Femke Gyselinck - Gymnastics of the mind

For this research, Femke Gyselinck was inspired by the 1926 book ABECEDA, characterized by an equivalent synergy between typography, photo montage and movement. Every letter of the alphabet was given a graphic form by Karel Teige, related to a choreographic pose by Milca Mayerová, with Vítězslav Nezval adding a poem to every letter. Femke wants to think about ways to bring an ode to the work and to give contemporary relevance to a dance alphabet in the light of our (post)modernist worldview.

The movement research builds on earlier work on how we can read bodies as carriers of meaning. A gesticulating body tells a lot, but the meanings are never solid, they always move. This project wants to challenge the known insights and choreographic imagery by freezing the movement in one moment, one body, one 'pose'. How does it translate its spatial language into a different, two-dimensional medium? What communicative possibilities are (or aren't) contained in a dance alphabet?


Femke Gyselinck: choreography, dance
Joris Kritis: graphic design
Robbrecht Desmet: photography
Emma Meerschaert: intern artistic support

Femke Gyselinck (Belgium, 1983) is a dancer and choreographer based in Brussels. She graduated at P.A.R.T.S in 2006. After her studies she worked as a freelance dancer with Eleanor Bauer, Andros Zinsbrowne, Esther Venrooy. She participated in the Solo Commissioning Project of Deborah Hay in 2007. From 2010 till 2018 she worked as artistic assistant of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker/Rosas. She worked as ‘outside eye’ for Alexander Vantournout, Karel Burssens, Andros Zinsbrowne.

In her own work she is focussing on relating expressive movements closely to text/ music in combination with a bold but humble performativity. In 2017 she collaborated with her brother, Lander Gyselinck, a drummer on Flamer. Together with Romina Lischka, renowned gamba player, she made Lachrimae or Seven Tears on the music of John Dowland & Annelies Van Parys and L’Echo Du Danube on the music of Johannes Schenck. She collaborated in 2019 with musician Liesa Van der Aa for the piece Play. Also in 2019, together with Bryana Fritz & Jasmin Gins Posada she created the piece Pigmalion, music by Rameau and live performed by Apotheosis Orchestra.

Moving Ballads, a musical dance piece is her most recent work that will be performed in 2020/2021.

For the moment she is working on the choreography for the opera Faust Szenen on the music of Schumann and directed by Julian Rosefeldt, a production of Opera Vlaanderen and Montpellier Opera.

She is a member of the faculty of P.A.R.T.S and is teaching at the Performance bachelor education at Kask/HoGent.