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Art brut, dance and disabilities


One year research project

Promotor: Kathleen Coessens

Is it possible to create a Dance- Brut style as a physical language?


Taking some of the premises of the Art- Brut and combining theoretical and visual material I will construct a body of work around inclusive dance practice. I want to experiment, observe and apply certain commun elements (parcours, repetition, patterns…) found in this type of art and transposed them into a specific movement language. With the goal of translating a “state of mind” into choreography and thinking of the body as a psycho-emotional unity, I will combine these elements with my physical vocabulary; what I call “The Monkey mind approach to movement”. Monkey mind refers to the way our thoughts shift from one another chaotically and how we look for a possible physical translation of this state.


The practical phase of the investigation will be done together with a mixed group of movers, focusing on dancers with mental disabilities. Through this period of research I expect to be able to challenge my observations and amply my knowledge finding out what are the systems and laws implicated (mainly in visual art) which can be translated into other artistic forms: dance, music, words… How to transmute an existing set up of rules transforming them and creating new possible scores that can be tried. I will look for the possible links between the concept of raw art, physical expression and disabilities. These will enable me to enlarge, question and open up my choreographic approach; its physicality, structure, content and working method in collaboration with the partners involved.

Lisi Estaras


Lisi Estaras.png

After combining her studies in social work with professional dance training, Lisi Estaras chooses dance. She left Argentina a thet age of 19 to study at the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem. Quite soon afterwards, she joined the ranks of the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv. After five years in Israel, Lisi moved to Europe and started her career with les ballets C de la B in 1997. She co-creates and dances ​Iets op Bach, Wolf, VSPRS, Pitié!, C(H)ŒURS​ and T​ auberbach​ by Alain Platel and​TempusFugit​ by S​idi Larbi Cherkaoui​, ​Learning how to walk ​by ​Benny Claessens​ (NTGent). As choreographer at les ballets C de la B she creates ​Patchagonia, Bolero, The Gaza Monologues, primero-erscht, ​Dans Dans​… In 2016, she created the production ​Monkey Mind​ with three dancers with down syndrome for ​Platform K​ (Campo, Ghent) from this moment on, the work of Lisi funded a new chapitre. En 2017, ​Monkey Mind Feest​ for (Dansant Festival, Ostende) a continuation of that work can be seen in working with people with disabilities and amateur dancers. In 2018, Lisi premiered ​Hillbrowfication​ ​(Johannesburg) a collaboration with Goethe Institute, working with youngsters in South Africa. In April 2018– together with Alain Platel – ​Le​ ​Sacre du Printemps​ for De Dag van de Dans 2018: more than 200 people danced together in the streets of Ghent. For Passerelle (Kortrijk) she created ​D-Effect, a​ piece for 3 young dancers, 2 dancers with Down Syndrome and a contrabass player. Based on this work D-Effect,​ a film, was part of the exhibition Blood test for the Museum Dr. Ghislain in Gent.


Lisi Estaras gives masterclasses and workshops in Belgium and abroad. In 2017 and 2019, she has been awarded a government grant for research on the themes of kinesthetics, empathy and the mirror neurons in connection with her monkey mind choreographic research. And in 2020 for her research on physicallity and spoken language in connection to the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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