P.A.R.T.S. IS A SCHOOL FOR CONTEMPORARY DANCE.
IN THE FIRST CYCLE `TRAINING' IT PROVIDES IN-DEPTH TECHNICAL TRAINING.
IN THE CONTINUING CYCLE 'STUDIOS' THE FOCUS IS FULLY ON THE YOUNG MAKER.
P.A.R.T.S. MAKES NO DISTINCTION IN ITS PROGRAM BETWEEN DANCERS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS. THE SCHOOL HELPS YOUNG PEOPLE DEVELOP INTO INDEPENDENT AND CREATIVE ARTISTS.
DANCE IS NOT AN ISOLATED ART FORM.
P.A.R.T.S ALWAYS MAKES THE LINK WITH THE OTHER (PERFORMING) ARTS AND MAKES THE BRIDGE TO THE WORLD. ABOVE ALL, DANCE IS A LIVING ART, IN THE HERE AND NOW, IN DIALOGUE WITH THE AUDIENCE. THE DANCER AND THE MAKER ARE PERFORMERS, BUT ALSO THINKING PERFORMERS.
P.A.R.T.S. LOOKS FOR STRONG INDIVIDUALS who yet possess a sense of group dynamics.
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, Lausanne, in 1987.
P.A.R.T.S. is first and foremost an artistic project. The curriculum is based on Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker 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, P.A.R.T.S. sets out to be a place where critical and creative artistry can take root.
First phase. 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 Keersmaeker’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.
Second phase. In 2000, the curriculum was restructured, and P.A.R.T.S. offered two cycles of two years each: the Training Cycle and the Research Cycle, offering students who had trained elsewhere the possibility to enter directly into the Research Cycle. Both cycles started only every two years.
Third phase. In 2011, for the 2012-2016 multi-year plan, the objective was formulated to transform the pedagogical program into a 3+2 structure: a three-year basic cycle and a two-year continuing cycle. In September 2013, the transition to this new structure started. The Training Cycle was extended to three years and incorporates some of the methods and structures that were prominent in the previous Research Cycle. In the period 2015-2018, three pilot programs (of 4, 12 and 16 months) were organized as a continuation cycle under the name Research Studios, in which artistic research was central. This led in 2019 to the creation of a new two-year research program called STUDIOS. From this moment on, the policy objective from 2011 had been realised.
P.A.R.T.S. has a maximum of 50 to 60 students, 40 to 45 in the Training cycle, 10 to 15 in STUDIOS. The average age at the start of the Training cycle is 20 years, at the start of STUDIOS 23 years.
Students are selected through auditions, which are organized internationally. The student community usually counts about 25 different nationalities. The main language in the school is English. In terms of mother tongue, the French-speakers form the largest group.
TEACHERS AND FACULTY
P.A.R.T.S. doesn't have teachers who are permanently employed by the school. All teachers work on a freelance basis. Every year, the school's management puts together a new program. Some teachers come back many years in a row, for others it is a unique passage. In this way, the school can stay alert to the latest developments in the field.
To ensure continuity there are three permanent tutors. They follow the progress of the students closely, and they make the bridge between the many different teachers. The current tutors are Diane Madden (US), who danced/worked with the Trisha Brown Company in New York for almost 40 years, and two former students of P.A.R.T.S., Lise Vachon (CA), Generation III, and Manon Santkin (BE), Generation V.
For pedagogical policy, the school is advised by a Faculty. The Faculty consists of staff members, tutors and teachers. For the Training cycle the Faculty consists of 14 members, for STUDIOS of 6 members. The Faculty examines both the long-term strategic policy and the concrete implementation of the programs from year to year.
P.A.R.T.S. 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 six 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.
In 2021 work will start on a major infrastructure expansion. For P.A.R.T.S. there will be a tower with three new studios on top of each other which will become the workspaces for STUDIOS. For Ictus a completely new wing will be built and for Rosas there will be a lot more storage space.
The public presentations of the students take place in the P.A.R.T.S. studios or the Rosas Performance Space (RPS). With the new infrastructure works there will be a new smaller presentation area (for up to 100 spectators), in addition to the large RPS platform (400 spectators). An up to date public reception will also be provided, including a permanent foyer and a new kitchen for all users of the campus.