Rethinking Bodies – Symposium 2016 – Integrated Dance Workshop by Saïd Gharbi (Lesbgm)

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Researchers within the dance program of the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp organized for the third time an international symposium for inclusion dance. Specialists in the field of inclusion dance work with the bachelor students of dance from the Royal Conservatory and from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities from Plymouth. Dancers with different (physical) constraints form an enrichment in the student groups, so 80 dancers immerse themselves in boundary projects and processes for three days.

The invitation of different guest teachers (with their own experience in the field and view on inclusive dance) helps the rethinking bodies further in their research and formulation of research questions. It might lead to changing perceptions about integrated dance. And maybe most importantly: students of dance departments get in touch with inclusive dance, their view of dance can change because of working in a group with such a range of different abilities. Diversity. We rethink our body together.

‘JUMP WITH ME INTO DARKNESS’ (By guest teacher Saïd Gharbi and Ana Stegnar – Lesbgm)

Integrating dance and blindness : Enrichment.
‘As a blind person, I often take more risks in spaces, I don’t know. As a dancer, I need to have the entire confidence in my partner as well as my partner in me. I will make you experience spaces and relationships without seeing. You will experience actions such as walking, line, looking for an object, dancing with a partner blindfolded. How do these actions change on physical and emotional level? After this experiences we will create movements, strategies and structures permitting to move freely in the space when blindfolded. We will create dance and movement material based on strongly engaged physical presence.’

Film: Lore Loyens
Montage: Royal Conservatoire Antwerp


Born in Morocco, Said moves to Belgium with his family in the late ’60s. He becomes blind at the age of 14. As youg adult, Said meets the flemish choreographer Wim Vandekeybus / Ultima Vez in 1992 while studying at the Braille League. Vandekeybus was looking for blind dancers for one of his productions. After numerous collaborations with Vandekeybus (1992-2001- 5 creations, dance films and international tours), Saïd founds the company Les BGM. For Les BGM, Saïd creates dance theater pieces together with Ana Stegnar (Jump in a Cup of Tea 2005, Fairy Mix 2012).
His latest solo Clair Obscur (2015) was directed by Ivan Vrambout. Saïd is involved in other dance and theater projects in Belgium and abroad as actor and/or dancer, among them: In the Solitude of Cotton Fields (2001, Paul Peyskens, Brussels), This Blinding … (2006, Rahim Elasri, Brussels), Oedipus at Colonus (2006, Vincent Sornaga, Brussels), Black Wrap (2007, Theater Stap, Belgium), Niet kunnen is een kunst (2009, Bronks, Belgium), Dunkkelkamer (2011, Dries Verhoeven, Germany , Nederlands), Clarières (2012, Delphine Demont, Paris), Wenn unsere Blicke sich treffen, ist es Tag onder Nacht? (2014, Morgan Nardi, Dusseldorf), Primitifs (2015, Coma, Michel Schweizer, France) in the last year Saïd participates to pedagogical projects : he teaches for Down the Barriers (2013, Tunis), Atelier de transmission pédagogique et d’échange artistique (2014, Antananarivo, Madagascar), Festival de Marseille, Danse et arts multiples (2015), Capacitas (2015, Barcelona).

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