House for Dance


The need for togetherness and solidarity is becoming ever more vital in our individualised society. We need (new) rituals to signify our care for each other and key moments in our lives. This need to connect features prominently in STUK’s new dance season. Can art and, more specifically, dance be essential to how we deal with each other and depict reality?

In these times of social media, how can we make tangible the relationship between the other and ourselves, between our surroundings and ourselves? This is the aim of THE COMMON PEOPLE by Jan Martens, for which he stages live encounters between participants from Leuven. For Oblivion, Sarah Vanhee collected her garbage for a year and confronted herself with the expanding mountains of rubbish to which we all contribute. For several years at STUK, Vera Tussing has been researching the power of physical empathy and touch. In Mazing, she will again break down the traditional barriers between performer and audience. For EVOL, Claire Croizé uses listening and introspection to redefine these relationships.

This season, many choreographers are openly inspired by the poetry and feeling of freedom and devotion brought on by dancing together. Kabinet K shows how this symbiosis functions between young children and adult dancers. Koen De Preter worked with physically challenged people from Theater Stap in To Belong. Upon invitation from the Cullbergbaletten, Deborah Hay, one of the pioneers of postmodern dance in the 1960s, creates a sensitive and poetic group choreography. These productions exemplify choreography as a tool for visualising the power of human relationships. However, community potential has a downside, something that Daniel Linehan explores in dbddbb. He works with the rhythm of sound poetry and marching movements to embody something that is both fascinating and frightening.

Dance and music have always been inextricably linked, and this season, several performances are taking this relationship as a starting point. Alain Platel works with Mahler, David Hernandez with Scarlatti, and the music of Steve Reich is brought to full fruition in a reprise of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's Rain. The contagiousness of rhythm and pulse informs Radical Light by Salva Sanchis. Increasingly, there are crossovers between both worlds: dance performances that experiment with concert setups and vice versa. Thus, the Norwegian composer Rolf Wallin invited our artist in residence fieldworks for a concert performance in which the musicians are literally set in motion. The Austrian Ian Kaler shares the stage with Aquarian Jugs, who brings experimental electronics. Together they advocate open approaches to gender.

Rhythm and music are also a connecting factor in rituals. The succession of a series of acts or steps, often linked to a certain place or community, is passed on across generations as a form of embodied knowledge. Artistic duo Amanda Piña and Daniel Zimmermann reactivate ‘extinct’ native rituals from all over the world in Dance and Resistance. Choreographers Kat Válastur and Christian Rizzo create contemporary interpretations of a ritual, with the circle structure as a starting point.

STUK would like to share this embodied knowledge across generations. Therefore, this year, we again offer an extensive programme for young audiences. The ‘intergenerational’ is the theme for the Rode Hond family festival (made in collaboration with 30CC) in the autumn holidays, for which STUK provides the dance component. This year, fABULEUS, an organisation closely linked to STUK, presents two reruns and the premiere of RATS with Ugo Dehaes.

2016 sees Leuven celebrate the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s Utopia with a citywide festival. As part of this event, STUK is developing a project week. Later in the season, we will contribute dance performances to the well-known festivals Playground – which explores the exciting borderland between performing and visual arts – and Artefact, this season with The Act of Magic as its theme.

There is so much more on offer at STUK than performances and festivals. Through contextualising activities, such as workshops, master classes, introductions, talks, dance battles, lectures, and more, STUK is building a dance community for young and old, amateur and professional. We are convinced that dancing together, interacting, and having discussions provide the necessary tools for understanding our complex reality.

Charlotte Vandevyver
Dance programmer


STUK is a dance house through which children, youth and families get acquainted with contemporary dance. In recent years, an increasing number of fully-fledged, high-quality dance productions for young audiences emerge. STUK ensures diverse and thoughtful programming featuring gems from the children’s circuit and draws attention to regu- lar performances for young audiences. The Young Audience Program- me includes all dance performances by fABULEUS, a dance section for Rode Hond, a series of dance performances during the Easter holidays, and a special offer for schools. All ages are welcome, including toddlers as part of our cooperation with Leuven’s new PIEP initiative (cultural incentives for toddlers).

fABULEUS plays a special role in the Young Audience Programme The Leuven breeding ground for young theatre and dance talent has grown into a national and international reference point in the field and is celebrating its 20th anniversary. STUK and fABULEUS structurally work together: STUK is co-producer of all dance productions by fABULEUS, and it is the premiering location for their productions, presentations, and reruns.

fABULEUS not only brings a healthy dose of swagger and youthful energy, but the production house also o ers valuable expertise in coaching. Choreographers that are regularly at work in STUK can work with fABULEUS to develop their first children’s or youth production. The fABULEUS artistic team is also involved in the programming of the Young Audience Programme.

During the weekend of October 21-23, fABULEUS celebrates its 20th anniversary in 30CC with a compilation of fragments and performers from previous works. Delving into 51 productions from the last 10 years, the event serves as both a happy reunion and an introduction to iconic moments from their extensive repertoire.


