Monkey Mind

MONKEY MIND Platform-K / Lisi Estaràs

‘Encounter’ is what the performance is about. Can five individuals with a mind of their own truly meet and connect? And to what extent is their encounter influenced by the fact that three of them have Down syndrome?

Lisi Estaras develops a choreographic pattern of dance phrases and frames that are the result of associative thoughts and impulses. She does this together with professional dancers Nico Vladyslav and Anna Calsina and the three Platform-K dancers, Kobe Wyffels, Hannah Bekemans and Fernando Amado. Lisi translates the associations and improvisations into an abrupt and energetic dance language. She calls this way of working/thinking the ‘monkey mind’.

For Lisi, it is the first time that she works with people with a disability. She is truly fascinated by the internal life of Kobe, Hannah and Fernando, the three dancers with Down syndrome. But some barriers may have to be broken down in order to understand their way of looking at the world.

Is it possible to make contact? To connect?


The creation was inspired by the book Autoportrait by Edouard Levé. In this book, Levé sets out his entire life, more or less at random, in a string of thoughts, statements and observations: “I am not beautiful. I am not ugly. I will never seduce somebody who wears Birkenstocks. I don’t like the big toe. Maybe I have talked to somebody who had maybe killed somebody. I like to say thank you. I would like to communicate without using words or gestures and just perceive everything that was in the brain of my interlocutor.”

Visually, Lisi felt inspired by the work of several photographers. Especially the raw, physical and sometimes absurd images from Diane Arbus were a direct source of inspiration for the visual language that Lisi developed for her dancers.

Monkey Mind is an intensive encounter between five dancers. They go beyond the expected and do not shy away from breaking conventions or even taboos.


MONKEY MIND Platform-K / Lisi Estaras

Creation: Lisi Estaras
Creation and dance: Fernando Amado, Hannah Bekemans, Anna Calsina, Kobe Wyffels and Nicolas Vladyslav
Dramaturgy: Sara Vanderieck
Music/sound: Bartold Uyttersprot
Light: Carlo Bourguignon
Set: Nicolas Vladyslav
Costumes: Marij De Brabandere
Production: Platform-K
Coproduction: les ballets c de la b and CC De Grote Post
With the support of : CAMPO, Cera, City of Ghent, Province East Flanders, the Flemish Authorities
Bookings: Frans Brood Productions

Trailer and video

In the press

As always in Platform-K performances, the boundaries between “normal” and “not normal” are broken down on purpose. Yet, it is a Catch-22: the audience should perceive them as any other professional dancer, but actually it is the esthetics of these dancers, of their disability, that is a source of inspiration on stage. Estaras embraces this paradox and even deliberately displays it. It is a quest that leaves us with a double feeling and yet, it is the driving force of this performance.” (ETCETERA, 26 February 2016. Eline Van de Voorde)

“... It is amazing how Estaras moulded her crew into such a close group and how they deal with sexual taboos. … All too often the intimacy of people with a disability is subject to censorship. ” …
“It’s exactly what inclusive dance does so well, extracting a new opportunity out of differences, without ignoring them.” (DE STANDAARD, 20 February 2016. Charlotte De Somviele)

About Lisi Estaras

Lisi Estaras (1971, Argentina) studied in Cordoba (Argentina) and in Jerusalem at the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. She was also a dancer in the Ensemble Batsheva in Tel Aviv. Lisi has worked with les ballets c de la b since 2007. She was a dancer in Iets op Bach, Wolf, vsprs and pitié!, C(H)OEURS and Tauberbach, all created by Alain Platel, and in Tempus Fugit by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

She created and danced in: Bartime (CAMPO, Ghent), Cocina Erotica and No Wonder with Constanza Macras (Schaubuhne, Berlin).

At les ballets c de la b she choreographed Patchagonia, Bolero, The Gaza Monologues, primero-erscht and in 2011 Dans Dans, a coproduction of les ballets c de la b and het KIP (Ghent).

About Platform-K

Platform-K offers dance training/classes and a performing stage to dancers with disabilities. With its projects, Platform-K challenges people with a handicap and regular artists to work together and create new art forms, dance and movement language.

In 2013, The Beast In The Jungle (coproduction with het KIP) premiered. Inspired by Henry James’ novel The beast in the jungle from 1903, Oliver Roels and Charlotte Dhaenens created a duet for Taha Ghauri (P.A.R.T.S) and Kobe Wyffels (permanent dancer with Platform-K). The performance was reviewed in De Standaard, De Morgen and Het Nieuwsblad, among other newspapers.

The international project You Et Vous took place in 2015. It was a major collaboration between four different dance organizations for people with disabilities. StopGap Company from London (UK), Indepen-dance from Glasgow (UK), Micadanses from Paris (FR) and Platform-K (BE). It was performed in Ghent and Paris.


Monkey Mind is a coproduction with les ballets c de la b and  De Grote Post.

Les ballets c de la b is a dance company that is very well-known both at home and abroad. Their productions cross boundaries and won’t be stereotyped. Examples are Gardenia, a performance with older transvestites, or Tauberbach, a piece based on a schizophrenic woman who lives on a dumpster in Brazil.

From the very beginning, De Grote Post was involved in supporting and creating interesting productions. In 2015, the dance performance GLOED was created for 50 older dancers. It was choreographed by Serge Aimé Coulibaly.


Frans Brood Productions – – +32 9 234 12 12