Delphine Hesters & PARTS
17.03 – 01.07.2022
Every three years a thousand young dancers from all over the world audition for PARTS: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s school for contemporary dance in Brussels. Only 40 are chosen to enter the Training Cycle. Delphine Hesters’s documentary podcast Generation XIII drafts a portrait of the generation that has been studying at PARTS since September 2019. Through interviews, dance studio recordings, and audio-diary entries, we follow different students: Eleni from Greece, Marllon from Brazil, Zoé from France, Renátó from Hungary and Kia from New Zealand. For three years, the podcast follows them in the most intense, formative years of their lives together. Sometimes in harmony and sometimes in contrast, their voices draw a picture of what it means to learn, to dance and to create and about what happens when a diverse group of young people from all over the world form a community in a city as vibrant and diverse as Brussels.
Generation XIII is as much about dance as it is about the thrill and challenges of starting a new life, of learning and working hard, of homesickness, coming to grips with cultural differences, seizing life, forging friendships and having fun. Since March 2020 they also became Generation Corona, thus Generation XIII also became a time capsule that captures these extraordinary times.
Episode 1: this school is about the students
September 2019: the 40 students of Generation XIII gather on the school premises with great enthusiasm and nervous giggles for the start of their training program at P.A.R.T.S. In this first episode, we learn what is specific to the school and how classes like ballet, performance analysis and rhythm present each of our five protagonists with their own, different challenges. It’s about the thrill and uncertainties of the start of a new life. How to find your bearings in a new city and within a new community while missing your loved ones back home? How to unlearn what you have previously been taught and start building anew?
Classes and music featured in this Episode: 1. Contemporary, David Hernandez to Havana Rhythm Dance of Auntie Flo ft Andrew Ashong 2. Singing, Lucy Grauman 3. Rhythm, Michel Debrulle 4. Contemporary, Laura Aris to Another White Bird of Wovenhand 5. Music analysis, Mattijs Van Damme to Quatuor VII ‘Opentime’ 21 variations Pour Quatuor à Cordes of Pascal Dusapin, played by Arditti Quartet 6. Ballet, Janet Panetta to live piano by Pieter Smout
Episode 2. Who would have thought that we couldn’t touch anymore?
Halfway into the first school year at P.A.R.T.S., the creation of a solo and the first intense theatre workshop push the students into new territories. The Coronavirus then hits Brussels and forces the school to close its doors. Just when friendships have started to take root, the group is forced to scatter. Some students return to their families in different parts of the world, while others have no choice but to stay in Brussels. How to dance when others have to be kept at a distance? How to move in a bedroom of 8m2? How to learn through a 13” screen and with all your peers far away?
Classes and music featured in this Episode: 1. Contemporary, Laura Aris to Sleeping Up of David Byrne 2. Theatre workshop, group guided by Eva Schram 3. Ballet, Libby Far to live piano by Pieter Smout 4. Contemporary (online), Diane Madden 5. Artistic Practice (online), Alexander Vantournhout to Meteor Crater Part One of Andrea Belfi 6. Gyro Ballet (online), Libby Far to live piano by Pieter Smout 7. Contemporary (in Dudenpark), David Hernandez to Let’s Stay of Hector Plimmer
Episode 3. Adapt, adapt, adapt
After more than five months apart, the students of Generation XIII reunite in Brussels - both elated and uncomfortable, due to the mandatory face masks, the 1.5m distance rule and the impossibility of giving spontaneous hugs. At the start of the school year, the mood is defined not only by the Corona pandemic, but also by the Black Lives Matter manifesto that students had addressed to P.A.R.T.S. just before the summer.
This will be a year of adaptation, bubbles, quarantines and sub-bubbles... and a short escape to La Palma. Living in constant uncertainty, the pressure on the mental wellbeing of these youngsters is high. How to deal with a pandemic, far from home, while keeping your focus on your schoolwork?
