Begüm Erciyas
Hands Made

In Hands Made, the visitors’ own hands take center-stage. Separated from the rest of the body, yet in intimate proximity to each other, they will be the focal point of a speculation on the past and future of hands, of handwork, and of the sense of touch. What have these hands been busy with and what will they do in the future? Who or what will they touch?


Concept and direction: Begüm Erciyas
Sound design: Lieven Dousselaere, Matthias Meppelink
Scenography: Élodie Dauguet
Artistic collaboration: Jean-Baptiste Veyret-Logerias, Matthias Meppelink
Dramaturgy: Jonas Rutgeerts
Production management: Maru Mushtrieva
Set realisation: Studio Zuidervaart
Special thanks to: Gaëtan Bulourde, Robert Ochshorn
Production: Outline
Distribution: Something Great
Co-production: DeSingel (Antwerp), Tangente St.Pölten Festival für Gegenwartskunst (St.Pölten), PACT Zollverein (Essen), Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), SPRING Performing Arts Festival (Utrecht)
Residencies: Kunstenwerkplaats (Brussels), Tokyo Arts and Space (Tokyo), La Ménagerie de Verre (Paris), Kunstencentrum BUDA (Kortrijk)
Supported by Flanders State of the Art and the Tanzpraxis stipend of the Senate Department for Culture

Begüm Erciyas/Daniel Kötter
Contribution for Shared Landscapes

In this collaboration titled Contribution for Shared Landscapes, Begüm Erciyas and Daniel Kötter reflect on the significance of the vertical perspective on the landscape - a perspective constructed through satellites, maps, drones and mining resources -, as well as the fiction of a no man’s land constructed through these means. To this large group of audiences present on the landscape, they offer such an experience of an empty landscape. A landscape emptied of all human traces and viewed from above, now free to be once again occupied.


Daniel Kötter’s and Begüm Erciyas’ VR installation: You rise vertically out of the forest with it, glide upwards along the tree trunks thanks to the ascending eye of a camera drone, hover above the treetops, also feel a bit of the wind that causes the aircraft to sway, and recognize buildings far away on the horizon that are likely to be those of the Giga Factory of the e-mobile manufacturer from faraway America. Kötter and Erciyas combine the local experience with information about the border region between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which is also fought over by drones and has become the target of armed conflicts because huge gold deposits lure under the layer of earth. Kötter and Erciyas introduce the vertical dimension into the landscape view and complement the romantic vision with the mechanical one.
Tom Mustroph in TAZ (DE)


Concept & creation: Begüm Erciyas and Daniel Kötter
Curation: Stefan Kaegi and Caroline Bernaud

Ula Sickle
Holding Present

Holding Present is a new collaboration between choreographer Ula Sickle and the contemporary music ensemble Ictus. Holding Present examines how an individual gesture can become a powerful collective act. Weaving a fabric of existing and newly commissioned compositions by Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, Stellan Veloce and Didem Coskunseven, a group of seven performers slowly and consciously build a moment, a momentum, moving toward the breaking point where individuals become a critical mass.

The performance stages unusual instruments such as a swinging bull roar, aluminum tubes, handheld rocks and megaphones, as well as a modular synthesizer. The dancers and musicians collaborate to realize both the musical and choreographic score. The performers engage with each other on new terrain, charting lines of flight in the present. And while they build over the duration of the piece, the audience integrates into the fabric. They too become part of the moment, becoming responsible for momentum.


Ula Sickle’s choreography is immediately appealing, with clear, powerful gestures that speak of resistance, uprising and combat: arms raised, hands open, fists crossed, head dodging blows: gestures that are repeated from one dancer to the next, almost in canon, as the movement becomes collective, culminating in a climax of intensity and fervor carried by all participants. Amanda Barrio Charmelo and Mohamed Toukabri, in black tunics and pants, soft high-top sneakers (like the rest of the troupe) dance a duet, a more intimate, fluid moment of floor choreography during the improvisation of the musicians on the perimeter of the stage. They are also at their posts for the performance of A giant Blowing machine or a pocket tin sandwich by Berlin-based composer, performer and Sardinian cellist Stellan Veloce. The instruments used here are harmonicas and megaphones, which amplify the harmonicas, reactivating the idea of collective protest.
– Composer avec L’espace à ManiFeste, Michèle Tosi for Hémisphère Son, June 2023


