BRUZZ - editie 1756

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Culture. Dance

P.A.R.T.S. vs the pandemic EN

They are fourteen in number, the first generation of students to complete the two-year STUDIOS master’s programme at P.A.R.T.S. dance school. Because the global health crisis has le them without a live audience for over a year now, these three graduates are eager to share their graduation projects on a real stage. — TOM PEETERS, PHOTOS SASKIA VANDERSTICHELE

a Mary Szydlowsk “The unpredictable gives me energy and makes my work come to life”

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was going to settle down here for two years in an artistic bubble, experimenting and reflecting,” Mary Szydlowska says laughingly. She is from Poland and had already completed several (exchange) projects following anthropology studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. “The STUDIOS master’s seemed ideal to me because it’s a collective pathway, yet charging your individual needs as a young maker. Moreover, the dance floor is a real work floor and research space. I was used to a much more cautious attitude where you were invariably asked to take off your shoes.” (Laughs) The link between dance space and workplace also seeps into her graduate work. For the performance and installation LEAKS, Szydlowska investigated the movements of cleaning

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and maintenance staff. “My interest took shape when I was researching the activities that took place there in between the opening hours at the Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw. Our workplaces, like public spaces and dance halls, are by default clean and empty. That condition became my context, first in the solo SOAK, in which I worked with fabrics and hand gestures derived from brushing movements. In LEAKS, I bring in larger cleaning equipment. I don’t want to hijack the movements of professional cleaners but I want to acknowledge and study what their impact is on our workplaces and how it may change our perception.” During her research, Szydlowska found that cleaning has drastically changed, from a peripheral and invisible action into one highly demanded. “The pandemic did make cleaning work even more visible. We disinfect everything, including ourselves. In a way, we have all become cleaners.” Recently, Szydlowska received a scholarship for a dance project in her home town of Krakow. But in fact, she doesn’t want to return to a country where she is not allowed to make decisions about her own body. She prefers to discover the cultural scene in Brussels, which remained closed during her time here. “Everything was so organized and predictable, while facing a living audience remains crucial for artists. I’m certainly not doing it for me. It’s communication. The unpredictable gives me energy and makes my work come alive.” LEAKS 13/6, 16 > 18.30 continuously, Wild Gallery