To Belong is a high energy, dance piece by Belgium’s Theatre Stap, a company providing a supporting platform for mentally disabled artists and actors to develop their ideas and create work for and by them.
The music, picked by both choreographer Koen De Preter and the dancers, drives the pieve as the performance is a series of movements that range in energies, from headbanging to German rock, to the minimalist tones of guitar being tapped on stage. Sliding fingertips over the landscapes of their bodies, elbows, collar bones, breasts, hairlines. It was a poignant and touching reflection of a horrendously overlooked and underrepresented human emotion – the sexuality and intimacy of the disabled community.
To Belong very thoughtful, very raw platform for the exploration of bodies, and a wonderfully visual look at where they fit both physically and politically in the space around us. The piece was, or not obviously, about a body’s limits. More, the potential of a human’s curiosity and lust for a vibrant and full life in all reaches.It seemed apparent in the rehearsal process leading up to the final piece was very much in support and celebration of ownership for the company, which what made its so special to watch.
Koen De Preter‘s choreography was very sympathetic to both artistic merit and the decision making of the dancers. Their favourite scene is the party scene, he translated in the post show – an energetic let go, a definite rawness, head banging, sensual swaying. Yet the energy was confidently balanced by quieter scenes that led to almost meditative contemplation on stage. The dancers line up, one by one, breathing deep and relaxed into their movements, making room for personality, mistakes, and honesty to feed onto the stage and into the camaraderie of the audience.
A welcoming fresh look at the human body and where they all fit, or more importantly, a courageous fuck you to anyone who think that any body could not.