Concept & choreography: Ula Sickle
Concept & musical direction: Tom Pauwels (Ictus)
Composers: Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, Stellan Veloce and Didem Coskunseven
New Instruments by: Gert Aertsen
Creation and performance: Amanda Barrio Charmelo, Marina Delicado, Marie Goudot, Ruben Martinez Orio, Michael Schmid, Mohamed Toukabri, Tom Pauwels & Ula Sickle
Light & Sound creation: Ofer Smilansky
Scenography: Richard Venlet
Costumes: Wang Consulting
Dramaturgical Assistance: Persis Bekkering
Production: Ictus & Outline
Co-commission of the piece by Didem Coskunseven: Ircam-Centre Pompidou and Ictus
Coproduction: Ircam/Les Spectacles vivants-Centre Pompidou, Concertgebouw Brugge, KWP (in Pianofabriek), Perpodium
With the support of: Flanders State of the Art, Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts

David Weber-Krebs

Durations is an ongoing series of performances curated by David Weber-Krebs in and around a glass house on top of the city. For this format, a series of practitioners are invited to think and develop an intervention with a durational dimension.


Invited artists: Bryana Fritz and Henry Andersen - Nick Steur - Phréatiques: Julien Bruneau, Anouk Llaurens, Sonia Si Ahmed, Michaël Grébil - The Ambassadors of Cribbage
Curated by: David Weber-Krebs
Co-curated by: Rita Hoofwijk (Durations 4)
Production and communication: Alice Ciresola
Graphic Design: Amina Saâdi
Supported by: Flanders State of the Art

Begüm Erciyas
Forest Silent Gathering

For Forest Silent Gathering, a group of audience members meet inside a forest at sunset and follow a soundtrack through headphones. An audio-social architecture is created, in which one can possibly be alone together. Changing distances invite to find new proximities. Absent figures become protagonists. As the communal space takes shape and transforms, Forest Silent Gathering makes us reflect on the bonds between people, forests and histories. What is it that keeps us together?


Forest Silent Gathering is Begüm Erciyas’ second performance in public space, after the successful Letters from Attica . This time, that space is not the busy city, but a quiet forest on the periphery. In the Kalmhoutse Heide, together with musicians Eric Desjeux and Matthias Meppelink, she brings a group of people together and lets them experience togetherness through an extremely simple but smart sound performance.
–Jasper Delva, etcetera magazine, May 2022


Direction: Begüm Erciyas
Realised with: Matthias Meppelink, Jean-Baptiste Veyret Logerias, Maru Mushtrieva
Sound Design: Eric Desjeux
Dramaturgy: David Weber-Krebs & Jonas Rutgeerts
Research: Ayşe Orhon, Sara Manente
Prop design: Günbike Erdemir
Production: Hiros
Co-production: deSingel, STUK, Arcadia 2022, PACT Zollverein, Platform 0090, Kunstenwerkplaats
With the support of: Vlaamse Overheid
Thanks to: Homo Novus Festival, Musica Impulscentrum voor Muziek

Ula Sickle
Echoic Choir

Nothing left to dream. Climax, anti-climax. Repetition, endless repetition. A thousand plateaus of crescendo. From the novella Last Utopia, by Persis Bekkering.

A collaboration between vocalist Stine Janvin (NO) and choreographer Ula Sickle (CA/PL/BE), Echoic Choir evokes the ritual of coming together on a dance floor around music in the late hours of the night. Relying on the power of acoustic voices and spatial resonance, with minimal amplification and effects, the project aims to create a collective and immersive sensorial event. Placing the performers and the audience in a shared space, such as a rave or nightclub, sound, choreography and the visual aspects of the work, such as light, create a strong synesthetic experience for the audience.

Echoic Choir was developed during Covid with strict parameters and physical distancing in mind, but the performance and set-up has shifted with each presentation of the work. In its minimalism, Echoic Choir breaks down the club experience to its essentials. In an immersive light setting, voice and body are at the center. The music is a patchwork of interlocking rhythms, hockets and words coming from the performers’ voices and bodies as they breathe, sing and move. Worn like a second skin, their collective sweat drips from their latex outfits. The spectators presence adds a level of density to the space, blending together with the performers, they embody a new kind of communal ritual.


