Six promising dance-makers from Europe and Asia meet for the first time in Antwerp. They spend ten days in the studio, finding out if and how they can work together. Can they make their cultural background and personal perspective compatible with someone else’s? On Dance Day their encounters come together in a diverse mix of hip-hop, traditional dance, queer action, contemporary dance and lounge.

On April 19th, the blind dates were given a face: Pieter Ampe (Belgium), Bunny Cadag (Philippines), Chankethya Chey (Cambodia), Nuria Guiu Sagarra (Spain), Tian Rotteveel (The Netherlands) and Noutnapha Soydala (Laos).

Arco Renz selected the artists, together with wpZimmer, and he will guide the process. Arco Renz on Monsoon:

“I love dance because it makes us be real. We all remember that blissful moment of dancing with friends or alone to our favourite music. Dance doesn’t have to look like this or like that, and it doesn’t have to sell. Being real means connecting: body and mind, action and awareness. It means connecting here and now, here and there, and it means connecting ‘me’ and the ‘other’. MONSOON in this sense is a real bridge connecting cultures of Asia and Europe through dance. Born out of a desire to challenge the divisive limitations of the performing arts economy, artists during MONSOON experiment with ‘suspending difference’ and affirming a shared movement of creativity, curiosity and respect. Today, with this affirmation, dance is also an act of resistance. And if you like it, you can dance it…”

Arco Renz

Arco Renz is a choreographer, dancer, and founder of Kobalt Works, an organization which produces transcultural and multidisciplinary arts projects. His work revolves around Abstract Dramaturgy, a radical, structural, and choreographic confrontation of the individual and the body with time and space. Recent works include collaborations with partners in Southeast Asia, such as CRACK (2011), solid.states (2012), and, in 2014 and 2015, KRIS IS, Hanoi Stardust, COKE, and ALPHA. A solo work, EAST (2015), transposes the ensemble processes from his work in Southeast Asia onto his own body. He also teaches dance and choreography in many institutions worldwide.

An important aspect of Arco Renz’ activities is his engagement in projects promoting the development of research and exchange between European and Asian artists. Monsoon, a series of research and performance platforms bringing together Asian and European artists, is an ongoing project with editions in Seoul (2006), Leuven (2007-2010), Brussels (2013) and Sydney (2015).