Festival Lezarts Danses Urbaines 2017
Once a year, Lezarts Danses Urbaines forms the epicentre of the Belgian hip hop dance scene. It’s where the rich landscape of urban dance unfolds in a wide range of creations, techniques and styles. From ultra-short choreographic shows to carefully polished performances. From amateur crews and dance schools to up-and-coming names and professional companies. The finale is always a performance of international calibre.
On Saturday 28 October 2017, this festival will be taking over the BOX and the BOL at KVS. Thanks to this brand-new collaboration, the programming will be expanding to include new artists from urban cultures. On this day, Brussels will be the place to be for urban dancers from Liege to Ghent, and from Amsterdam to Namur. As well as for an audience that wants to discover their work and experience the power of the various hip hop styles in dance.
Lezarts Danses Urbaines 2017 comprises an afternoon programme in the BOX and an evening programme in the BOL. In between, those dancers who are present can measure themselves against each other in an open cypher contest.
16u Focus on dance choreography and young creators at KVS BOX
Les Mybalés | Be Fries | Aurel Zola & Max Dbk | Ronin | Battle Droid | Funky Feet Academy | Likiyo | Afro House Belgium | Panda crew | 2Mad | One Nation | Saho | Funky Belgian'Z | Ismaël Mouaraki
18:30u Open cypher
19:30u Focus on hip hop creations and try-outs at KVS BOL
Untitled – Mazel Freten (FR) | Got to Groove – Ghetto Funk Collective (NL) | Cyborgs’ Quest – The Slayers (BXL) | Gaou ! – Cie La Mer Noire (SEN) | To Be a Slave – Cie Hendrickx Ntela (Liège) | Treasuries of Mysteries – Sheyda Darab (NL) | Team Shmetta
A SELECTION OF THE ARTISTS
Les Mybalés (BE)
The twin sisters Doris and Nathalie Bokongo Nkumu from Brussels together make up the Les Mybalés dance duo. They are passionate about hip hop and specialise in the house dance and afro house genres. They have previously appeared at the KVS in Malcolm X. They have made their mark in the hip-hop world in international contests in the house dance category. For their first stage production, as part of the European 7Steps project, the sisters worked with the French choreographer Marion Motin. With this piece, Illusion, they immediately made their breakthrough on the European hip-hop scene. By now they are an established name at the Lezarts Danses Urbaines Festival. This year they will be presenting a preview of their latest creation, which is still a work in progress. For this piece they question their own codes so as to dig down to a more instinctive way of dancing, which has always been a feature of the hip-hop idiom.
Be Fries (BE)
This hip-hop trio from Verviers is made up of Hendrickx Ntela and Pierre Aganda – both members of the BBF 2.0 krump collective – and the experimental dancer Stéphane Deheselle. These three dancers combine different sources of inspiration and techniques to create a new form of dance.
Ronin is a collective of Belgian performing artists with differing and complementary artistic skills. It is a versatile crew that mainly performs hip hop, but also dancehall, house, jazz, breakdance and tricks.
Funky Feet Academy (BE)
The Funky Feet breakdance group from Namur was formed in 2008. Out of this grew the Funky Feet Academy, a dance school and artistic home of hip hop that offers top quality training.
Afro House Belgium (BE)
This collective presents a fusion of traditional African dances from the ancestral culture with the basic techniques of house dance.
Other performers include: Aurel Zola & Max Dbk | Battle Droid | Likiyo | Panda Crew | 2MAD | One Nation | Team Shmetta | Funky Belgian’Z
PERFORMANCES & WORK IN PROGRESS
Untitled – Mazel Freten (FR)
Mazel Freten consists of the dancers Brandon Malboneige Masele and Laura Defretin. They are presenting their first creation, Untitled, which they describe as an unaffected, sincere, intense and living moment. This duo arose out of a cocktail of the hip-hop culture and electro, and highlights their similarities and differences. No stage setting, just two bodies in perfect harmony. A still moment in human openness. A way of defending their ideas, in silence, with no title.
Got to Groove – Ghetto Funk Collective (NL)
How do you define funk in dance and in life? Got to Groove is an exercise in fundamental life research where funk symbolises the search for one’s own rhythm and a connection with others.
Cyborg’s Quest – The Slayers (BE)
The Slayers are a trio of dancers linked to the Impulsion collective. They take inspiration from hip hop new style, afro dance, turfing, yoga, martial arts and contemporary dance. At the Lezarts Danses Urbaines festival they will present their first creation, Cyborgs’ Quest. It is an embodiment of the symbolic struggle in a world where the human and the technological merge, and man’s uniqueness in relation to machines is questioned. With an eye to this loss of certainty and meaning, the question arises of what role man still has and how he tries to distinguish and define himself.
Gaou! – Cie La Mer Noire (SEN)
This Senegalese hip-hop group was set up in 2014 and consists of four dancers and choreographers. In November 2016 they won ‘Hip Hop Games Concept, Les Jeux de la Danse’ an international competition in Lille. Gaou!, their first production, is about people who leave their native country to discover the world. The main themes are uprooting and the desire for new discoveries.
To Be A Slave – Cie Hendrickx Ntela (BE)
This company consists entirely of krumpers from France, Germany, Senegal and Belgium. To Be A Slave is about slavery in all its forms and is evidence of the desire to show krumping, an expressive form of dance that aims to understand and express intentions, to the whole world.
Treasuries of Mysteries – Sheyda Darab (NL)
This piece is the first solo performance by the Amsterdam choreographer Sheyda Darab, a well-known name on the underground hip-hop scene. The performance is based on Makhzan al-Asrar, an ancient Persian poem from 1176. Sheyda Darab mixes urban dance, hip hop and breakdance with classical oriental music, as an echo of her Iranian roots.
D-Complex – Ismael Mouaraki (FR)
Ismael Mouaraki sets to work with the individuality, vulnerability and intuitive authenticity of eight performers bursting with talent. The bodies on stage surrender to each other. They merge and then free themselves from each other again, thereby displaying a lively and original interpretation of identity. D-Complex also questions the hierarchy of dance and defends the notion that dance is democratic and not the privilege of a limited elite.