Echoic Choir‘s Berlin debut recently took place as part of this year’s Club Transmediale Festival (CTM)–a natural fit for the festival’s “Transformation” theme. Within the roughly hour-long show, an ensemble of six performers transformed the space into a re-interpretation of the club environment. The interdisciplinary show asked the audience to take part in their “collective ritual” in which the performers moved around the space, creating club-like beats and rhythms with their voices. A highly interdisciplinary piece, Echoic Choir includes poetry written by the Dutch writer Persis Bekkering, and custom costumes designed by Joelle Läederach and Sabrina Seifried (Wang Consulting).
– How ‘Echoic Choir’ brought the club back to CTM festival Caroline Whiteley for Electronic Beats, September 2021


Concept & composition: Stine Janvin
Concept & choreography: Ula Sickle
Performance: Michelle Cheung, Stine Janvin, Cara Tolmie, Sidney Barnes, Ula Sickle & Annalise Van Even (originally with Roman Ole, Rishin Singh)
Research: Amanda Barrio Charmelo, Lisa Vereertbrugghen
Light: Ofer Smilansky (originally with Marcel Webber/MFO)
Sound: Raphaël Hénard (originally with Olivia Oyama)
Libretto & dramaturgy: Persis Bekkering
Costumes: Wang Consulting
Shuffle Steps inspired by: Harrison and Hlyan
Graphic design: D-E-A-L
Coproduction: Wiener Festwochen, MUNCH (Oslo), STUK House for Dance, Image and Sound (Leuven), Dampfzentrale Bern
With the support of: the Flemish Community, the Flemish Community Commission, DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program
Residencies: Kunstenwerkplaats (Brussels), DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, Dampfzentrale Bern
Tour management: Joëlle Laederach
Production & diffusion: Future Works & Outline (Brussels)

David Weber-Krebs
The Silencing

What kind of attention do we give to the sounds of the environment we inhabit? What sort of agency do we have when these sounds start to disappear? The Silencing is a sensitive exploration of the role of the spectator in a theatre space. It mirrors what is happening outside of it – the profound impact that human activity has on its physical surroundings. On stage, a group of young storytellers establishes a shared practice of listening by interweaving autobiographical narrations, speculations, and audio recordings. They fill the theatre space with words and sounds. Until words fail them and there are no more stories to tell.


Concept & direction: David Weber-Krebs
Dramaturgy: Simone Basani
Performance: May Abnet, Ashley Ho, Julie Mughunda in collaboration with Ezra Fieremans
Sound composition: Pali Meursault
Costume Design: Aidan Abnet
Light design: Pablo Fontdevila
Set design advice: Paola Villani
Technical director: Pablo Fontdevila
Coaching of the performers: Isabelle Barth
Communication: Alice Ciresola
Production: Infinite Endings
Co-production: Kaaitheater, New Theatre Institute of Latvia & Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam (for act: art, climate, transition), C-TAKT, Buda, Wpzimmer and Walpurgis
With the support of: Monty and Kunstenwerkplaats
Funded by: Flanders State of the Art
Thanks to Q-O2, de School van Gaasbeek vzw, Jonas Rutgeerts, Leonie Persyn, Radical_hope

Begüm Erciyas
Letters from Attica

From prisoners to travellers, people have endured or enjoyed solitude of many sorts. They have resorted to writing letters as a means of communication with their closests. Sam Melville has done so from the Attica high-security prison, which he entered after bombing several governmental and cooperate buildings in 1969 in protest of the Vietnam War. At Attica, he played a key role in empowering and uniting the divided camps and races of inmates in the struggle for justice and human treatment, ultimately leading to the prominent 1971 Attica prison uprising. He would be shot and killed by police during the uprising. While outside, Sam repeatedly expressed his disappointment by others and he preferably acted alone. Once in prison, after an initial phase of isolation and despair, he soon became close to several black and Latino leaders. As his relationship with other inmates grew, his perception of what was possible at Attica changed. One day before his death, during the Attica Riots, while standing in a line of men with arms linked, he said to a negotiator: “whatever happens, tell everyone that people here are as together as I once hoped they could be on the outside.” The text used in Letters of Attica is solely a re-composition of fragments of Sam’s letters written between 1969 and 1971 in prison.


