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P.A.R.T.S. is a school for contemporary dance. It provides a thorough technical training to dancers and choreographers and helps them develop into independent and creative artists. But dance is not an isolated art form; it is involved in a constant dialogue with the other performing arts – music and theatre. Both disciplines figure prominently in the curriculum, as P.A.R.T.S.always works towards the actual performance, the moment when the artist engages in a dialogue with the audience – the dancer as a performer, but also as a thinking performer. The school looks for students who are strong individuals, yet possess a sense of group dynamics.
P.A.R.T.S. opened their doors in September 1995, at the initiative of dance company Rosas and the national opera De Munt/La Monnaie. Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker designed the artistic and pedagogical curriculum and is the director of the school.
P.A.R.T.S. is first and foremost an artistic project. The curriculum is based on Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker's and other choreographers' extensive artistic practice. At the same time P.A.R.T.S. is a laboratory for the future. Art is not something you can learn - but we certainly hope that the material offered confronts and provokes, that it stimulates students to form their own opinions, that it proves to be a productive basis for their future artistic practice. In a word, PARTS sets out to be a place where critical and creative artistry can take root.
Full Time, International Program
P.A.R.T.S. has a full-time program, requiring full commitment from its students. The continuous efforts expected of a dancer's body call for a corresponding level of health awareness. The school makes a contribution by offering daily macrobiotic meals to the students. Moreover several courses in the curriculum are devoted to the improvement of physical health.
P.A.R.T.S. offers two independent programs: the basic Training Cycle (three years) and the advanced Research Studios (two years)
A student who successfully finishes the Training Cycle or Research Studios receives the P.A.R.T.S. Training Diploma or P.A.R.T.S. Research Diploma.
PARTS shares its infrastructure with the dance company Rosas and the contemporary music ensemble Ictus.
The infrastructure comprises ten bright, spacious, professionally outfitted dance studios. The school has five studios permanently at its disposal. Students may make free use of these studios in the evening (18.00-22.00), during the weekends and during most of the holiday periods.
P.A.R.T.S. was founded in 1995, with the intention to provide a pedagogical anchoring for contemporary dance in Belgium, which had started in the early 1980s and had seen a quick and strong development since then. At that time, there were only a few institutions in Europe who resolutely focused on these new artistic developments. When Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker became the choreographer in residence at the national opera De Munt/La Monnaie in 1992, one of her ambitions was to answer this lack in educational possibilities for contemporary dance. She was also inspired by Mudra, the school of choreographer Maurice Béjart where she had been a student herself, and which had moved with Béjart to Switzerland in 1987.
P.A.R.T.S. started in 1995 with a curriculum of three years, with each year a new group of incoming students. From the start, the school’s horizon was international, and teachers came from companies such as those of Trisha Brown, William Forsythe and Pina Bausch, artists who were considered as the artistic pillars of the program, next to De Keerrsmaeker’s own work.
The first generation of students graduated in 1998, a group of dancers and choreographers who immediately found work in the main dance companies or attracted public and critical attention with their own creations. P.A.R.T.S. can proudly say that this has become a regular pattern.
Graduates of P.A.R.T.S. generally take a good position in the very competitive field of contemporary dance in Belgium, Europe and abroad. Graduates of the school dance in many large and small contemporary dance companies in Belgium and Europe (e.g. Rosas, Ultima Vez, Jan Fabre, Needcompany, Damaged Goods in Belgium, Pina Bausch, Mathilde, Monnier, Trisha Brown, Emio Greco and many others aborad), or built a succesful career as a choreographer ((Thomas Plischke, Arco Renz, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Claire Croizé, Mette Ingvartsen, Noé Soulier, Andros Zins-Browne, Marlene Freitas, Erna Omarsdottir, Daniel Linehan and many others).
Other former students are active in other artistic fields such as visual arts, theater, design, or took up different artistic functions after their dancing career, such as curator, dramaturge, company manager, teacher, physiotherapist…