Choreography & direction:
Vandekeybus talks about the creative process of TrapTown:
Wim Vandekeybus (1963) has been one of Belgium’s most prominent choreographers for over thirty years with his company Ultima Vez. He is also a filmmaker and photographer. Ever since his 1987 debut What the Body Does Not Remember, which won a Bessy Award, separating disciplines has been out of the question in his work. For one production he will choose a highly musical performance (nieuwZwart or Speak low if you speak love…) or put a male performer on stage alone with a video projection behind him (Monkey Sandwich). The next time he might present a classical, mythological piece (Oedipus/bêt noir) or create a very theatrical performance (booty Looting or Talk to the Demon).
A host of collaborations with dancers, actors, musicians and other artists from various disciplines inject the interdisciplinary character of Ultima Vez creations with international quality. Among others, Peter Vermeersch, Thierry De Mey, David Byrne, Marc Ribot, Eavesdropper, David Eugene Edwards, Daan, Arno, Charo Calvo, Mauro Pawlowski, Roland Van Campenhout, Trixie Whitley and Elko Blijweert have created soundtracks and soundscapes for Vandekeybus.
Peter Verhelst has provided texts on four occasions (Scratching the Inner Fields, Blush, Sonic Boom, nieuwZwart), Jan Decorte’s version of Oedipus led to three adaptations by Vandekeybus himself, and writer Bart Meuleman co-created Mockumentary of a Contemporary Saviour.
Vandekeybus’ first feature film Galloping Mind, a dramatic story about family ties, betrayal and love triangles with Jerry Killick, Natali Broods and a number of children in the lead roles, was released in 2015.
In December 2012 Vandekeybus received the Keizer Karel Prize from the province of East Flanders for his exceptional contributions to arts and culture. A year later Vandekeybus and Ultima Vez were laureates at the Evens Prize for the Arts for their important contribution to contemporary dance in Europe, their multidisciplinary work, and their social and cultural commitment.
Brussels has always been Vandekeybus’ home base during his rich international career. Since 2012, Ultima Vez has its own studio in Molenbeek. From their interaction with the neighbourhood and the new generations who find a home there, dancers and choreographers like Seppe Baeyens and Yassin Mrabtifi burst onto the scene.
Pieter De Buysser
Pieter De Buysser is a Belgian writer, theatre creator, film director and smiling philosopher, who knows why Plato’s cave or Schrödinger’s cat might interest you. De Buysser studied philosophy in Antwerp and Paris and lives and works in Brussels, but travels the world as a translated author and multilingual performer of his own plays. These include An Anthology of Optimism, Book Burning, Landschap met Springwegen, The After Party, Het Puntje van de Tong and De Keisnijders, the latter based on his eponymous debut novel. He founded production collective ROBIN together with fellow theatre maker Thomas Bellinck. Only few people look at humanity and the world with such an original eye and quick spirit as De Buysser. He co-created the fictional universe of TrapTown with Wim Vandekeybus.
Gijs Van Vaerenbergh
Gijs Van Vaerenbergh talks about the creative process of TrapTown:
Gijs Van Vaerenbergh is the amalgamated name of an artistic duo comprising of Pieterjan Gijs (1983) and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh (1983). Both from Leuven, the duo is most widely known for their see-through church in Borgloon, but as architects and visual artists they have a wealth of surprising sculptural and site-specific installations on their curriculum. Their interventions in buildings and landscapes offer an aesthetic injection into daily life, and are just as valuable for their intrinsic quality as for the function they fulfil. The duo impressed Wim Vandekeybus with Labyrint, an imposing labyrinth steel structure created for C-Mine in Genk. Their impact on the landscape in TrapTown should be fascinating.
Trixie Whitley talks about the creative process of Traptown:
Trixie Whitley is a professional siren. The life of this Ghent/ American multi-instrumentalist with a satin soul voice has always been filled with music. Daughter of the late Chris Whitley, she started playing at age 11. At 17 her debut album was released and she started collaborating with producer Daniel Lanois (of U2, Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel fame). Whitley crossed the Atlantic a number of times back and forth, but never without a guitar and a pad full of drafts for new songs. Currently she is in New York, putting the finishing touches in place for the follow-up to her solo albums Fourth Corner (2013) and Porta Bohemica (2015). On the road between festival stages and the studio, she now pauses at the theatre with a soundtrack she wrote specifically for TrapTown.
Phoenician Drive talks about the creative process of TrapTown:
Phoenician Drive has a name that oozes antiquity, and indeed the energetic music created by the six-piece Brussels band around Chilean percussionist Diego Moscoso easily takes on mythical proportions. Moscoso has brought together a wide variety of instrumentalists from the contemporary rock scene, and Phoenician Drive blends influences from all over the Mediterranean into an eclectic maelstrom. Following the release last year of their EP Two Coins, their debut album will be released at Beursschouwburg in Brussels on 11 October. For the soundtrack of TrapTown, Phoenician Drive and Trixie Whitley set to work together using both new material and older compositions.
Jerry Killick is a British actor and dancer, known for his part in the theatre collective Forced Entertainment. He has been working with Wim Vandekeybus regularly since 2010. Their first theatre film Monkey Sandwich was awarded a selection for the Venice International Film Festival. Jerry also performed in Galloping Mind, Vandekeybus’ feature film debut. In Ultima Vez’ booty looting and Talk to the Demon, Killick joined on stage. For Mockumentary of A Contemporary Saviour he assisted in the creation. In TrapTown he takes on the role of the father and mayor, and he can be seen in the film that makes up part of the live performance.