This publication focuses on the performing arts in Flanders for young audiences. It contains information on the most important producers, a series of pictures of interesting projects with international potential, an overview of recent artistic developments, and a sketch that gives insight into the landscape’s organisation and the way in which performing arts for young audiences are made and appreciated. The book is intended thereby to provide the reader with an overview of recent developments in this unique field, which, according to Jeremy Boomer Stacey (IPAY), might well be ‘the best kept secret in international performing arts for young audiences’.

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Arts Flanders aims to become the international point of reference for information about the Arts and Cultural Heritage in the Flanders region and about artists from Flanders who are active abroad. There are specific subsections, one of which is devoted to the news about the Flemish performing arts with international relevance:

For an overview of the most important producing companies in Flanders, visit the ‘Producers‘ section on the VTi website.

VTi also offers recent outlines of the Flemish performing arts landscape.


Children’s and youth performing arts

The Flemish children’s and youth performing arts are a prized export. In the 2009-10 season Flemish youth productions were presented in other European countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria, Great Britain and Denmark, as well as further afield, in Canada, the United States, and even Australia and New Zealand. Both established names and new faces are doing well internationally.

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The Flemish theatrical landscape is a rich and varied field with an unrivalled dynamism. The driving force behind this dynamism is rooted in the developments of the eighties, when theatre-makers like Jan Fabre, Jan Lauwers, Jan Decorte and many others set their sights on the very essence of theatre, namely the concept of theatrical representation. Add to this the absence of a clearly defined canon or tradition, and the structural influence of performance art on theatrical practice, and you get a fundamentally different vision of the role of the actor.

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 Contemporary dance from Flanders is a household name in the international dance world, and it has been exactly that for more than 20 years already. It is, however, becoming more and more difficult to make an accurate description of this so-called ‘Belgian style’. It used to be all about intense movements and odd, often black clothing, wearing sneakers and boots while dancing, and lots of chairs on stage. Today, choreographers such as De Keersmaeker, Vandekeybus, Platel or Fabre are still highly regarded and important.

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