In Spite Of Wishing And Wanting


Ultima Vez (Belgium) Dance performance

Belgium, 1999. Ultima Vez, the top dance group, first perform 'In Spite of Wishing and Wanting'. There is an uproar. For the first time the group's founder, legendary choreographer, director and film maker Wim Vandekeybus – who had already established himself for decades and was considered by many a worthy successor to Béjart thanks to his pioneering, but always human, approaches – dared to create a performance not purely about the chemistry between men and women, but also about primal desire in an exclusively male world.

This was the first time that the entirety of the cast was exclusively male and various expressions of desire were at the core of the performance's choreography. In an imaginary universe the dancers move on the borderline between dreaming and walking, between the natural and the magical, between the wild and the elegant, between light and darkness.

Anyone who had seen that first performance will surely still remember moments, such as the scene with the falling feathers which refers to humanity's need to “fly”. In 2016, a completely new 11-member cast has picked up the gauntlet of living up to this challenge. The performance has changed slightly in that a short film has been added, the inspiration for which were two short stories. One is a story by Argentine author Julio Cortazar and the other is by Paul Bowles, stories that haunted Wim Vandekeybus. Both focus on movement between the familiar and the unknown, a movement that can never be explained.

Enchanting dance scenes, leading to “monologues” on fear, the longing for security and the magic of sleep. Because the fear of being dominated by something or someone has a hidden reverse side: the longing to change and become something or someone else. Fear and longing run in circles around the same centre. And this desire to change becomes one of the central themes of the performance.

All of the above is supported by the sensual soundtrack provided by David Byrne (of 'Talking Heads', perhaps one of the most important artists to emerge from the punk-new wave movement). Byrne approached Vanderkeybus after a performance in New York and proposed a collaboration.

And what is the result of this new version? Simply the best of artists – creators willing to ignore all of the rules.

Ticket Price: 10€, 12€.