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HYPERWITHIN: a shy dramaturgy in shadowtimes

PhD project

Promoters: Kyoko Iwaki (UA) & Annouk Van Moorsel (KCA)

We are living in the Anthropocene, a geological epoch in which human impact on the planet and its ecosystems is so deep it will leave traces for millennia. It can be argued that for human beings, the Anthropocene implies being both an observer of our world and an active part of this observation. It is simultaneously a time of hubris and of humility, as nature retaliates inexorably.

Representation is one of the challenges of the Anthropocene: how to convey and make shareable the experience of living amid environmental disasters and escalating change? This research project proposes another take on representation in the Anthropocene, specifically by seeing the desire to be represented, the quest for visibility as one of the causes of the devastation created by humankind. With this research, I would like to look at us as individuals and understand when, why and how we decided to place the self above all else. Why do we need to see ourselves everywhere and in everything? Does one need to be recognized to be? Do things need to be constantly present to exist? Can one still subsist while choosing not to appear?
To answer these questions, this project will focus on the notion of ‘shy’ as an alternative mindset. The word ‘shy’ is used here as an umbrella term to refer to bodies which are less visible. The ‘shy’ qualification extends to the less observable parts of our human experience, including everything in our ecosystem which collides with or enters our space and our bodies anonymously. However, since it aims at bypassing representation, ‘shy’, as something to be performed, an ethics of making art and moving in the art world as well as a theoretical concept, doesn’t comply to fix images of who could be representative of the ‘shy’.

Anne-Lise Brevers


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Anne-Lise Brevers Kuhn (BE/USA) is a dancer, researcher and choreographer.
Trained in classical ballet by Menia Martinez, she obtained a master in dance at  Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, her master’s project receiving the PlayRight Prize.

She worked as a freelance dancer for several choreographers before meeting Cindy Van Acker in 2010 while dancing in Romeo Castellucci’s ‘Parsifal’ at La Monnaie. She then joined the Cie Greffe in Geneva for the creation and touring of ‘Diffraction’ until 2015.

In 2016/2017, she collaborated to Damien Jalet’s choreography of ‘Suspiria’ by Luca Guadagnino while coaching Mia Goth and Tilda Swinton for their dancing parts in the movie. In 2017, she started working closely with choreographer Jan Martens as a rehearsal director and artistic assistant for ‘Rule of Three’ and ‘Any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones’. In 2021, she performed her immersive work ‘Shy Works’ at deSingel in Antwerp as part of the Bouge B festival and she choreographed Olga Neuwirth’s ‘Bählamms Fest’ under the direction of Dead Centre, for the Ruhrtriennale.

Since 2021, she teaches the class Embodied theory to the second-year students of the Master Dance, as well as mentoring their journey towards the final master’s project.

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