Perhaps this is where the ultimate goal of Letters from Attica lies: the staging of a simultaneously intimate and socially shared space of interpersonal collaboration, one in which the performative speaking that accompanies the relationship with the other makes for an element of unpredictability, despite the imposed language. It is not so much the reference to the character of Sam Melville that gives Letters from Attica a political charge, but the reflective nature of this contingency.
– Rudi Laermans, etcetera, September 2020


Concept: Begüm Erciyas
Developed with: Sara Manente, Katja Dreyer, Gaëtan Boulourde, Maru Mushtrieva, Ayşe Orhon
Dramaturgy: Dries Douibi
Live intervention: Sara Manente, Katja Dreyer, Gaëtan Boulourde
Production management: Barbara Greiner, Klein Verzet
Produced and presented by: Kunstenfestivaldesarts
With the kind support of: Workspacebrussels

Ula Sickle
The Sadness

Three young people are sitting in their backyard. Making beats, writing songs for no one in particular, copying dances from the internet. And waiting. What else is there to do? The end of the world has already happened.

The Sadness is a choreographing of contemporary melancholy in the form of a concert. Created in 2020 during the height of the pandemic, the performers wrote their own songs reflecting on the ecological crisis and prevalent feelings of futurelessness. On stage, they play their songs live using an app designed especially for the project. Delving into the genre of sad core music, voices filter through auto tune, their singing merges with pulsating pop rhythms and heavy bass. Their voices becoming one with the machine.

The Sadness explores live music making as a collective act that forges new connections, between the present and possible futures, between bodies and words, between humans and the non-human.


Concept & direction & video & laser: Ula Sickle
Lyrics & creation & performance: Sidney Barnes, Ashley Morgan, Amber Vanluffelen (originally with Camilo Mejía Cortés)
Sound design: Lynn Sue
Additional musical arrangements: Ashley Morgan
Light design: Ryoya Fudetani
Sound technique: Noé Voisard
Video technique: Tim Wouters
App design: Black Adopo
Music samples: Ken Roy Johnson (guitar & synth), Tom Pauwels (guitar)
Vocal coach: Didier Likeng
Writing coach, research: Maru Mushtrieva
Dramaturgy: Persis Bekkering
Costume design: Sabrina Seifried
Graphic design: Julie Peeters
Co-production: CCN-Ballet national de Marseille in the frame of accueil studio - Ministère de la Culture, STUK House for Dance, Image and Sound (Leuven), donaufestival (Krems), Pianofabriek / Kunstenwerkplaats (Brussels), workspacebrussels
With the support of the Flemish Community, the Flemish Community Commission and the Canada Council for the Arts
Tour management: Joëlle Laederach
Production and diffusion: Future Works

David Weber-Krebs
The Death of Ivan Ilyich

The performance The Death of Ivan Ilyich is an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s novel, known for the accuracy and irony with which the dying process is depicted. “A direct face-to-face encounter with death”, as the author himself once defined it. This adaptation takes the relationship between Ivan Ilyich and his compassionate servant Gerasim as the starting point for exploring a very specific relationship of care, the one for someone who is dying. As in Tolstoy’s novel, the performance gradually progresses towards a contraction of time and space that slowly leads to the death of the protagonist. The spectators are gathered in a theater to witness Ivan Ilyich passing away. In less than an hour, Ivan Ilyich will be dead. What is dying? When does it begin? And above all, when does it end?


Concept & direction: David Weber-Krebs
Performance: Sonia Si Ahmed and Ezra Fieremans
Lighting design: Martin Kaffarnik
Sound design: Diana Duta
Dramaturgy: Clara Cucchi
Production: Infinite Endings
Communication: Alice Ciresola
Commissioned by: Festival Wunder der Prärie, Care City in Mannheim
Thanks to: Wpzimmer, C-TACT, Kunstenwerkplaats

Begüm Erciyas
Voicing Pieces

In Voicing Pieces, one’s own voice is staged to become the protagonist. In the intimacy of an isolated sound booth, guided by a simple score, the audience becomes spectator of their own voice. The act of speaking and simultaneously hearing one’s own voice turns into a theatrical and choreographic experience, sculpted anew with each individual interpretation of the score. The voice becomes a place for action, a spectacle or a surprise. Isn’t one’s own voice always inauthentic and uncanny? Who is speaking, when one’s own voice speaks? Rather than recognizing oneself in the stranger, Voicing Pieces is an invitation to recognize the stranger in oneself.


