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Press Release: Wim Vandekeybus & Ultima Vez - What the Body Does Not Remember

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Wim Vandekeybus & Ultima Vez What the Body Does Not Remember


Dance History on Stage


NATIONAL TOUR: 10 February  – 20 March 2015


London, Brighton, Poole, Truro, Doncaster, Newcastle, Nottingham, Blackpool, Canterbury, Coventry, Salford and Cardiff.


Dance Touring Partnership proudly presents the seminal dancework What the Body Does Not Remember by Brussels-based Wim Vandekeybus and Ultima Vezas part of a national tour that visits 12 UK venues, including Sadler’s Wells, London. www.UltimaVezTour.co.uk


Premiering in 1987, Wim Vandekeybus’s What the Body Does Not Remember caused a sensation in the world of dance with its intense atmosphere and high octane physicality. It was so well received in New York that year it garnered a prestigious Bessie Award - unusual for a debut piece of choreography - for Vandekeybus and composers Thierry de Mey and Peter Vermeersch.


What the Body Does Not Remember, Vandekeybus’ first piece of choreography is neither polite dance nor pleasant shapes to pretty music. It balances on the razor edge of attraction and repulsion. The dancers are driven to act and react at high speed, and with split second timing, to both each other and to the music – and where its moments of humour thread through explosions of aggression, fear and danger in an adrenaline-fuelled performance, played out on a combative landscape.


28 years on and with a new cast, this iconic piece of physical theatre, remains one of the most exciting pieces of dance ever made.


“Tough, brutal, playful, ironic and terrific. Adjectives seem unduly passive in describing What the Body Does Not Remember, an extraordinarily innovative dance piece.” - The New York Times, 1987


TOUR DATES Spring 2015


10–11 Feb                     Sadler’s Wells, London                                     0844 412 4300 **

13 & 14 Feb                   Gulbenkian, Canterbury                                    01227 769075

17 Feb                          Brighton Dome                                                 01273 709709

20 & 21 Feb                  Sherman Theatre, @ The Dance House, Cardiff        029 2064 6900

24 & 25 Feb                  Hall for Cornwall, Truro                                      01872 262466

27 & 28 Feb                  Lighthouse, Poole                                             0844 406 8666

3 & 4 Mar                     Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry                          024 7652 4524

6 & 7 Mar                     Nottingham Playhouse                                      0115 941 9419

10 Mar                         Cast Doncaster                                                 01302 303959

13 & 14 Mar                 The Lowry, Salford Quays                                 0843 208 6000

17 & 18 Mar                 Northern Stage, Newcastle                                0191 230 5151

20 Mar                         Grand Theatre, Blackpool                                  01253 743346


** Music performed live by ICTUS          



Co-produced by KVS. Co-producers of the original performance Centro di Produzione Inteatro Polverigi, Festival de Saint-Denis, Festival d’Eté de Seine-Maritime, Toneelschuur Produkties Haarlem.


The UK tour is funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Arts Council of Wales.




Dance Touring Partnership


Formed in 2002, Dance Touring Partnership (DTP) is a network of theatres working together to bring exciting and engaging dance to audiences around the UK. It has commissioned new work and, through its national tours of groundbreaking dance, aims to build audiences, increase the range and diversity of work available and encourage new attenders into dance. It also gives people the opportunity to meet artists and experience new dance first-hand through workshops and talks as well as providing useful education resources to students and teachers. The combination of these has helped to dramatically change the face of dance in the UK.


Since 2004 DTP has toured Ultima Vez, Australian Dance Theatre, Jasmin Vardimon, Renegade Theatre, Stan Won’t Dance, Theatre Rites, Hofesh Shechter, Tanja Liedtke’s Twelfth Floor, Bounce Street Dance Company, Danish Dance Theatre, Shaun Parker & Company, Blanca Li Dance Company, Fabulous Beast and most recently Boy Blue Entertainment.




DTP core members. Brighton Dome: Hall for Cornwall, Truro: Lighthouse, Poole: The Lowry, Salford: Northern Stage, Newcastle: Nottingham Playhouse: Oxford Playhouse: Sherman Cymru, Cardiff: Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry.


Ultima Vez


Ultima Vez was founded in 1986 as the company and organisation of choreographer, director and filmmaker Wim Vandekeybus. Since its foundation, Ultima Vez has intensively developed its activities as an international contemporary dance company with a strong base in Brussels and Flanders.


Currently the activities of Ultima Vez are focussed around:

- the creation, production, distribution and promotion of the artistic work of Wim Vandekeybus

- the organisation of educational activities for various target groups

- the support and counselling of choreographers through the European Network Life Long Burning



Wim Vandekeybus


Born in Herenthout, Belgium in 1963, Director, Choreographer and Scenographer Wim Vandekeybus had a rural upbringing in a large family with his parents and five siblings. His father’s occupation as a vet had a significant impact on Wim as he grew up, as he was exposed to the rawness of nature and the beauty and catastrophe of life and death.


He began to study psychology and developed an interest in theatre, film and photography. In his early twenties he began working with theatre maker Jan Fabre, playing the part of the naked king in The Power of Theatrical Madness. He would work intensively and tour with Fabre for the next two years and during this time he began to research his own ideas, reading, writing and talking with potential collaborators.


He founded his company Ultima Vez in 1986, creating his first production What the Body Does Not Remember with music performed by 11 musicians that amazed the world of dance of the time. In New York Vandekeybus and composers Thierry de Mey and Peter Vermeersch received the prestigious Bessie Award for this ‘brutal confrontation of dance and music: the dangerous, combative landscape of What the Body Does Not Remember’.


Since then, Vandekeybus has created theatre, dance and film works, collaborating with composers, actors and dancers – and working with animals and children. Twenty-eight years since its first performance and with a new cast, What the Body Does Not Remember is again on a world tour.


“The intensity of moments when you don’t have a choice, when other things decide for you, like falling in love, or the second before the accident that has to happen; suddenly they appear, with no introduction, [and are] important for me because of their extremeness rather than for the significance to be given to them. The decision to use this as a basic material for a theatrical composition is at least a paradoxical challenge, considering a theatrical event as repeatable and controllable. Perhaps when all is said and done, the body doesn’t remember either and everything is a subtle illusion of luck which helps to define or exhaust the game”- Wim Vandekeybus

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