STUK welcomes schools and students with open arms and aims to provide them with an engaging cultural experience. Some evening shows are kept available for schools, with seats o ered at a special school rate. STUK also provides exclusive school performances during school hours. Most of our o er for schools can be found on where you can find updated information and tips for preparation and discussion in the classroom. For this o er you can book tickets from the 1st of June, only through this site. For questions about the rest of our programme, you can contact STUK Reception. We want dialogue with teachers, o ering them valid information and, if needed, assistance with advice. If your school quota is exhausted or you need to change dates, please contact the dance programmer for help.



WISPER has long organised artistic adult learning courses in which active learning and focusing on the participant’s development are paramount. All of WISPER Leuven’s classes on contemporary dance take place at STUK. In autumn 2016 we present the following courses Het andere lichaam, Hedendaagse Dans: basis & verdieping a masterclass by Anton Lachky. Course participants can see all dance performances at STUK for a reduced price.

Information and registration via


STUK is teaming up with Mooss to develop its education programming and strategy. Mooss has years of expertise in education and represents a unique approach. Mooss begins a dialogue with the artist during the creative process and this continues beyond the artist’s presentation. This is achieved through active workshops for a.o. POPRCORN, Alleen de grootste nabijheid and RATS. Mooss attends school classes and offers students a broader perspective and the necessary knowledge to study a performance. We also offer introductory workshops for the public.


STUK organises workshops and masterclasses in collaboration with choreographers who are in-house for rehearsals or performances. These o ers include low-threshold, introductory workshops in which you can delve into a show’s material, masterclasses for advanced dancers that address specific topics, and participatory workshops leading to involvement in a performance. The programme pays close attention to current issues. Keep an eye on our website for more information and participation opportunities.



For the second year, the Department of Cultural Studies at the Catholic University of Leuven is o ering the Contemporary Dance: Theory & Analysis course. Students are introduced to the central tendencies of contemporary dance, with speci c attention to current issues in dance theory. After a thorough introduction to contemporary dance
in the 20th and 21st centuries, di erent guest teachers give classes on selected topics. STUK ensures active connections between classes and our dance programme; after all ‘thinking about’ dance has to be fed by ‘watching’ dance. Students attend performances and can enter into dialogue with renowned choreographers and dancers. The lecture se- ries concludes with an international colloquium in which international dance researchers contribute on a certain theme. In this way, the course is a platform for bringing dance researchers together.

The lessons start from the second semester. A number of lectures (in English) take place at STUK and are open to the public. Check our website for information and updates.

The course Contemporary Dance: Theory & Analysis is initiated by KU Leuven cultural policy 2013-2017.


Much goes on behind the scenes at STUK. Perhaps the least visible activity for the visitor is the residency programme, but it is the beating heart of our dance house. Daily, there are local and foreign artists at work in the Ateliers, the Studio, the Labozaal and the Soetezaal. It is well known STUK is a stimulating workplace: professional studios, an artist-oriented technical and production team, apartments a stone’s throw away, and an artists’ kitchen that also serves as a meeting place.

Our residencies are tailor made – some artists conduct preliminary research; others are further into their process or preparing for a premiere. Space is available to a wide range of artists. For a select few we offer continuing support. Thus, our 2016 artist in residence is the eldworks dance company. STUK provides A-to-Z expertise and guidance: content and dramaturgical advice, production and technical support, business support, presentation possibilities, an international network, and a close research relationship with the KU Leuven.


Dag van de Dans is an initiative aiming to broaden support and in- crease appreciation for contemporary dance among the general public. During the first edition, dancers and choreographers took over the streets, squares and stages throughout Flanders and Brussels. As a principal house for dance, STUK is an essential player in this process. For this occasion, STUK presented a programme aiming to bridge the gap between the broader contemporary dance scene and Leuven’s rich cir- cuit of urban dance and circus. People of all ages sampled many facets of contemporary dance through workshops with Claire Croizé, WISPER and Mooss, showings from De Genoten and David Hernandez, Leuven’s B-King championship with Straatrijk, and presentations from Nat Gras and Alexander Vantournhout. This unforgettable day left many smiling faces. As for the programme during our second edition in spring 2017, it is still anyone’s guess. But you can de nitely count on a wide range of accessible activities that will broaden your ideas about contemporary dance and maybe even get you dancing. Mark you calendars now. You don’t want to miss this.


The EDN is a network of European dance houses and is supported by Creative Europe, the European Union’s cultural programme established in 2014. The network aims to carry out a joint vision for the development of contemporary dance at home and abroad. EDN advocates for contemporary dance and wants to highlight dance’s relevance to society. STUK is the rst Belgian dance house to join the European Dancehouse Network; for which an organisation must meet strict criteria and in addition to being a fully- edged and international presentation platform for dance, the organisation must be committed to learning, participation and discourse production. Furthermore, it is expected that EDN members o er facilities for dance production, research and presentation for both new and established artists. STUK is part of an exclusive list of dance houses that includes Mercat de les Flors (Barcelona), Tanzquartier (Vienna), Dansenshus (Stockholm) and CND (Paris).