After training at the academy in Rotterdam, the Swiss dancer and choreographer Thomas Hauert moved to Brussels in 1991 to work in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s company Rosas. He then collaborated with Gonnie Heggen, David Zambrano and Pierre Droulers. After the creation of the solo Hobokendans (1997), he founded his company ZOO. Since then, Thomas Hauert has created around 20 performances.
The work of Thomas Hauert and ZOO first develops from research on movement, with a particular interest in improvisation-based processes exploring the tension between freedom and constraint, individuals and the group, order and disorder, form and formlessness. Over the years the structure of the company has remained very stable, with several of the original dancers still currently involved. This longevity affords a depth to the choreographer’s research that one rarely encounters in the field of contemporary dance today.
Thomas Hauert is widely recognized for his original contributions to choreography: “His proliferative inventiveness does more than just exercise the imagination: it uncovers a new movement vocabulary, upsets the syntax, refines unpublished grammar rules in order to achieve singularly vivid language,” writes Rosita Boisseau in Le Monde. From Paris to Seoul, from Helsinki to Rio, his performances have been staged in over 200 different venues in 29 countries. Moreover, in recognition of his work, the company has been awarded several prizes including the Swiss Dance and Choreography Prize given to modify in 2005 and the Prize for current dance work given to From B to B at the Swiss Dance Awards 2013. Accords also earned Thomas Hauert and ZOO the distinction of being respectively chosen choreographer and company of the year in 2009 by the critic Katja Werner with the comment: “Thomas Hauert’s company ZOO, a group of responsible individuals, a community that practices the most intelligent, the most sensitive, the most spiritual, the most surprising, the bravest, the most virtuosic and the most political dance form I’ve seen in a very long time.” In 2010, the Belgian director Thierry De Mey created a film co-produced by European cultural television channel Arte, based on the ZOO’s work Accords, set to Ravel’s La Valse.
Thomas Hauert regularly participates in improvisation events around the world. Notably, he was invited by Sasha Waltz in the framework of “Vif du Sujet” in Avignon in 2000, by David Zambrano in the series “David Zambrano Invites…”, by Gonnie Heggen, Frans Poelstra and Robert Steijn for the “Tarzan” project, and by Jennifer Monson and Zeena Parkins as part of Movement Research Fall Festival in 2008. He also improvizes with musicians like Chris Corsano and Barry Guy.
The relation with music, from pop to contemporary and from jazz to baroque, plays a major part in Thomas Hauert’s work. In 2012, he was for example invited by Ircam in Paris to lead a project on the relation between improvised dance and electronic musical composition in the context of the festival-academy ManiFeste.
Source : site de la compagnie