Kunstenfestivaldesarts 2023 – A celebration of contemporary creation

Claire Cunningham - Thank You Very Much @ Sven Hagolani

From 11 May to 3 June, Kunstenfestivaldesarts celebrates contemporary artistic creation with theatre, dance, and performance from around the world and locally. With artists  from 28 countries and a Free School dedicated to the political dimension of language.  

Welcome to  Kunstenfestivaldesarts 2023! 

The festival welcomes artists who have previously appeared at the festival –Nadia Beugré,  Sarah Vanhee, Wichaya Artamat, Faustin Linyekula, Dana Michel, Amanda Piña,  Trajal Harrell and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker –and quite a few or the first time– Adam & Amina Seid Tahir, Susanne Kennedy & Markus Selg, Gosia  Wdowik, Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Ça marche, Claire Cunningham, MEXA and many others. 

Three weeks of adventurous artistic work anchored in today’s world come to life in over thirty locations across Brussels, with several projects taking place in the public space or at exceptional locations like the Duden  Park, nightclub C12, a skate park, and the Théâtre Royal des Galeries. 

Creations that mimic and reinvent reality 

The 28th edition of Kunstenfestivaldesarts opens with Angela (A Strange Loop), a world creation for the main hall of Théâtre National by celebrated German theatre-maker Susanne  Kennedy. Presented for the first time in Brussels, Kennedy’s theatre work is characterised by a post-humanist aesthetic and a multimedia approach. In a television studio, we see the reconstruction of a day in the life of a woman named Angela. What actions define her? Can she escape repetition and reinvent herself? Midway through the festival, Scottish choreographer Claire Cunningham, who identifies as disabled, joins a group  of performers with disabilities to present a powerful piece about refusing to adhere  to normativity. Through the phenomenon of ‘tribute artists’, the ensemble in sparkling  costumes subverts the myth of the ideal body. 

The festival will close with Amanda Piña’s EXÓTICA, a re-reading of European dance history that takes a close look at exoticism. On the stage of the Théâtre Royal des Galeries, dancers of colour evoke amidst a breathtaking scenography their spiritual ancestors through a rousing ritual and engage in dialogue with the audience. These three creations by female theatre-makers for the large auditorium depict new realities, new norms, and new histories.