Ula Sickle - The Sadness

The Sadness brings together a trio of performers around the genre of 'Sad Rap', a home grown musical style that emerged on Soundcloud and other music platforms over the last years. Mostly self-produced, the genre combines emo-style lyrics that speak about depression, often with references to death and suicide, all set to melancholic instrumentals and hip hop beats. At a time when the future has never been more uncertain, The Sadness explores the prevalent feeling of futurelessness. Under the musical direction of Japanese American musician Lynn Suemitsu, the performers self-written lyrics are set to pulsating rhythms and heavy bass. A cross between a dance performance and a concert, the work is performed in the round in an intimate setting, where performers and public share the same space.The Sadness explores live music making as a collective act that brings the performers (and audience) together. In the project the climate crisis and the feeling of inertia and anxiety that it produces are central. Rather than preaching to an already converted crowd, The Sadness gives voice to our repressed fears, using feeling as a powerful tool for empowerment and action.

Ula Sickle (CA/PL) is a choreographer and performer based in Brussels, Belgium. From a background in contemporary dance, she works across disciplines and in collaboration with artists from other domains such as the visual arts, contemporary music or architecture. While her work takes many forms, from video to installation to live performance, she focuses on a choreographic approach to movement and a work on perception and reception, specific to the live arts.

Her interest in looking for an alternative to the cannon of contemporary dance, has led her to seek out performers who embody other movement histories. Frequently centered around strong performers, she searches for forms of choreographic writing, where the cultural coding and political power of ‘popular’ dancing can be revealed or where the musicality and materiality of the body itself can take center stage.