Classes and music featured in this Episode: 1. Workshop Rosas repertory Drumming, Taka Shamoto, Ursula Robb, Clinton Stringer and Sue-Yeon Youn to Drumming of Steve Reich, performed by Ictus 2. Contemporary technique, Alesandra Seutin to live music of Zouratié Koné 3. Ballet, Libby Far, to live piano by Pieter Smout 4. Contemporary workshop Trisha Brown technique, Diane Madden 5. Workshop Flying Low, David Zambrano 6. Students practicing on Suena of Ondatrópica
Episode 4. I know myself better, thanks to Corona
The turn of the year marks a low point in the students’ resilience and morale. The school has lost the sense of home it previously gave them. With little to engage with outside of P.A.R.T.S. and with the diversity of the problems of the students highlighted, tensions can run high. But through this hardship, friendships also become more profound. And the students experience that growing up is first and foremost: learning to live with yourself.
Classes and music featured in this Episode: 1. Rhythm, Michael Schmid 2. Contemporary technique, Laura Aris, to music of Roger Marín 3. Singing, Lucy Grauman, Ach Elslein, Lieber Elslein of Ludwig Senfl 4. Workshop Cunningham technique, Cédric Andrieux, to live piano by Pieter Smout 5. Ballet, Douglas Becker, to live piano of Bart Van Bulck 6. Contemporary technique, Cassiel Gaube 7. Trio presentation of Zoé, Eleni and Macarena, to Joseph Haydn string quartet The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross, live by Ellen Van Neste, Ine Van Dyck, Saar Van Bergen and Emiel Vertongen 8. Rhythm, Kaja Farszky on triangle 9. Contemporary technique, Laura Aris, to music of Samir Kadribašić for Under The Eyelids of Zagreb Dance Company. * We are still waiting for permission to use A Love Supreme by John Coltrane in this Episode. As soon as we get it, a version with this glorious music will be uploaded.
Meet Kia Jewell from New Zealand
Kia was born in Johannesburg, South-Africa to a father of English descent and a mother of Indian-Angolan-Portuguese origin. When Kia was 8, they moved to New Zealand, away from the violence of her hometown. Kia breathes dance. She started at an early age with tap and jazz later learning ballet and contemporary dance. By the age of 15 she’d started professional dance training, while finishing her high school studies by correspondence.
Meet Marllon Araújo from Brazil
Marllon grew up in favela da Maré, in Rio De Janeiro, experiencing the hardship of life defined by the lack of means and the poor health of his parents. As a teenager, Marllon started dancing to the songs of Beyoncé and Rihanna in a small room at home with his friends and in the clubs of Rio. Eventually he followed dance and theatre classes in a school in his favela, which led the way to contemporary dance. Marllon is drag queen Havenna Beck.
Find out the background story of Zoé Lakhnati from France
Zoé was born in the South of France and grew up alone with her single mother, surrounded by their artistic family. Zoé finished a professional ballet training before she realised that ballet-company life was not for her, as she prefers to explore her own artistic voice.
Meet Renátó Miskolczi from Hungary
Renátó grew up in a small town on the outskirts of the Hungarian capital Budapest. Renátó started ballroom dancing after his basketball team folded. He started contemporary dance classes as he believed they would improve his ballroom skills, but eventually decided to pursue his training in contemporary dance. He considers himself first and foremost an artist, with dance as one of his many possible tools.
Meet Eleni Roberts from Greece
Eleni grew up in the heart of Athens, the daughter of a choreographer and an architect. Even though as a toddler she spent days in a dance studio with her mother, she first focused on her athletics track and field training and piano courses. Eventually she found her way back into the dance studio.
concept and realisation Delphine Hesters | coaching Nele Eeckhout | mixing Brecht Plasschaert | theme music Carlos Garbin | visuals Davy Denduyver, based on drawings of Jeanne Colin & Killian Madeleine | coproduction PARTS, Concertgebouw Brugge, Dansens Hus Oslo, Kaaitheater, STUK, De Singel, Etcetera, PACT Zollverein | with the support of Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie Brussel, Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Brussels-Capital Region | thanks to the team of PARTS, the students and teachers of Generation XIII, Léonie Baudry, Annelies Vanderoost, Sofie Palmers, Theo Van Rompay, AudioCollectief SCHIK, Randy Vermeulen, Wederik De Backer, Marllon, Kia, Eleni, Renato and Zoé