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Wim Vandekeybus and Ultima Vez to perform work that stunned the world of dance in October

     Belgium's Wim Vandekeybus and Ultima Vez stunned the world of dance with the debut work "What the Body Does Not Remember" in 1987, for which choreographer Vandekeybus and composers Thierry de Mey and Peter Vermeersch received the prestigious Bessie Award, regarded as the "Oscars" of dance. In 2013, Vandekeybus revived the work with a new cast, touring the world and again receiving critical acclaim. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department will bring this critically acclaimed dance piece to Hong Kong in October.

     Regarded by some critics as a milestone in dance history, "What the Body Does Not Remember" has been described as a brutal confrontation of dance and music, featuring a dangerous and combative landscape. Vandekeybus' first choreography balances on the razor edge of attraction and repulsion. Sometimes this results in a confrontation between two dancers, then between two groups, between dancers and music, and between dancers and a compelling set of lines. But throughout there is an explosion of aggression, fear and danger.

     Describing his work, Vandekeybus says, "The intensity of moments when you don't have a choice, when other things decide for you, like falling in love, or the second before the accident that has to happen, suddenly they appear, with no introduction, are important for me because of their extremeness rather than for the significance to be given to them. The decision to use this as a basic material for a theatrical composition is at least a paradoxical challenge, considering a theatrical event as repeatable and controllable. Perhaps when all is said and done, the body doesn't remember either, and everything is a subtle illusion of lack which helps to define or exhaust the game."

     Vandekeybus is a director, choreographer, actor and photographer. After working for two years with the multidisciplinary Belgian artist Jan Fabre, he founded the Ultima Vez dance company in Brussels, making his international breakthrough with "What the Body Does Not Remember". Since then, Vandekeybus has continued to win big prizes on the international stage, whether for his choreography or his film works.

     Vandekeybus' style is known for its high adrenalin and genuine sense of jeopardy, with a dance vocabulary drawn from everyday movement. With the power of instinct in human behaviour, different tensions, responses, emotions and energy are generated. Music is very significant and inherent in all his works, and Vandekeybus has worked with prominent composers such as Peter Vermeersch and Thierry De Mey, David Byrne and David Eugene Edwards to compose the music of his spectacles. By integrating film images in his performances, complex relations often originate between film and stage, producing a very original format.

     "What the Body Does Not Remember" by Ultima Vez will be staged at 8pm on October 10 and 11 (Friday and Saturday) at the Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre. Tickets priced $420, $340, $260 and $160 are now available at URBTIX. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients). A 10 per cent Early Bird Discount is applicable for purchase of standard tickets on or before July 23. There are also group booking discount schemes, please refer to the programme booklet for details.

     For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7323, or visit For ticketing enquiries, please call 3761 6661. For telephone credit card booking, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit

Ends/Thursday, July 10, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:41


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