Vegetal Beauty + Mad Spirit

dance, hiphop, jazz

Brussels, the end  of the ‘nineties. Brussels,  the District of Europe, the headquarters of the North Atlantic Alliance and of  Euro-administration. The Brussels that is a synonym for bureaucracy, paperwork, centre, power, diplomats and delegates, sky-high prices, upper class lifestyle,…boredom.
But then there’s also the flip-side, aka “Bruxelles”: the multi-, cross-, counter-, sub-, inter-cultural, permanently sizzling melting pot. Vegetal Beauty + Mad Spirit comes from that part of town.
They were living in the same building: a group of hip-hoppers and rappers, some jazz musicians and a contemporary—dance choreographer. Their steps and soundz crossed in the corridors. So they began jamming together. The hip—hoppers discovered jazz and world music. The contemporary dancer saw incredible hip—hop combinations, opening up whole new possibilities. The jazz musicians learnt how dance began to guide and shape their music.
After a couple of months of improvisation and shared experience, structure emerged, and an extraordinary new fusion was born. “It’s a trip where the landscape is mobile and changing. The consciousness of oneself, the others, the music, the space and the time allows a particular level of consciousness peculiar to improvisation. We wish to develop a common language which evolves and feeds inside the group where each person’s experience is shared. Our core principle is to be open to other cultures. Mobility and adaptability are the driving forces to work in different contexts which allow the evolution of dance, of music and oneself.”
And the result on stage? “Vegetal Beauty + Mad Spirit... is a baobab, a galactodendron, a coreopsis, a vouacapoua..., a tree of life, the right way round, upside down, the life of a tree. The meeting of individual seeds in a garden, “Bruxelles”, watered by separate life experiences, from racial paths interlaced, the confidence – sap installed, a stem – trunk germinated. Seasonal rhythms which flow, the tree, the rhispora, the phitelephas, the paulownia, the xanthoxylum, the ziziphus... It develops, breathes, buds, sighs, blossoms, blacks out, flowers, carries spiritual fruit, loses steam, leaves, turns green again, regenerates,... Then continues its way fed by hip-hop, soul, break, jazz, rap, groove, free style, kung fu, contemporary, funk, music and dance.”

concept: Fatou Traoré (France/Belgium), Mad Spirit, Vegetal Beauty
choreography and dance: Fatou Traoré, Mad Spirit
Mad Spirit: Yiphun Chiem (Laos/Cambodia), Pascal N’Zamba (DR Congo), Mohamed “Ben” Benaji (Marocco), Said Ouadrassi (Marocco), Carolina Garcia Gomez (Columbia/Spain), Caroline Deman (Belgium/Zaire), rap: Linda Wauts (Thailand/Belgium)
Vegetal Beauty: bass clarinet: Antoine Prawerman (Belgium); bass: Luc Evens (Belgium); drums: Franck Vaillant (Belgium); alto sax: Stéphane Payen (Belgium); trumpet: Laurent Blondiau (Belgium).

organised and financed by: Cankarjev dom & Mesto žensk
with the support of: CGRI de la Communauté Française de Belgique

Date and time of event: 
Oct 12th 20:00
Place of event: 
Cankarjev dom