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Belgium & Palestine
Badke is an ebullient display of verve and stamina
– The Globe and Mail
It’s rowdy, cheerful and explosively danced — which, as the dancers drive themselves onwards, acquires its own political edge.
– The Independent
In Badke, reversing dabke, it’s all about survival and the infectious joy of dancing.
The title Badke is a play on the Arabic social folk dance “dabke.” The performance assembles a group of Palestinian dancers — diasporic artists, many of whom have trained outside of Palestine — to practice the traditional dance and infuse it with new proposals, vocabularies and ideas.
With this simple yet elegant structure, Badke expresses the universal desire to belong, and uses the language of dance in an urgent negotiation between the traditional and contemporary, the local and global. This work is a highly energetic, politically charged and stylistically diverse experience in which the artists incorporate movement from circus, capoeira and hip hop.
Badke is a co-production between the prolific and groundbreaking KVS (the Brussels City Theatre), les ballets C de la B and the A.M. Qattan Foundation, which administers the Palestinian Performing Arts Network. Koen Augustijnen triumphantly returns to World Stage after his praised involvement with Gudirr Gudirr (2015) and les ballets C de la B’s Out of Context — for Pina (2010).
In its capacity as a Brussels city theatre, KVS chooses to be a platform for a range of voices and stories from the multilingual and extremely diverse capital of Belgium and Europe.
The urban reality and its challenges, tensions and opportunities are the seeds from which KVS unfolds its artistic activities. KVS wishes to contribute to tomorrow’s city and believes in artistic practices that are fed by local contexts. In this way, KVS annually engages with a diversity of artists, companies, scientists, thinkers, activists and institutions. In a city that is as fragmentary as Brussels, there exists a pronounced need for shared experiences and for projects that bridge linguistic, cultural and socioeconomic divides.
KVS wishes to be a cosmopolitan place with which diverse artists and audiences can feel an affinity, where they can also meet.
From its roots in Brussels, the KVS also reaches out to the world beyond Europe, via collaborations and exchanges with international artists, companies and theatre houses. Central to this are long-term international trajectories such as Congo and Palestine, which are based on reciprocity and equal value.
KVS wishes to modestly make a difference from Flanders to Congo and works to engender artistic cross-pollinations, which will contribute to shaping the city of the future.
Les ballets C de la B brings together professional actors and amateurs onstage with the goal of creating a mirror of contemporary society. Known now for powerful theatrical dance performances and a striking, cinematic style, the company has a longstanding international recognition and was an essential part of the Flemish Wave.
A.M. Qattan Foundation (AMQF) is an independent, not-for-profit developmental organization working in the fields of culture and education, with a particular focus on children, teachers and young artists.
Founded and registered in 1993 in the UK as a charity, it has had a registered branch in Palestine as a non-profit organization since 1998. The Foundation’s operations are mainly in Palestine, with interventions in Lebanon through Selat: Links Through the Arts, and in the UK through The Mosaic Rooms.
The Foundation manages The Palestinian Performing Arts Network (PAN) Programme, which is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the European Union. PAN’s main objective is the establishment of a vibrant network to put culture, in particular the performing arts, at the forefront of national development priorities. PAN involves 12 of the most prominent cultural organizations working in the performing arts in Palestine.
Join us for a series of Pre-show Teas with our World Stage Scholars-in-Residence. Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to the opening performance of Badke.
How do dance, performance, and music pass down history, memory and tradition differently than texts? What can dance and music communicate that written forms of history can’t – and how can we become “legible” in those modes of expression? For this pre-show tea, our Scholar-in-Residence Matthew Sergi will give a brief overview of dabke, the dance form on which Badke is based, and then lead an open-ended discussion about what might happen when folk performance leaps outside of its local social contexts.
Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.