chantal yzermans
chantal yzermans
< radical low productions

Chantal Yzermans is a Belgian choreographer and researcher, currently living in Paris.

After her studies at the Royal Conservatory Antwerpen, Chantal moved to New York City in 2000.

As a dancer she studied daily for 6 years with Merce Cunningham and his company in New York.

In 2009 Jan Fabre offered Chantal an artistic residency at his venue Troubleyn / Laboratorium in Antwerpen, belgium.

There she created Radical Low, the performance ensemble; continuing a permanent search of cooperation and presentation context for dance.

Her WORK has been presented internationally at:

Amperdans Festival, ART International Istanbul, Bruno Glint Gallery, Le Careau du Temple, Centre Pompidou Metz, Chez Bushwick, Circulo Bellas Artes, Coup de Ville, Cultureel Centrum, Cultuurcentrum Grote Post, December Dans, Festival Casabanchel, Festival Escena Contemporanea Madrid, Festival Rencontre Choregraphique Seine Saint Denis, Instituto Cervantes, LOOP City Screen, Monty Kunstencentrum, M_HKA Museum for Contemporary Art Antwerpen, Rencontres Choregraphiques Internationales, Troubleyn Laboratorium.



The complete spectacle is presented in a dramatic way: the webcam images that are collected are projected onto a large screen in space. Le Sacre du Printemps by Russian Igor Stravinsky forms the basis for a daring soundtrack, in which classical and minimalist electronic music is intertwined live by composer Yannick Franck.

Stravinsky was inspired by various primitive rituals in honor of the budding Spring in pagan Russia, crowned by the offering of a young girl. On those same tones, Yzermans sacrifices the privacy of the chatters by making their most private actions visible. Ordinary images and primary needs are made public and, supported by a museological set-up and classical music, sublimated into art. 

The visual input is frequently mixed and edited. The room fills with negative prints, framed images and fluorescent surfaces. Yzermans plays with photographic processes; where light is normally converted into image, here image is converted into light. The webcam images dissolve into a fleeting stream of impressions. Yzermans appropriates the bodies, intimate images and sayings of people for the benefit of a larger artistic whole. In this way she exposes the legal elasticity of artistic appropriation in a provocative way.

Concept Video / Performance Chantal Yzermans
Performance Duration 6 hours
Sound Design Live Performance Yannick Franck
Live Video Projection Gertjan Biasino
Design Platform Samyra Moumouh
Commissioned by Het Vlot Oostende / Mu.Zee
Production Radical Low

Performance History
Troubleyn / Laboratorium, Antwerpen (BE), 2019
Het Vlot_Muzee, Oostende (BE), 2017

Photography Aleksei Kazantsev
Video by Max Reyers

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NO BOLERO (2016)

Questioning the interpretation of a work of art and where does the originality of a piece stand, the focus is to join into a continuous dialogue with our artistic research and engagement on appropriation, the idea of originality, the relation between power and creativity, technology and art, dreams as intellectual property.

Chantal Yzermans' question puts at stake our own statement regarding an iconic piece of art: what we see through it, or what we are driven to see.  In NOBOLERO, Yzermans  misappropriates and even challenges the artistic movement as she reduces it to fragments, discharging the choreography from all its references, in order to extract its pure essence.  The result of connecting Dance with a Scientific research on sleep and the origins of dreams, brings a hypnotic performance, which leads us to an ancestral ritual.  Constantly navigating between reality and imagination, this personal quest drives us into the origins of mankind and our own identity, beyond the intellectual appropriation of a piece of art.

Concept  Chantal Yzermans
Original Music  Bolero by Maurice Ravel
Lecture Performance  Dr. Joelle Adrien
Costume Design  Jean Paul Lespagnard
Light Design  Elke Verachtert / Chantal Yzermans
Dramaturgy  Mark Geurden / Koen Bollen
Production  Radical Low

Jan Fabre/Troubleyn (BE)
Kultuurfaktorij Monty (BE)
Takt Dommelhof (BE)

Kunstencentrum Vooruit (BE)
Teatros del Canal (SP)

Performance History
Monty Kunstencentrum, Antwerp (BE)
Centre Pompidou Metz, Metz (FR)

Photography  Laetitia Bica

TOTEM 1942 (2014)

During ART International Istanbul 2014, Yzermans was invited to present an intervention based on the appropriation of TOTEM ANCESTOR a solo dance work made and performed by the American choreographer Merce Cunningham in 1942. Cunningham made this solo for himself in 1942, in the spring of his talent as a soloist, on a musical composition made by John Cage.

Transforming the legal restrictions surrounding the intellectual properties of this solo by Merce Cunningham, this  solo was danced by Yzermans in a private space in Istanbul while the auditory/breathing interpretation of this performance was shared publicly during the ARTinternational Istanbul and through live streaming.

Concept & Performance Chantal Yzermans
Based on the Solo Performance Totem Ancestor by Merce Cunningham (1942)
Commissioned By ART International Istanbul 2014
Performance History ART International Istanbul, Turkey (TU)

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PARTNER / YOU (2013)

The voice you hear during the performance is an instant and direct interaction call from an online sex internet website. Its robotic crude vibrations emerge from the same brutal pulsions on which Stravinsky's Rite of Spring are rooted. From today's sexual web communication back to the archaïc ritual of procreation, there is a continuum link, the link where time and space unfurl into the dance of the universe. During the performance, the dancer is online with a direct messaging website, through which people are connected at random.

