Tag Archives: dance

Sheema gi

On this International Women’s day, I want to introduce you to an amazing woman that I am honored to call my friend.

Sheema Kermani, dancer, theatre director and activist from Karachi, Pakistan.

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She lives in a country where women’s rights still have a long way to go. Where some laws might be changing slowly in favor of equal rights, but where implementing these laws is not really happening yet.

She lives in a place where people still look down upon the art of dancing, deemed as unislamic and improper.

All that doesn’t stop Sheema, who is a true force of energy, which is needed to keep motivated in advocating change that isn’t effecting in immediate results. She teaches the Indian classical dance art like Bharatanatyam and Odissi to young women and uses theatre to bring messages of equal rights, violence against women, rape etc to villages all over Pakistan where the majority of the people can’t even read or write.

In an interview with her she also says this: ‘The arts and the women of Pakistan have been the two major victims of Zia’s policies. The state introduced legal and social forms of control over women as part of its campaign of suppression and made women’s sexuality their business. State forces were preoccupied with women’s dress, their movements, their sexuality and their very presence in public spaces. In the name of religion, laws like the “Hudood Ordinances”, “Qisas”, “Diyat” and “Blasphemy Laws” were introduced and are prime examples of laws that devalue women, arts and humanity. The very first programme that was banned on PTV by Gen. Zia ul Haq was ‘Payal,’ a dance programme. But as it happens with anything that is banned, people always find a way to circumvent it. We do not announce our institution as a dance academy. We offer training in dance but call it movement classes. I run Tehrik-e-Niswan and we use dance as a movement for theatre of protest.’

Women like Sheema are an inspiration to me. They breathe energy and power. The power of women.

So… happy women’s day Sheema. Thank you for being a beautiful part of my life.

 

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Flanders today

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My image of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui on the Flanders today website. Read the article and interview with Sidi Larbi here.

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Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

News just got announced that Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui will become the new artistic director of the Ballet of Flanders.
What great news, as he is one of the most talented people around in the dance world.

My neighbor, Jeanne Brabants, who sadly died last year, was the founder of this company and put Ballet on the map in Belgium. As an natural born educator, she founded the Ballet Instituut and has professionalized this art form in my country.

I was lucky enough to spend a few hours watching Sidi Larbi work with his dancers while creating their piece PUZ/ZLE for the festival D’Avignon in 2012.
Seeing how somebody works with his company, tells a lot about a choreographer and this is a man with vision that knows where he’s going. I can’t wait to see where he will be going with the Ballet of Flanders.

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

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Sweat baby Sweat

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

I’ve had the pleasure of once more to work with the incredibly talented choreographer Jan Martens. From the very first moment I saw a piece created by him, I was blown away and could see that he is a raw talent and at such a young age already has developed a dance language of his own. From that moment on I try to see everything he makes and I’ve been fortunate enough that Jan allows me to photograph and film during rehearsals, to document his wonderful journey in creating pieces. 

In the past few days, during the wonderful Theaterfestival, I’ve worked with him and the 8 amazing dancers from the ‘The Dog Days are over’ production and the sweaty result will be online soon.

Building a mobile studio in one of the dressing rooms was not possible without the help and material of friend and fellow photographer Walter Saenen, who in this way helped me create the images I had in my head when I saw this show in sneak preview quite a while ago. Working in a studio setting was very new as well and it’s been wonderful to test this out, create images and learn. 

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Victor

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Victor from Wendy Marijnissen on Vimeo.

 

Here is a little video I made of the beautiful and moving creation by Jan Martens and Peter Seynaeve called Victor. With the incredible interaction and play by Viktor Caudron and Steven Michel. I hope you enjoy it.

If you get the chance to see this performance, don’t hesitate at all and go see it…. it’s amazing. Or try seeing any other performance created by Jan Martens. He’s one of the most inspiring and original choreographers I’ve seen at work in the past few years. He has developed such a beautiful, personal and unique dance language already… I absolutely love his work. Enjoy!

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Nine Finger

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

 

It doesn’t happen that often anymore, but today I was simply blown away when I saw the piece ‘Nine Finger’ in Het Toneelhuis.

Talk about a blow in the stomach…

The piece by Benjamin Verdonck, Fumiyo Ikeda and Alain Platel with Stijn Van Opstal and Fumiyo Ikeda performing is about the life of a child soldier in Africa, based on the book Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

I have the incredible pleasure to know Stijn ever since we met during the tour of Donkisjot by the amazing Theater Stap company. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen Stijn perform as amazingly as he did tonight. Fumiyo is one of the most amazing dancers on our planet and her body language is incredible.

They still perform the play tomorrow and will be in Ghent in two weeks, so if you have the chance, don’t miss this…

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Sweat Baby Sweat

Sweat Baby Sweat from Wendy Marijnissen on Vimeo.

Here’s a little trailer I’ve made on the rehearsal of ‘Sweat Baby Sweat’ by choreographer Jan Martens, performed by Kimmy Ligtvoet and Steven Michel as part of ‘To Love Duets’ in the Zuidpool theater last week.

It was so much fun to be able to see the rehearsals, play around with video and then later in the evening get to see the proper performances of both pieces ‘Sweat Baby Sweat’ and ‘A small guide on how to treat you lifetime companion’.

I was blown away by his work and it was wonderful to discover a new and very personal dance language he created. Go see his work if you can. He’s touring all over the place and works on a new project as we speak.

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

 

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Valtari

I came across this music video ‘Valtari’ of Sigur Ros directed by Christian Larson and was blown away by it.

Sigur Rós: Valtari on Nowness.com.

The incredible and intimate dancing is done by James O’Hara and Nicola Leahey in a haunting choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. It’s part of a series commissioned by the Icelandic band Sigur Ros to herald the release of their new album Valtari, giving filmmakers such as Ryan McGinley total creative freedom yet the same budget to interpret the record.

The most fun and lovely assignment this year so far has been photographing the rehearsals of Sidi Larbi’s new piece Puz/zle for the French magazine L’Express. All day I had the joy to watch a choreography take shape, see dancers searching and use their bodies in beautiful ways.

© Wendy Marijnissen

© Wendy Marijnissen

I’ve done quite a bit of dance photography in the past and it always made me incredibly happy. I realized I’ve neglected going to see dance performances in the past few years and that I’ve been going to the theatre much more often. That is not a bad thing either of course, but I’m making a promise to myself right now to go and see a bit more dance in the coming year.

© Wendy Marijnissen

I started by going to the cinema and seeing the new movie made about choreographer Anne Theresa de Keersmaecker. It was a beautiful film about how she and her original dancers of Rosas went to Paris to teach classical ballet dancers of the Paris Opera her modern piece Rain. I photographed Anne Theresa and her dancers years ago and it was so great to see them in the movie again… They’ve all aged a bit of course, just like me, but their souls and expressions were still so beautiful, vibrant and strong.

Here’s the trailer of that film. I think the film will be on Belgian tv next week so do not miss it or try to go see it in a movie theatre near you when you have a chance.

RAIN trailer from Savage Film on Vimeo.

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