• zoomThomas Hauert
    Thomas Hauert © Thibault Grégoire

Thomas Hauert

When Thomas Hauert starts to move, an expression of astonishment seems to appear on his face almost straightaway. It is hard to tell whether the expression in question comes from his own surprise at the series of brainwaves coming from the uninterrupted flow of his steps or rather whether this prolonged questioning masks the continuity of the invention, with continually evolving body movements kept in suspension, supposed never to stop, never to become fixed in a reproducible “definitive” form. The instantaneous composition is an exercise in surfing and balancing on the temporal wave, the memory of the movement anticipating the disappearance of the ephemeral writing just in time, unleashing the need for the next movement. This need is his trademark. (…)

There are a number of paradoxical techniques that often return: improvised unison for example (reminiscent of flocks of birds or shoals of fish). The rules of ethology seem better suited to exploring his approach than the latest precepts of conceptual dance. There is something of the animal kingdom about it… the name of the company of course: ZOO… But do these dancers have some kind of antenna allowing them to react instantaneously to movements produced behind their backs? (…)

ZOO creates and weaves before our eyes an intense moment of intersubjectivity, gradually drawing the audience into the loop. Invisible threads and connections appear to link the protagonists – performers and audience – together.

Thierry De Mey, March 2012
Excerpt from the portrait written for the ManiFeste 2012 festival academy
After his studies at the dance academy of Rotterdam, the Swiss Thomas Hauert (1967) settled in Brussels. He danced during 3 years with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, then with Gonnie Heggen, David Zambrano and Pierre Droulers. After creating his solo Hobokendans he founded ZOO and initiated in 1998 the Cows in Space project, a performance for 5 dancers that was awarded at the Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Bagnolet. “Thomas Hauert and his brand new ZOO company are showing that abstract dance can be a feast, able to transmit tremendous emotions.” (Le Temps, 1998). With the same group of dancers, he went on to create Pop-Up Songbook (1999), Jetzt (2000) and Verosimile (2002). His solo Do You Believe in Gravity? Do You Trust the Pilot? was presented in April 2001. For the performance 5 (2003) he directed Common Senses, an improvisation with 10 dancers. Thomas Hauert was rewarded with the Swiss Dance and Choreography Award 2005 for his creation modify (2004). Featuring free improvisation within strict boundaries, a baroque sound track and sets in acid colours, modify is a show-kaleidoscope where the wealth of expression found in movement is celebrated during an hour of unbridled transformation. “It electrifies the eye, irritates our thoughts, and renders a controlled principle of permanent modification deliciously astounding. And it is clear there is great art involved.” (Danser, March 2005).
Based on literary fragments by the Dutch writer Oscar Van den Boogaard, Walking Oscar (2006) integrates movement, songs and text. “With this labyrinth Thomas Hauert shows once again his unlimited originality… Dancing and singing, without ever losing track of the movement which he accentuates in the extreme, he speaks a complex, magic language between the underlying concept and formal virtuosity. Everything is beautifully solid.” (Le Monde, 2006). In 2007, ZOOThomas Hauert and the music ensemble Zefiro Torna joined hands for a new performance based on the medieval tradition of the “musical enigmas” : puzzled. This ambitious project, co-produced by the Festival of Flanders, brings together 13 dancers, singers and musicians on stage. Between image and abstraction, the existential theme that lies at the heart of the musical enigmas develops in an unusual and delicate form. Created in 2008, Accords is an important stage in ZOO’s research in terms of “choreographic musicality”. The dancers have worked at length on developing in the moment a choreographic language of a complexity similar to that found in music. It involves a “democratic” process, based on individual freedom and continually paying attention to the others: a process aimed at obtaining a choreographic complexity beyond that of a written piece. “Dance and music then: if the two together seem obvious, the classical association, then Thomas Hauert brings a new dimension to it. (…) Overturned conditions, broken codes, dismantled forms: the dancer achieves a profound and spontaneous complexity. Dance and music then because one generates the other but also creates the network, inspires the individual and organises the group, all while “colouring” the perception of movement.” (La Libre Belgique, 20 May 2008). Thomas Hauert regularly takes part in improvisation events. He was invited by Sasha Waltz for Vif du Sujet at Festival d’Avignon in 2000, by David Zambrano in the series « David Zambrano Invites… », by Gonnie Heggen, Frans Poelstra and Robert Steijn for the Tarzan project, by Jennifer Monson and Zeena Parkins for Movement Research Fall Festival in New York in 2008… Thomas Hauert has also been developing teaching methods that are recognised internationally. Apart from an ongoing collaboration with the P.A.R.T.S dance school in Brussels, he gives regular workshops in and outside of Europe. He also created Há Mais (2002) with a group of Mozambican dancers, Milky Way (2000), Lobster Caravan (2004) and 12/8 (2007) with students from P.A.R.T.S., as well as Fold and Twine (2006) at the Laban School of London.


