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(B) - Performer, choreograaf

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During the third edition of the 'De Beweeging' festival (1987), Karin Vyncke presented 'Sous les vëtements blancs'. A woman on the edge of insanity. The area looks like a deserted chicken run: a worn-out sofa, a rickety ladder, a carpet of white feathers which whirl up as a result of the dancers' boisterous performance. The audience watches from behind chicken wire. Vyncke speaks a no-nonsense, visceral dance
language, which gives raw and uncivilized expression to what goes on in the mind, without worrying about the aesthetics, but creating powerful images which cling to the retina. Her partner, Yoris van den Houte, creates the forceful sets which, just like the dancing, situate her approach in the same atmosphere as that of Arte Povera and Poor Theatre. Grotowski, Kantor and Artaud (Théâte de la cruauté) are never far off. The avenues of thought also lead to dance theatre - not that of Pina Bausch but rather the innovative style of Maguy Marin and Josef Nadj and the Japanese butoh, which also examines the margins of life and explores the field of intuition between body and mind, between reason and sentiment. It is no coincidence that several of
Vyncke's dancers have experience with butoh and in 2001 she went to ]apan herself to participate in a workshop with Min Tanaka.
Vyncke followed a classical training, studied under Grotowski, spent a few months in New York to take lessons in contemporary dance, studied in Paris under Peter Goss and danced in Germany under the guidance of Gerhard Bohner and Reinhild Hoffman. But her most valuable training was the six years she spent with Maguy Marin. She created her first choreography for Marin's company: Glue. In 2002, one of Vyncke's works premiered in a co-production with the Cie Maguy Marin. After creating a piece for the 'Centre national de danse contemporaine' in Angers
she continued to work in France for a while. It was here that 'Sous les vêtements blancs' came into being. At the 'Concours international de chorégraphie' in Bagnolet she was awarded a video production with C.A.C.-Montbéliard and a residency in 'La Ménagenie de verre in Paris. The video production was an example of image and rhythm manipulation, which heralded a new era of video dance and in its turn carried off prizes at the 'Dance Video Festival' in Sete.
Internal confusion, dualism, existential doubts, fear, longing and loneliness, aggression and rejection are present throughout Vyncke's work. Often in extremes: panic, obsession, passion, but also power, impotence, abuse of power and manipulation are recurring themes. The characters fit awkwardly within the group, through insubordination or inappropriate behaviour. In Kreuset (1990), the dancers, crazed by thirst, are driven to compulsively violent dancing. The energy hangs in visible streaks in the air, ricocheting off the zinc wall of the set until it causes pain in the mind of the audience. In Mé-zon (1989) we see man searching for a home, for family affection. In 'Vous avez appris que je tombais' (1992), confused peOple roam, torn in a struggle between chaotic, passionate desire, and sober, clear reasoning.
The tragicomic buffoon in 'Could Can Be' (1995) knows how, with refinement, to turn the tables on leaders and simpletons, victims and fools. In 'Tar', Vyncke responds to the work by the untimely deceased American graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, with imperceptible, tangled amalgams and confusions of images, movements and people: a dance just as chaotic as the uprooting effect of city life. Tar is concerned with loneliness, power and alienation, the desperate instinct for survival. Androgynous women and confused introvert men, searching for alliance, repel each other, be gentle. Cynical-sadistic manipulations and convulsive pulling and twisting movements result in forceful, resolutely articulate dance sequences. Tension, trembling and spasm become an obsessional dance which is able to evolve into conciliatory, neatly choreographed dance.
In 'And Yet Not without Wandening about' (2000), an artist once again provides the inspiration: the Jewish-lranian Choreh Feyzdjou. Yoris van de Houte once more brings to the stage a number of endearingly simple objects, which redefine the look of the set. Rolls of fabric painted black stand upright for a change, filling the area with phallic columns, then they are positioned horizontally, or perhaps float in space, resting on two small upturned garden tables; dark, horizontal stripes which inject architectural structure into the dull white space. The dancers enter nonchalantly into partnerships with the horizontality and verticality of the objects, gyrating in the churned up dust. Material often has a part to play in Vyncke's scheme of
things: the feathers in 'Sous les vêtements blancs', running water in Kreuset, paint in Palimpsest (1998), where she steps into a paint tray and then calmly dances out figures on a blank sheet of paper.
The conspicuous (or inconspicuous) break-dance movements which have crept in (especially those by Julien Faure) are not exploited to the extreme. They are rather the organic carrier of driving forces which we do not know but by which, to the accompaniment of Nicolas Roseeuw's music, we are drawn along. They are evidence of a bizarre convergence of images, objects, movements, people and sounds.

Claire Diez,'Karin Vyncke, danses et cadenses', in La Libre Culture, no.79, 8 May 1991, p.4 (interview).
Katie Verstockt, 'And Yet Not without Wandering about', in De Scene, XIIL, 2000, n° 396, p.14.
27 01 2006

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