Elisabeth Van Dam (°1986) is a Belgian dancer, sculptor and doctor in philosophy who trained at Codarts Rotterdam Dance Academy, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Ghent and Ghent University. She makes dance performances, sculptures, installations, drawings, music and video work as well as contemporary Gesamtkunstwerke. She also writes idiosyncratic texts that are at the same time literary, poetical, philosophical, comical, theatrical and historiographical. Her own sculpted body is her tool and brain. Training the shapes of this body, cultivating and deifying it through fitness, ballet and weight lifting, is part of Elisabeth’s daily artist life. From a sensual female gaze she creates a personal mythology: a ritual landscape between heaven and earth that is both primitive and complex, erotic yet comical, familiar yet strange. Her extravagant worlds are filled with colour, marvel, wonder, excitement, pathos and love.
Wuthering is Elisabeth’s new solo dance work, seeking to explore the brutality and primitive passion of the Gothic love story between Heathcliff and Catherine as portrayed in the famous novel Wuthering Heights (1847). Its author, the young loner Emily Brontë, was criticized to have written a ‘repulsive’ book filled with ‘unnatural horrors’ and ‘savage rudeness’. In Wuthering, like Emily and her literary creatures, Elisabeth goes for a rediscovery of her own female body and its relations to women’s capacity to be wild, bold and ‘wuthering’, both in their physical strength as in their imaginary power. She uses her sculpted limbs and sturdy muscles as the explicit metaphors for women’s implicit or hidden forces, stressing the dissolving boundaries between female and male, nature and man, the inner yearnings of two lovers, Catherine and Heathcliff.
Elisabeth’s performance is an experimental set-up for a larger dance work.
Duration: 15 minutes.
Music: @Laurens Marien (Soldier’s Heart).
Vocals: Elisabeth Van Dam and Laurens Marien
THE PERFORMANCE CAN BE SEEN ON MARCH 5TH, 9PM, WITH SUPPORTING PROGRAMME AT 8PM: GERHARDT GOTT.