06.10 - Like Me More Like Me - Festival Performa, Losone (CH)
12.10 - Like Me More Like Me - Dance Umbrella, Londres (UK)
02 & 03.11 - Accords - Les Brigittines, Bruxelles (BE)
14.11 - From B to B - Tanz in Olten, Olten (CH)
17 & 18.11 - From B to B - ADN Hiver de Danses, Neuchâtel (CH)
30.11 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - Festival Turbulences, Namur (BE) – CRÉATION JEUNE PUBLIC - PREMIÈRE


06.01 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - Centre culturel de Huy (BE)
13.01 - Like me more like me - The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (US)
26 & 27.01 - From B to B - Kaaitheater, Bruxelles (BE)
05.02 - From B to B - Le Théâtre Scène nationale de Saint-Nazaire (FR)
07.02 - From B to BSwiss Dance Days, Bâle (CH)
11.02 – Danse étoffée sur musique déguiséeKrokusfestival, Hasselt (BE)
15.02 - One moving as many as moving as one - Professeur invité Valeska-Gert – Akademie der Künste, Berlin (DE)
01.03 - From B to B - Les Hivernales, Avignon (FR)
22 & 23.03 – Danse étoffée sur musique déguiséeTweetakt Festival, Utrecht (NL)
03 & 04.04 - Like me more like me - Winchester St. Theatre, Toronto (CA)
17 > 21 & 24 > 27.04 - Brussels/Toronto ProjectTotonto Dance Theatre - Winchester St. Theatre, Toronto (CA)
23 & 24.04 – Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - Ruutia! Festival, Helsinki (FI)
03 & 04.05 - From B to B - Les Écuries Charleroi Danses, Charleroi (BE)
21.05 - From B to B - Pôle Sud, Strasbourg (FR)
06.06 – From B to BGdansk Dance Festival, Gdansk (PO)
30.6 & 01.07 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguiséeTanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf (DE)
09 & 10.07 - Acostumbrismo - Festival internacional de danza Italica, Sevilla (ES)
13 & 14.09 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguiséeLa Bâtie-Festival de Genève, Geneva (CH)
18 & 19.10 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - Big Bang Festival - Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon (PT)
31.10 – MONOCCN de Rillieux-la-Pape, Lyon (FR) – avant-première
15 & 16.11 – MONOBiennale de Charleroi Danses, Charleroi (BE)
20 > 24.11 - Like me more like me - New Orleans Fringe, New Orleans (USA)
29.11 > 01.12 – MONOThe Forsythe Company / Motion Bank @ Frankfurt Lab, Francfort-sur-le-Main (DE)
15.12 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguiséeDecember Dance, Bruges (BE)


