Artist in Residence Guy Cools collaborates with UBC faculty and students

by Paul Marck

Artist in Residence Guy Cools collaborates with UBC faculty and students

Dance dramaturge Guy Cools is the 2012 Artist in Residence for UBC’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.

The stage is set at UBC’s Okanagan campus for the creative and critical works of Belgian dance dramaturge Guy Cools.

Cools, the 2012 Artist in Residence for the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS), brings a wealth of international experience as a teacher, writer, dance dramaturge and lecturer. A dramaturge acts as dramatist, advisor, literary editor and liaison with authors and playwrights.

Spanning the month of March, Cools’ residency includes class visits, a performance workshop, public lectures, and dramaturgical work on a performance created by guest instructor Ame Henderson and Bachelor of Fine Arts students in the Interdisciplinary Performance program. This full-length performance will be presented at the Kelowna Community Theatre on April 2, 3 and 4.

“My research as a dance dramaturge focuses on an open, somatic form of dramaturgy that works with the diversity of the people, languages and cultures involved. As such it is also particularly useful for devised theatre and transdisciplinary processes,” says Cools.

“With my creative partner Lin Snelling, we recently started new research in how to integrate polyphonic movement, voice and creative writing in an improvised, performative practice.

“During my residence at UBC’s Okanagan campus, I am looking forward to sharing my own experience with colleagues and students — and also to be inspired by them.”

On March 15 at the Kelowna Art Gallery, Cools’ talk entitled “The Mythic Body” develops the dialogues of Joseph Campbell and Stanley Keleman that propose all myths are stories about the body. The talk will be illustrated with the work of Belgian-Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

Trained as a dramaturge, in the 1990s Cools became the theatre and dance director of Arts Centre Vooruit in Ghent, Belgium. As vice-president of the Dance Council he contributed to the cultural policy towards dance of the Flemish community. He curated dance events in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, and Venice.

Cools then dedicated himself to production dramaturgy for dance companies in Montreal, Toronto, Cyprus, and London. He co-developed a series of workshops to support the creative process of artists, in particular choreographers. He regularly gives lectures and publishes in Belgium, Canada, the U.K., Germany, Holland, Greece and Cyprus.

Currently based in the Netherlands, Cools is the house dramaturge for Danshuis Station Zuid and associate lecturer at the Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten.

2012 Artist in Residence public presentations

Artist Talk: The Mythic Body (Thursday, March 15, 7-9 p.m. at Kelowna Art Gallery, 1315 Water Street, Kelowna, BC). Free event, open to the public. For more information visit

Public performances: Monday, April 2; Tuesday, April 3; and Wednesday, April 4. All shows 8 p.m. at Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water Street). Admission: $5 students, $10 general public.

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