O amor natural

Andrew Graham

"I realized that the presence, the proximity, the openness of another body can be an answer to a relational need, a motivation to dance. Dance then becomes an emancipated environment that can respond to our needs and intentions."

Andrew Graham

info production


O amor natural goes beyond the binary codes of yes and no and explores consent in all its non-verbal richness: whispers, body temperature, breathing, gaze and speed of movement weave a web of intimacy. The concept of consent raises many questions about care practices, but also about sexual and artistic practices. How do we know and how do we communicate what we do and do not want? On what basis can we consent to a practice that is still foreign to us?

For people with disabilities, touch is often associated with a medical act, as if their bodies are objects to be manipulated and moved without regard to their physical and emotional needs, in a relationship that is necessarily devoid of any sensuality. O amor natural is about giving ourselves the chance to express the complexity of touch in our relationships, where we often only allow ourselves to conceive of touch in a medical or sexualised relationship.

Andrew Graham sums it up this way: "Care, romance, fluid identity and fantasy all come together in this choreographic creation, conceived as a series of non-verbal haikus. Poems choreographed around touch and the possible relationships of trust between bodies such as the tension between two bodies, two hearts in a tango, for example." The keywords in this physical creation are desire, love, pleasure, consent and limitation.

Over the course of his choreographic work with a variety of audiences, including people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ individuals, migrants, older people and professional artists, Andrew Graham has repeatedly witnessed a relational need and the lack of contact that leads some people to dance. "I realised," says the choreographer, "that the presence, proximity and availability of other bodies can be a response to this need and is a motivation to dance. Dance then becomes an emancipated environment that can respond to our needs and intentions."

Six performers are at the heart of the show: Amir Sabra, Tijen Lawton, Isnelle da Silvera, Wim Auwerx, Vladimir Perrin and Maarten Degezelle. The cast brings together different worlds in terms of age, (in)visible disability, ethnicity, libertine or conservative minds, experience with dance and inclusive practices.

Andrew Graham is also counting on the participation of the laGeste choir. This group of volunteers was formed in 2019 as part of Mein Gent. Led by Steven Prengels, the choir forms a network of friends and enthusiasts of almost 100 people committed to social, artistic and community actions fundamental to the well-being of Ghent. Steven Prengels, composer of Gardenia, En avant, marche!, Nicht schlafen, Mein Gent and Ombra by Alain Platel, is responsible for the soundscape of O amor natural.



concept & direction Andrew Graham
with Amir Sabra, Isnelle Da Silveira, Maarten Degezelle, Tijen Lawton, Vladimir Perrin, Wim Auwerx
Steven Prengels in collaboration with the choir of laGeste
dramaturgy Hildegard De Vuyst
touring Helena Elshout | laGeste

laGeste (Gand, BE)
supported by
City of Ghent, Flemish Authorities and the Belgian Federal Government's Tax Shelter measure through Flanders Tax Shelter

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