Zijden stad / Ville en soie > 20:30
22/05 > 15:00

Dito'Dito & KVS are drawing up an inventory of their polyglot, multicultural city. Around them, several Brussels artists tell of their own experiences and their hopes for the city. Zijden Stad / Ville en soie [Silk City] evokes the precious fabric which forms our capital city, making light of language which can sometimes create a divide. Through gesture and (why not?) dance, this new team tells of "its unwavering faith in the city as a laboratory for the cohabitation of tomorrow."


Jozef Fruçek

By and with:

François Beukelaers, Guy Dermul, Katrien De Ruysscher, Youssef Elajmi, Nedjma Hadj, Cécilia Kankonda, Yves Marina Gnahoua, Mohamed Ouachen, Dett Peyskens, Nourdine Sahli, David Strosberg, Willy Thomas, Mieke Verdin

Preparatory workshops:

Alain Platel


Hildegard De Vuyst

Assistant to the Director:

Inge Floré


Bart Luypaert


Lies Van Assche


Claudine Bogemans

Hairdressing and make-up:

Annie Vermeiren

Production Manager:

Lieven Symaeys

Technical Director:

Gérard Maraite


Benoît Van Innis


Hans Roels


Dito'Dito & KVS (Bruxelles/Brussel)


Festival Scènes étrangères, La rose des vents / Scène nationale Lille Métropole/Villeneuve d'Ascq (Villeneuve d'Ascq), Toneelhuis (Antwerpen), Kunstencentrum Vooruit (Gent), Théâtre National de la Communauté française (Bruxelles/Brussel), KunstenFESTIVALdesArts


KVS, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

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Zijden stad/Ville en soie

(Silk city)

The softness of silk. Not precisely a material that we associate with the city. The city is rather experienced as a rough problem area with torn social tissues, crime, a deficient environmental planning, isolation, alienation, unrest and conflicts.

Zijden stad/Ville en soie tries to make its way through the tears, in search of the “costly silk” of the contemporary city tissues. The participants have all been living and/or working in the city of Brussels for many years. In this project, they depart from their own life, as they live or dream it.

Dito’Dito and KVS jointly searched for many-voiced, multicoloured all-rounders to be part of this project. The result is above all a team with a past, in which different artistic ways have crossed each other before. The core of the project is composed of the four Dito’Dito members: Guy Dermul, Nedjma Hadj, Willy Thomas and Mieke Verdin. They are joined by old acquaintances like the actors Kadi Abdelmalek and Mohammed Ouachen. The musician Dett Peyskens and the rappers Rival and Defi J already participated in previous Dito’Dito projects. Furthermore, there are the old KVS-retainers François Beukelaers and Katrien De Ruysscher, the director David Strosberg (Schitz), who all realised projects for KVS in the past. Some of the participants, like Cécilia Kankonda and Yves-Marina Gnahoua, come from Greenlight, a group that operates under the wings of KVS.

Language is often a stumbling block. Language can drive people apart, even if they are bi- or multilingual. Language can be an unfair weapon. Therefore, Zijden stad/Ville en soie attempts to look beyond language, through the gesture, the move, and why not: dance? It may open doors that would otherwise remain closed. And here we have something, shared by all the team members: some kind of steadfast belief in the city as a laboratory for the society of tomorrow, the city as an opportunity. In spite of – or maybe thanks to, all obstacles.

After a promising preparation phase under the direction of Alain Platel, the working process will be further steered in the right direction by the Slovakian theatre maker and dancer Jozef Frucek (Blush and Sonic Boom with Wim Vandekeybus).

Hildegard De Vuyst

Translated from the Dutch by Taal-Ad-Visie

KVS & Dito’Dito, a new story

KVS and Dito’Dito go for a common future, based on their clear artistic and content-related affinities. The four artistic members of Dito’Dito (Guy Dermul, Nedjma Hadj, Willy Thomas & Mieke Verdin) are joining the artistic backbone of KVS (Hildegard De Vuyst, Jan Goossens & Ivo Kuyl). It implies the end of Dito’Dito as an autonomous structure. Together, both artistic teams will form the base of the KVS-company from January 2006 onwards.

The urban track, started by Dito’Dito in 1994, undoubtedly contributed to the creation of a breeding ground for the current KVS-project. There were informal and formal meetings, in which many ideas were brought into focus. But moreover, the intense cooperation and the co-productions with Dito’Dito also gave shape and visibility to the precise scope of the KVS-project. We refer to Boumkeur/Gezegd en gezwegen (KunstenFESTIVALdesArts 2002), S.T.O.E.M.P. (April 2003), 313/Misschien wisten zij alles (February 2004) and Zijden stad/Ville en soie (KunstenFESTIVALdesArts 2005). As that cooperation was an almost daily practice, both artistic entities grew closer and closer towards one another and their common ambitions in Brussels at the beginning of this 21st century became more and more evident. The reality of Brussels is like a pair of glasses we want to put on for the coming years, when we look at the KVS’ artistic project. It is our wish to participate, in all modesty, in the preparation of the city of tomorrow.

But apart from shared visions, there are also differences, particularly the clash of the protagonists’ ‘mental’ spaces. For 15 years, Dito’Dito was active on the fringes. It always had to compete against the establishment. On the other hand, KVS was still in the centre (of power and resources), even in days when the artistic theatre was stagnating. And there are more conflict points: at the bottelarij, KVS (and Dito’Dito) used to be marked by an aura of poverty and need. How can we take the thus created gaps (e.g. for vulnerable groups in our society) into richly flickering buildings in the city centre? How can we prevent that some people get all the credit, prices rocket, and the mechanisms of exclusion set in again? We can only try to remain consistently attentive. Finally, it will take some time to give all those differences a place within an infrastructure that we don’t even entirely know today.

It is also clear that the season 2005-2006 will be one of transition, even if from this week on, the company in the making will be having weekly meetings to discuss the decisions for 2005-2006. It will be a season of transition in more than one sense: during that season, KVS will in any case open the doors of the renovated theatre hall on Lakensestraat and eventually have the entire new infrastructure at its disposal. However, transition does not mean that we want to slow down or that our choices become vaguer. In fact, ‘transformation’ might be a better term, because KVS has the ambition to reveal itself once and for all as a real urban platform, with and for the city.

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