creation Kirina.

Inspired by a founding West African battle, Kirina is a contemporary epic drawing from the wellsprings of history and fiction. On stage, nine dancers, six musicians, one narrator and forty local extra’s tell the story of a people bursting with hope and revolt, marching towards its future.

In Kirina Serge Aimé Coulibaly makes migration the theme of a choreographic, musical and intellectual exploration. Migratory movements have always had a key effect on our cultures and been agents of transformation. What are the languages, musical forms and narratives that have been created through migration and how have these influenced the cultures of other peoples and countries? In his search for a contemporary language equipped to question the present world and its underlying systems, Serge Aimé Coulibaly will address the founding myths of West African culture and how its stories operate across generations in the consciousness of today’s societies and influence their visions of the future.

In Rokia Traoré, the internationally celebrated musician from neighbouring Mali who creates her own contemporary version of classical Mandinka music, Serge Aimé Coulibaly, himself from Burkina Faso, has found an ideal partner for this new work. His choreography will be enhanced by four musicians and the dialogue between two singers and one narrator. The intellectual and textual basis for the work will be provided by the Senegalese economist, writer and musician Felwine Sarr, author of the book Afrotopia, with its pleas for an African “contemporanéité”.

You can discover Kirina this summer during the Festival the Marseille from June 29th to July 2nd and during the Ruhrtriennale from August 18th to 22nd or later in the season somewhere around the world. (all dates can be found here)