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.
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.
11.02 – Danse étoffée sur musique déguisée – Krokusfestival, Hasselt (BE)
15.02 - One moving as many as moving as one - Valeska-Gert-guest professorship – Akademie der Künste, Berlin (DE)