Frédéric Flamand, its director from 1991 to 2004, made it a leading institution on an international level. It has been directed since 2006 by a quartet of artists: Michèle Anne De Mey, Pierre Droulers, Thierry De Mey and Vincent Thirion. This new management set up an open project – a broad association of artists with an interdisciplinary dimension – centred on artistic work shared with choreographers and artists from the French-speaking Community but also from the international scene, while maintaining a continuous interaction with audiences.
While the creative work of the three artists/directors lies at the heart of the activity of Charleroi Danses, the Centre offers custom-made residencies in accordance with the specific requirements of the artists. The activities of Charleroi Danses take place in Les Écuries of Charleroi and at La Raffinerie in Brussels: including the production and touring of the work of the artists/directors and residents, and the programming of various events such as the dance Biennale.
Charleroi Danses offers a year-round Training Programme for professional dancers in the form of classes and workshops, and it organises master classes and ‘laboratory spaces’ led by the various creative artists of the Centre. In collaboration with the schools, Charleroi Danses has also set up a programme of artistic workshops under the ægis of the D.A.S. (Dispositif d’Accrochage Scolaire) in Brussels as well as a series of interventions for dance appreciation with the schools of the Hainaut region of Belgium.
After long years of searching and several unsuccessful efforts, a genuine opportunity at last presented itself, in 1998, with the partly unoccupied buildings of the police station on the Boulevard Mayence. After negotiations with the cultural department of the City of Charleroi and a resolute police chief who lent a sympathetic ear to our problems, Charleroi Danses managed to acquire part of the premises. Improvement works financed by equity capital were undertaken with the support of the municipality. The former riding school became one of the finest dance stages within the French-speaking community, with a fully equipped 400 m2 stage and a 100 m2 dance studio. Two small annexes will subsequently be converted to house the Centre's administration, a bar for the public, a second small dance studio and some technical workshops.
In 1979, the buildings were converted into a cultural space housing the well-known Plan K, which presented many theatre productions, dance, concerts, films and exhibitions.
Renovated once again, the Refinery currently houses the Brussels branch of Charleroi Danses, the choreography center of the French Community of Belgium.