Two Flemish films were accepted to screen at the Cannes Film Festival, which began this week. Badpak 46 (Swimsuit 46), about the trials of being a large-size adolescent, is in competition for the Golden Palm for short films. The 15-minute film is the graduation project of Wannes Destoop. Blue Bird, meanwhile, the second film by Gust Van den Berghe, who won plaudits last year in Cannes for his Little Baby Jesus of Flandr, is part of the festival’s Director's Fortnight. The film is based on the play by turn- of-the-20th-century Flemish writer Maurice Maeterlinck.
It’s been quite a month for Flemish choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Just two weeks before the Paris Opera Ballet performs her 2001 piece Rain — the first time one of her full-length productions is being performed by a company other than her own – the American Dance Festival announced that they are giving her their Lifetime Achievement Award. Former recipients of the !50,000 award include Trisha Brown, Pina Bausch and Martha Graham. De Keersmaeker released a statement on 29 April, International Dance Day:
“I think dance celebrates what makes us human.
When we dance, we use... the mechanics of our body and all our senses to express joy, sadness, the things we care about.
People have always danced to celebrate the crucial moments of life, and our bodies carry the memory of all possible human experiences.
We can dance alone, and we can dance together. We can share what makes us the same, what makes us different from each other.
Dancing is a way of thinking. Through dance, we can embody the most abstract ideas and thus reveal what we cannot see, what we cannot name...
I think that ultimately each dance is part of a larger whole, a dance that has no beginning, and no end.”