ANN VAN DEN BROEK

WArd/waRD is the Dutch-Flemish dance company of Belgian choreographer Ann Van den Broek. In the year 2000, after an active and successful career as a dancer, Ann Van den Broek decided to dedicate herself entirely to growing and developing as a choreographer. She founded the dance company WArd/waRD and has been working on her uniquely characteristic body of work ever since. Over the past years she has left her mark on the dance scene in Belgium and the Netherlands, and she has also built a solid reputation in the international dance world.

Early on in her career as a choreographer she developed her own movement language: emotional minimalism. Her work is often described as raw, dynamic, radical, uncompromising and brutally honest. It is based on fundamental, yet simple human needs, such as making contact with others, satisfying needs and survival. Her work is known to be very detailed and multi-layered.

At the beginning of her career she focused primarily on the body in movement. Gradually, the use of live video, live sound and sign language grew in importance. In her work, dancers often produce sounds with contact microphones and these sounds, along with the original composition, the movements and the video projections, come together to form a total experience. Lately, her work can also be performed in ‘alternative spaces’, such as museums or exhibition spaces. This allows her to get closer to her audience, as well as attract a new audience.

Her work has been nominated several times for the Zwaan (Swan), the most prestigious dance prize in the Netherlands presented by The VSCD (Dutch Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors), and again in 2017 for her latest work: AccusationsThe Black Piece (in 2015) and Co(te)lette (in 2008) both won the ‘Zwaan’ (Swan Award – NL) for Most Impressive Dance Production.

Ann Van den Broek has also received the Dioraphte Dance Award for The Black Piece. This award is given to a choreographer working in the Netherlands who has strong international potential. A jury of international programmers awards this prize to a choreographer whose work has made a strong impression on them at the Dutch Dance Festival.

The Co(te)lette Film, a film adaptation of Co(te)lette made by British director Mike Figgis, won awards at film festivals in Los Angeles (USA), Nicosia (CYP), Brussels (BE) and San Francisco (USA). Ann Van den Broek is also the recipient of the Mouson Award (2009/2010). The Mouson Award is an initiative of the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt (Germany).

The Lady in Black, a documentary about Ann Van den Broek made by director Lisa Boerstra, was in March 2015 first screened in Cinedans Festival – Dance on Screen in EYE Amsterdam and subsequently broadcast on Dutch national television.

The festivities of WArd/waRD’s 15th anniversary program in 2015 included the presentation of the book, protect/perform. Protect/perform looks over a period of fifteen years in the development of Ann Van den Broek’s artistic career. Based on conversations with author Marcelle Schots, reflections and many never-before-published photographs, it sheds light on the context that inspired Van den Broek to create her body of work.

WArd/waRD is performing more and more abroad and will do so in the future. Last year for example WArd/waRD performed in Switzerland, Lithuania, Poland, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and in France.

Photo by: Maarten van den Abeele