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Kunsten Festival des Arts 2009 program announced (Apr. 30 – May 23, 2009)
 This year brings the Kunsten Festival des Arts (KDFA) of Brussels, Belgium, to its 12th holding as a cutting-edge performing arts festival. The festival’s 2009 program brings together performances of 35 works (including film) by 28 companies and artist groups at the Kaaitheater and other venues around Brussels. The opening programs are all by artists born in the late 60s or 70s. They include Association Edna La danseuse malade of the French dancer Boris Charmatz, who is also known for his work with Ko Murobushi, the Frankenstein-project of the young Hungarian stage and movie director Kornél Mundruczó, a game type performance involving the audience titled Domini Públic, by Spanish artist Roger Bernat and an installation and performance work by India’s Nikhil Chopra titled Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory Drawing which was presented at the Yokohama Triennale of 2008.

On the program from Japan is the work Suteru Tabi of the Gotanda-dan company led by Shiro Maeda. This play tells the story of siblings who go on a journey (tabi) to dump (suteru) the coffin of their just deceased father and is executed in a style rich in Maeda’s signature low-keyed humor and imagination with a simple set consisting of only four chairs.

The program also includes a varied lineup of works from some of the regulars of the European festival scene, including the opera House of the Sleeping Beauties based on the Yasunari Kawabata novel Sleeping Beauty and staged through a collaboration between the Belgian composer Kris Defoort and director Guy Cassiers, a performance of Heterotopia by The Forsythe Company, performances of the Dante’s Divine Comedie series of Romeo Castellucci’s Societas Raffaello Sanzio company and Jérôme Bel’s Un spectateur.

[About the Festival]
The Kunsten Festival des Arts (KDFA) held in Brussels, Belgium, in May each year with a program of contemporary arts centered mainly on the performing arts. It is known for its cutting-edge programming and serves as an “antenna festival” in today’s contemporary art world. The festival is actively initiates many productions involving young artists not only from Belgium but across Europe and also from the developing nations presently lacking in systems of support for the arts. Also, with the aim of longer-term nurturing of talented artists, the festival engages in multi-year joint projects and productions of new works by established artists based in Belgium and other parts of Europe for world premieres. These activities make this festival one of the epicenters of new movements and trends in the performing arts. Works commissioned or co-produced by the festival make up more than half of each year’s festival program, including several world premieres each time. The opening of the 2006 festival marked the retirement of Frie Leysen after serving as artistic director since KDFA’s founding. The new artistic Director is Leysen’s former right-hand man, Christophe Slagmuylder, and there is much attention focused on the changes he will bring to the festival.
+Kunsten Festival des Arts
Dates: Apr. 30 – May 23, 2009
Venues: Kaaitheater, others