kabinet k

Joke Laureyns and Kwint Manshoven are both choreographers, but their backgrounds are in philosophy and design respectively. In kabinet k they focus on dance productions with both professional dancers and children on the stage. Their dance is based on actual everyday actions and minor gestures interwoven with elements of play. The fact that the cast includes children makes their dance accessible to young and old. Each of their creations grows literally out of the steps that the young dancers take. It is precisely because the organic and intuitive are such an important aspect of their dance language that both these choreographers like to work with children and older people who are not marked, or only to a lesser degree, by certain patterns of behaviour or a specific dance technique. Both choreographers wish to treat dance in an adult way and let the child be a ‘child’. With no hint of a patronising approach: intelligence is not alien to children and dance is an art form that can appeal intuitively to children and adolescents.

Since 2002, the pair have created a series of productions under the wing of several large theatre companies, and they have built up a reputation on the ‘youth dance scene’: Dromen hebben veters (fabuleus), Shelter (Kopergietery), Martha Marthe (Kopergietery) and Questo Ricordo (CC Hasselt). In Einzelgänger (-), unfold, I see you, zwaluwzang, rauw and ba(b)bel, kabinet k is continuing to build up an oeuvre of fully-fledged productions for young audiences. Unfold and rauw were both selected for the Theatre Festival. It was also these two pieces that put kabinet k on the international map. Since 2016, the group has been engaged in structural collaboration with hetpaleis in Antwerp. Horses was the first production to emerge from this; in early 2018 kabinet k made invisible there. In 2019, kabinet k is collaborating with composer Thomas Smetryns (LOD muziektheater) and hetpaleis, for as long as we are playing.

Kabinet k takes an organic approach to dance, whereby it is not the virtuosity, but a certain authenticity of movement that counts. Content always has priority over aesthetics. Kabinet k employs a dance language which one moment is contemplative, minimalist and visual, and then switches to raw, brutal and exuberant energy. It develops around a central idea – such as ‘resilience’ in rauw and ‘blind faith’ in Horses – that is communicated to the young audience through the movements, the stage design, the cast, the rhythm of the performance and so on. Some of the constants in this work are live and/or newly composed music, the presence of several generations on the stage and the influence of the visual arts. Kabinet k would like to offer an alternative, show different approaches, and contrast silence with a world full of propositions.