Théâtre de Liège

16 & 17 May 2023

'Neighbours' is a raw, powerful collaboration by two extraordinary artists each from a distinct movement and cultural heritage.

Pioneering abstract b-boy Rauf “RubberLegz” Yasit and established contemporary dancer Brigel Gjoka were inspired by their time on William Forsythe’s A Quiet Evening of Dance. Both at the cutting edge of their disciplines, they’ve created a work that brings together their diverse expertise and draws influence from their Kurdish and Albanian roots. A new choreographic language forms as they examine moments of transformation and contemplation at the crossroads of urban, classical and contemporary dance. Through their shared experience a simple truth emerges, that dance is part of being human.

For a piece that opens in silence, 'Neighbours' is – unexpectedly, ebulliently – chatty. Elbows exchange fireside stories, joust and frolic. Arms intertwine, rebutting, remembering, rejoicing. Knees and hips angle and unfold into intricate, unspoken patter. Generations of memory surface in the graze of fingers on a shoulder.

Inspired by a suggestion from William Forsythe during the making of A Quiet Evening of Dance, Brigel Gjoka & Rauf Yasit began improvising kinetic patterns together. They delve into the overlap of movement languages inherited through folk dances and communal celebrations, Albanian for one, Kurdish for the other.

They explore how these histories pivot through the distinct experiences of each – specifically, ballet and contemporary dance for Brigel; b-breaking, improvisation, design & animation for Rauf – only to intersect, to transform when they meet. For dance, they remind us, is not a product: it is part of the human process. Statutory warning: When it is, there will be joy. One that is blessedly infectious.

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