laGeste = les ballets C de la B + kabinet k
the fusion >
laGeste came into being in 2022, from a fusion of les ballets C de la B and kabinet k. The two Ghent dance companies had a long history of collaboration and a great artistic affinity in the search for visceral storytelling. They decided to join forces and continue their work under the new name laGeste: a home both for the intergenerational practice that Joke Laureyns and Kwint Manshoven developed at kabinet k, and for the legacy of choreographer Alain Platel, who was the pivot of les ballets C de la B for more than thirty-five years.
The new narrative of laGeste is not a break with the past, but a radical continuation of the values of both companies: finding vitality, resilience and beauty where others do not seek them, creating space for ambiguous, even contradictory, contents: innocence and perversity, the constructed and the authentic, unconscious wildness and hyperconscious virtuosity. It is our way of countering the violence of the standardised representation of bodies and of creating role models where they do not yet exist.
The artistic leadership within laGeste is shared by Joke Laureyns and Hildegard De Vuyst. Laureyns is a choreographer alongside Kwint Manshoven and De Vuyst was dramaturge with Alain Platel and Jan Goossens for many years.
Within the new structure they choose to work with different makers on the creation of Grand Gestures, to invest in the development of young and ambitious dance makers through the Co-labo residencies and to radically extend an intergenerational practice to Inclusive Workshops.
Through a permanent operation, laGeste is locally embedded in its home city of Ghent, where it aims to be the place for dance creation. Through its many experiences in recent years, laGeste is part of an international web, from Marseille to Teheran, in which idiosyncratic collaborations lead to creations around the world.
about laGeste >
Each project is "un monde des possibles" populated with a diversity of bodies. Bodies carry a history. They can be weighed down by it, scarred by it, permeated by it to every pore. But a body is not a prison, a scar not a condemnation. The body also holds the promise of transformation. Bodily practices emerge from that deep connection between place and time, between individual and community. We prefer movement, produced by that connection, to words, but without excluding language.
The body is a battlefield on which the great social battles are fought.
Cisgenders versus fluids, the enterprising versus the unproductive, the excellent versus the limited, the identitarians versus those who think they can become anything and anyone, the privileged versus the decolonised, the old scarred by historical traumas versus the young threatened by ecological disasters, the haves versus the have-nots.
This polarisation has increased enormously in the last five years, and intensified in times of pandemics and other crises. With our work, we hope to create temporary spaces where we can bridge the gap between people again.
We are building an inclusive narrative, not on the margins, but right at the heart of what we do. We aim for diversity and mixability at all levels. We would like to see more reality in the represented bodies and at the same time fight for the possibility of transformation, play and poetry, of singing our way out of the boxes we keep each other in.
the place >
ADDRESS / office
Bijlokesite, Bijlokekaai 1
B - 9000 Ghent
Tel. + 32 9 221 75 01
BE 0432 292 772
Take the exit Ghent-centre. At the fork “Ghent Centre – Other Directions”, follow “Other Directions” (Alle Richtingen). Turn left after 100m (at the traffic lights beneath the motorway). You are now on the ring road. Follow the indications “N90/Eeklo”. Continue straight ahead across the Sint-Lievenslaan, then Citadellaan and the Charles de Kerchovelaan. After crossing the water, you are in the Godshuizenlaan (100m) and you can see the Bijlokesite on your right-hand side. Turn right at the traffic lights (Bijlokehof 25m) and again right in the Jozef Kluyskensstraat. Continue until you reach the water. If you now turn right, you arrive in the Bijlokekaai. Our offices are located at number 1.
There is a parking place in the Jozef Kluyskensstraat (entrance of the conservatory) or in the Godshuizenlaan.
starting at the station of Ghent St. Pieters (15 minutes walk):
Cross the Maria-Hendrika Square and turn right: this is the Koningin Elisabethlaan. Walk straight ahead. The Koningin Elisabethlaan then turns into the the Kortrijksesteenweg: walk this street until the end. At the crossing, turn left in the Ijzerlaan. The second street on your right is the Bijlokekaai. laGeste is located at number 1, 200m further on.
by public transport
starting at the station of Ghent St. Pieters (5 minutes on the tram):
Take tram 1 direction “Korenmarkt” in the tunnel of the St. Pietersstation and get off at the stop “Nassaustraat”. Cross the intersection and turn left until you reach the water (Godshuizenlaan). The Bijlokekaai is immediately on your right-hand side. Our offices are located at number 1.
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Studio laGeste is the well-equipped workplace for creation with a large playing area where daylight or blackout can be chosen. There is space for directing and storage of technical material. Lounges and showers, kitchen and terrace make it a real home, in the middle of the city. Above all, it is an inspirational place.
More info about the use of the studio: firstname.lastname@example.org
technical rider >
ADDRESS / Studio laGeste
Bijlokesite, Bijlokekaai 7
B - 9000 Ghent
routediscription (google maps) >
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Atelier laGeste, on an industrial site on the edge of town, is an inclusive workplace equipped for people with disabilities. The studio is ideal for rehearsals that require little technical supervision, and workshops.
who is who >
Hildegard De Vuyst
Herwig Onghena (business leadership)
Nicole Petit (administration en personnel)
Kasper Claeys (business-finance officer)
communication & press
Jan Mergaert (technical director)
Serge Vandenhove (technical administrator)
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Board of administrators
Marc Cosyns, Badra Djait, Patrick Allegaert, Els Vanobberghen, Lies Vanborm
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Alain Platel, Lies Vanborm, Marc Vanborm, Marc Cosyns, Gita Deneckere, Herwig Onghena, Badra Djait, Patrick Allegaert, Els Vanobberghen, Veerle Deforce, Alexander Devriendt
the renovation >
The time has come, the Maternity department of the Bijlokesite is going under renovation.
laGeste is accommodated with its offices on the first floor of Maternity of the Bijlokesite in Ghent. In October 2023 we will temporarily move to the spaces above Studio laGeste, right next to Maternity. We are looking forward to a more accessible and sustainable workplace.
You can regularly find more info on the progress of the works here.
- The first steps