Wim Vandekeybus

On the stage we see a body gradually disintegrate before finally breaking down into its independent constituent elements. What would happen if these elements tried to live independently of one another, tried to create their own identity? Could they survive individually, without a greater unifying force or would they need a sense of community, a common goal, a common belief system? A soul perhaps?

  • World premiere by Compañía Nacional de Danza: at Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid (Spain), November 10th 2006

In Quiebro Wim Vandekeybus and thirteen dancers from the Compañía Nacional de Danza examine the notion of individuality versus community, with each of the dancers represents a physical and mental body. The piece explores subject areas and dichotomies such as mind and soul, anonymity and identity, life and death. To the music of New York guitarist Marc Ribot and the electro-acoustic composer Charo Calvo, Quiebro’s challenge to us lies in the confrontation between the classical aesthetic language of the CND’s dancers and the physical vocabulary and theatrical inspiration of Wim Vandekeybus.

Since setting up his own dance company, Ultima Vez, based in Brussels, Wim Vandekeybus has created over twenty pieces with a similarly extensive international cast of dancers and musicians. As Vandekeybus did not have the benefit of formal dance training, his choreography tends to have its basis in his cinematographic imagination. The title is very often the starting point for one of his creations: “It’s like I set everything moving. Invariably I pick a title which is open ended, like a circle that allows new elements to enter” (Vandekeybus in De Standaard, 22nd of April 2000). The dancers are chosen for their personality and what they bring with them, more than for their technical skills. Vandekeybus’s work lies in an abstraction based on the various aspects his dancers bring to the piece and structured by the creative spirit that is fostered by their improvisation.

“My productions are like deserts which the dancers have to cross. Without rest, without refuelling. Return is not an option as it would take just as long to get back as to continue.”

Wim Vandekeybus in De Morgen 28th of September 2006.


  • Choregraphy:
    Wim Vandekeybus
  • Music:
    Charo Calvo and Marc Ribot
  • Staging:
    Iñaki Azpillaga, Elena Fokina
  • Set Design:
    Wim Vandekeybus
  • Costume Design:
    Isabelle Lhoas (in collaboration with Frédéric Denis)
  • Lighting Design:
    Benjamín Dandoy
  • Assitant to Choreographer:
    Greet Van Poeck
  • Set made by:
    José Luis Alonso Fernández
  • Costume made by:
    CND wardrobe
  • Running time:
  • Premiere cast:
    Swee Boon Kuik, Rafael Rivero, Amaury Lebrun, Francisco Lorenzo, Fabrice Edelmann, Gentian Doda, Dimo Kirilov, Stephanie Dalphond, Susana Riazuelo, Christelle Horna, Ana María López, Luisa María Arias, Tamako Akiyama