This type of game brings a rhythm of gamble, as we never know who will be the chosen partner , at the same time that it designs the rhythm of the whole piece.A triangular relationship is thus created between the two performers, the audience and the anonymous partner/partners. Through this contemporary rite, Chantal Yzermans looks back on the primitive one of Stravinsky's Rite, she finds here a continuity with the pagan ritual, together with the original musical composition of the Madrilene minimal techno artist Substuff.

Premiere Festival Escena Contemporanea Madrid  February 2013
Concept  Chantal Yzermans
Dance Chantal Yzermans
Guest Performer  Carlos Aires
Music  Sacre du Printemps (Stravinsky)
Original Music  Substuff
Designer Jean Paul Lespagnard

With The Support Of
Stad Antwerpen 2013
Festival Escena Contemporanea (Madrid)
Flanders House Madrid

In Collaboration With
Jan Fabre / Troubleyn Antwerpen (BE)
Teatro Danza Canal Madrid (ES)
Kunstencentrum Vooruit Gent (BE)
Monty Kunstencentrum (BE)

Performance History
LOOP City Screen 2018, Barcelona (S)
Festival Casabanchel 2017, Madrid
(S) Cultuurcentrum Grote Post, Oostende (BE)
Coup de Ville 2016, St Niklaas (BE)
Cultureel Centrum, St Niklaas (BE)
Circulo Bellas Artes, Madrid (S) 
M_HKA Museum for Contemporary Art Antwerpen, (BE)
December Dans 2015, Brugge (BE)
Le Careau du Temple, Paris (FR)
Troubleyn Jan Fabre, Antwerpen (BE)
Monty Kunstencentrum Februari, Antwerpen (BE)
Bruno Glint Gallery, London (GB)
Festival Escena Contemporanea, Madrid (S)

Top Photo  Laetitia Bica
Middle Photo Ronald Stoops
Bottom Photo Video Screen Shot

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GUNS / ROSES (2011)

Guns / Roses is a creation based on the sport of athletics, made for one female dancer and one male soprano. Movement is the anchor, the base of it all, in which this work is confided : in its honesty and self-sufficiency. As for the color of this choreography, it is inspired by the inner personality of each performer, dancer Chantal Yzermans versus violinist and male soprano Hans Van Kerckhoven. Spanish fashion designer, Ana Locking, took a sample of her own blood and replicated it onto fabric. What seems like baroque images are but a macro photo of her red and white globules flowing through her blood.

Premiere  Casa Encendida Madrid  February 2011
Choreography  Chantal Yzermans
Scenography  Chantal Yzermans
Dance  Anastasia Savitsky 
Violin / Voice  Hans Van Kerckhoven

With The Support Of 
Vlaamse Gemeenschap 2011
Stad Antwerpen
Festival Escena Contemporanea, Madrid
Flanders House Madrid

Performance History
Festival Escena Contemporanea Madrid, Madrid (S)
Festival Rencontre Choregraphique Seine Saint Denis, Paris (FR)

Photography  Ronald Stoops

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Arena / Act Three is an in situ creation for Jan Fabre / Troubleyn Laboratorium. It was created for two dancers from the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, based on the sport of wrestling. A research between movement in sports and movement in dance, which leads to a deeper look into the nature of performance, with 'movement' as the protagonist. The experiment to introduce the language of sports stimulates to create and sign another sensitivity in the choreographic work.

Choreography / Scenography  Chantal Yzermans
Dancers  Rashaun Mitchell & Silas Riener
Premiere  Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales, Paris, May, 2010

With The Support Of
Jan Fabre / Troubleyn, Antwerpen (BE)
Monty Arts Center-Antwerpen (BE)

Performance History
Amperdans Festival, Antwerpen (BE)
Rencontres Choregraphiques Internationales, Seine Saint Denis, Paris (FR)

Photography  Ronald Stoops

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The performance is a contemporary portrait inspired by Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonate Opus 106. The score was created by the composer at the end of his life, during the turning point of Classicism and Romanticism. So it is with An Angry Boy / Act Two, unfolding into two conflictual registers the choreographer finds herself as a creator anno 2008 into a new vacuum : on the threshold of what is established and what is yet to become. Together with the dark and haunting post-punk fashion designer Andrea Cammarosano, they create An Angry Boy / Act Two.

Choreography / Scenography  Chantal Yzermans
Dance  Chantal Yzermans
Premiere Amperdans Festival 2008 Antwerpen
Live Sculpture  Nono Pesoa
Costume Design  Andrea Cammarosano
Music Hammerklavier Sonate by Ludwig Van Beethoven  
Piano Adriaan Jacobs

With The Support Of
Jan Fabre / Troubleyn Antwerpen (BE)
Monty Kunstencentrum (BE)
The City of Antwerpen (BE)

Performance History
Chez Bushwick, Brooklyn (USA)
Instituto Cervantes, Dancing Roads 2013, Bremen (D)
Monty Kunstencentrum, Antwerpen (BE)
Amperdans Festival, Antwerpen (BE)

Photography Ronald Stoops