Concept: Begüm Erciyas
Realization: Matthias Meppelink and Begüm Erciyas
Dramaturgy: Marnix Rummens
Text: Matthias Meppelink, Begüm Erciyas, Jacob Wren
Set Realization: Tim Vanhentenryk
Artistic collaboration: Jean-Baptiste Veyret-Logerias
Production Management and PR: Barbara Greiner
Production: Begüm Erciyas, Platform 0090
Coproduction: wpZimmer, STUK Leuven, Tanzfabrik Berlin/ Tanznacht
Research Support/ Residency: Kunstencentrum BUDA Kortrijk, Q-O2, FrankfurtLAB, Tanzrecherche NRW, Goethe Institut - Villa Kamogawa
Supported by: Hauptstadkulturfonds Berlin

Ula Sickle

A black flag floats in continuous motion. Its movement and the flapping of the fabric become both choreography and sound. Presented as a single continuous action, Relay draws its inspiration from the many recent protests taking place around the globe, the mass marches in Poland, in defense of women’s rights, called “Czarny Protest” (Black Protest). The black flag cannot be linked to one particular battle and hence defies easy interpretation. The Polish Canadian choreographer Ula Sickle and a diverse group of performers relay one another in a fascinating test of endurance. Their movements pass back and forth between inertia and hope, resistance and powerlessness. They each individually take on the responsibility to keep the flag moving, but it is the collective effort required that makes Relay such a powerful symbol. In an unplugged version of the performance, presented out-of-doors, the performers partner with the wind to keep the flag afloat.


“In light of the heritage of May ’68, the worldwide shift to the right leaves a bitter taste. In 1968 we asked for so much more than we got, but what we got back then is still more than what we have left today, says political theorist Chantal Mouffe. (…) Conservatism and racism are soaring, neoliberalism has depleted the welfare state and climate change is spiraling out of control… Regarding these historical evolutions, Sickle also wants to raise the bigger question of how resistance is still possible in a system that has managed to incorporate every form of opposition. Which individual and collective agency are we left with?”
– Charlotte de Somviele


Concept, performance & choreography: Ula Sickle
Sound concept & design: Yann Leguay
Live Sound: Yann Leguay / Raphaël Hénard
Original Cast: Popol Amisi, Liza Baliasnaja, Sidney Barnes, Amanda Barrio Charmelo, Mavi Veloso, Mohamed Toukabri, Nathan Ooms
Also performed with: Cherish Menzo, Wei-Da Chen (Vienna), Ashley Ho, Edward Lloyd (Amsterdam), Assana Buaro, Catarina Marcos, Ana Isabel Castro, Jorge Goncalves (Porto) Elie Autin, Marius Barthaux, Collin Cabanis, Karine Dahouindji, Adél Juhasz (Geneva)
Created with the support of: Nuit Blanche 2018, Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek

Since 2021, the unplugged version of Relay is part of the art collection of the Flemish Community (Collectie Vlaamse Gemeenschap)

David Weber-Krebs

Balthazar is a piece for one animal performer and six human performers. The protagonist is a donkey named Balthazar who is central to every action that takes place on stage. The project was inspired by Robert Bresson’s film Au hazard Balthazar (1966), which tells the eventful life story of a donkey. Balthazar is a long term artistic research project by theatre maker David Weber-Krebs and dramaturg and theorist Maximilian Haas which looks at animals and their position in Western culture. So far three performances were produced in cooperation with theater and dance schools and staged in theaters in Brussels, Hamburg and Amsterdam in 2013 and 2014. The three pieces were evolving in different branches/disciplines of the performing arts, namely theater, dance and music. All three had different conceptual focuses derived from the works of three philosophers that shaped the contemporary discourse around animals and animality most prominently: Gilles Deleuze, Donna Haraway and Jacques Derrida. The project is constituted by performance pieces, a book, numerous lectures and written contributions.


Concept & direction: David Weber-Krebs
Concept & dramaturgy: Maximilian Haas
Performance: Julien Bruneau, Alondra Castellanos Arreola, Philipp Enders, Sid Van Oerle, Noha Ramadan
Costumes: Ebba Fransén Waldhör

Space advice: Alexander Schellow
Production: Elisabeth Hirner/Infinite Endings
Co-production: HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Next Festival, Inteatro, Mousonturm