26.01 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - STUK – 30CC/Schouwburg, Louvain (BE)
08.02 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - Objectifs Danse 7 - Bruxelles (BE)
09 & 10.02 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - Festival Pays de Danses - Centre culturel d'Eupen (BE)
20.02 - MONO - cc Berchem, Anvers (BE)
28.02 & 01.03 - Notturnino (Création pour CandDoCo) - Trinity Laban - London (GB)
04 & 05.03 - Notturnino (Création pour CandDoCo)Warwick Arts Centre - Coventry (GB)
13.03 - Notturnino (Création pour CandDoCo) - Edge Hill - Ormskirk, Lancashire (UK)
18 & 19.03 – MONOKaaitheater, Bruxelles (BE)
21.03 – AccordsEspaces pluriels au Zénith, Pau (FR)
26.03 – From B to BFestival In Movement - Les Brigittines - Bruxelles (BE)
06.04 – MONOPACT Zollverein - Essen (DE)
09 > 11.04 – MONOCentre Pompidou-Spectacles vivants / Ircam, Paris (FR)
16.04 – MONOLa Passerelle, Saint-Brieuc (FR)
19.04 – From B to BFestival BIPOD, Beyrouth (LE)
03.05 – Drum & DanceFesta danzante – Lugano (CH)
03 > 06.05 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée, Centre des arts pluriels, Ettelbruck (LU)
07 & 08.05 - Notturnino (creation for CanDoCo) - Sommerblut Festival - Köln (DE)
15.05 – MONOSTUK, Louvain (BE)
17 & 18.05 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguiséeBrighton Festival – Brighton (GB)
20 > 22.05 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée, Opéra de Lille, Lille (FR)
22 & 23.05 – From B to BTanz:now, Steckborn (CH)
30.05 - Notturnino (creation for CanDoCo) - Dance Week Festival - Zagreb (HR)
04.06 - Notturnino (creation for CanDoCo) - Norrlands Operan - Umea (SW)
8.09 - Notturnino (creation for CanDoCo) - Festival Oriente Occidente - Rovereto (IT)
1.10 - Notturnino (creation for CanDoCo) – Artsdepot - London (GB)
10.10 - From B to B - L’Octogone - Pully (CH)
16.10 - Notturnino (creation for CanDoCo) - Pavilion Dance South West - Bournemouth (GB)
17 & 18.10 - Danse improvisée avec piano préparé - Salon Bombardon, Schaerbeek (BE)
25 & 26.10 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - Festival bis-ARTS - Charleroi (BE)
4 > 8.11 - Pond Skaters (creation for TDT) - Harbourfront Centre - Toronto (CA)
8 & 9.11 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - FID, Belo Horizonte (BR)
11.11 - Notturnino (creation for CanDoCo) - Lakeside Arts Centre - Nottingham (GB)
14 & 15.11 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - Panorama Festival, Rio de Janeiro (BR)
16.11 - Notturnino (creation for CanDoCo) - Sadlers’s Wells, London (GB)
27.11 - Notturnino (creation for CanDoCo) - Live at LICA, Lancaster (GB)
28 & 29.11 - Nouveau solo de Thomas Hauert - Escénica en Movimiento, Concepción (CL)
2 & 3.12 - Notturnino (creation for CanDoCo) - The Lowry, Manchester (GB)
9 & 10.12 - Notturnino (creation for CanDoCo) – Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre – London (GB)
19.12 - Nouveau solo de Thomas Hauert - El Porton de Sanchez Teatro, Buenos Aires (AR)


07 > 13.01 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers, Nanterre (FR)
30.01 - Pond Skaters - River Run Centre, Guelph (CA)
31.01 - Pond Skaters - Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Burlington (CA)
05.02 - Pond Skaters - The Grand Theatre, Kingston (CA)
07.02 - Pond Skaters - Centre for the Arts, Brock University, Saint Catharines (CA)
13.02 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - L’ONYX La Carrière, Saint-Herblain (FR)
28.03-20.04 – Space InVidéodanse, Centre Pompidou Malaga, Malaga (SP)
14.04 - From B to B - Le Granit, Scène nationale de Belfort (FR)
29.04 - Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée - Cité Culture, Bruxelles (BE)
08.05 - (sweet) (bitter) Fête de la Danse / L’Arsenic, Lausanne (CH)
09.05 - (sweet) (bitter)Fête de la Danse, Neuchâtel (CH)
09.05 - (sweet) (bitter)Fête de la Danse, La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH)
20.05-14.06 - Space InUn Nouveau Festival 2015 / Vidéodanse, Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR)
20.05-14.06 - Cows in Space re-run (film) – Un Nouveau Festival 2015 / Vidéodanse, Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR)
19 > 22.05 - MONO - ADC Genève, Genève (CH)
26.05 - (sweet) (bitter) - Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray (IR)
26-27 & 30.05 - (sweet) (bitter) - Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin (IR)
28.05 - (sweet) (bitter)Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray (IR)
28 > 30.05 - (sweet) (bitter) - Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin (IR)
20-21.06 – NotturninoFestival de Marseille, Marseille (FR)
14-15.07 – La mesure du désordreFestival GREC, Barcelone (SP)
3.10 – La mesure du désordreBiennale de Charleroi Danses, Charleroi (BE)
4-8.11 - (sweet) (bitter)ADC Genève, Genève (CH)
25-26.11 – Accords - Theater Orchester Biel Solothurn, Solothurn (CH)
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