‘I choose the road less travelled and then dance all the way’
Joost Vrouenraets’ latest ‘tour de force’ was ‘Kokoro’ [Japanese for ‘heart’] a 28 km long, non-stop ‘dance marathon’ from Heerlen to Maastricht along the old Roman road nowadays called Via Belgica. “I wanted to find out what lies at the heart of my dancing,” he explained.
Going into survival mode leads him back to the core essence of dancing: “If you can lay bare what you do and who you are, you will be home”. Joost is searching for that feeling of belonging and the only way for him to get there is through survival mode.
Born in 1979, Joost studied dance at the Amsterdam University of the Arts. After graduation, he continued studying for two years at the Ecole-Atelier Rudra Béjart in Switzerland. Joost studied Shaolin Kung-Fu at the Shaolin Temple Traditional Wushu institute in China and Tibetan culture and Buddhist religion at Rabten Chöeling University in Vevey (Switzerland).
After dancing with Maurice Béjart’s Compagnie ‘M’ for several years, Joost founded his own company in 2005 together with his dancing partner Maïté Guérin: the Gotra Ballet. Joost won the ‘Festival Nederlandse Dansdagen’ young talent award in 2008 and the ‘Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Limburg’ Inspiration award in 2012.
Joost’s approach to movement combines martial arts (Kendo, traditional Shaolin Kung Fu and Wushu), ballet technique and contemporary dance. Each movement has a sustained flow and uses multiple ways of torque and twist. It requires strong practice of core, coordination and stamina. Flow, compact forms and gestures follow each other up in an irregular use of time. The kinaesthetic levels are determined by the practice of floor-work, standing motion, and acrobatics.
Joost Vrouenraets will perform a duet at TEDxMaastricht 2015 and offer the audience ‘his idea worth sharing’.