After studying at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and touring with the Phoenix Dance Theater in the United Kingdom, Judith moved back to Belgium in 2010, where she took a course in performing arts production for the first time (Sabbattini – DeSingel). knowledge as a producer, to continue and share her passion for moving bodies. By performing, collaborating, creating, teaching and coaching, she remains inspired to continue growing through movement. As artist in residence at C-mine cultural center, she created Dagbreek (2012), Beautiful Self (2013), Same Self Defined, 28 years later (2015) and is now touring Bored To Death (2017) and Lichtzoet (2018). She also enjoys working with semi-professionals, youth groups or amateurs and organizes dance courses that focus on choreography and co-creation such as Dans Verder and DansLab. In this context, she also creates commissioned works (You Are My Surface, Holdings Space, Diep Verdwaald, Vol Confidence, Moondays …) in collaboration with Passerelle, Danspunt and C-mine cultural center. She is part of the Antwerp Yoga team and since 2018 she has been artistic coordinator for Passerelle, a platform for dance.
Photo: Maarten Mellemans
In her multimedia performance Genderless, Maryam K. Hedayat explores the need for a new definition of gender. Genderless seeks answers to the question of whether and how we function based on traditional concepts, stories and clichés to identify male and female roles. Does dominant (visual) culture maintain ingrained thinking about gender? How are patterns of gender inequality honored and highlighted? How much do certain historical, cultural, popular and/or current views on gender still weigh in our thinking today? Can we break through basic thinking about being male/female? Can we create new archetypes? What definitions and concepts are there? Or should there be no definition at all? Should we strive for a queer society?
Through interviews, Maryam examines how language, imagery, culture and religion are responsible for a masculine or feminine connotation of certain concepts and ideas. How strongly is our image shaped by background and culture? What role do myths, fairy tales, archetypes play? What is the influence of ‘feminist’ writers such as Simone De Beauvoire, Judith Butler or Virginia Woolf? In this artistic research, Maryam K. Hedayat mixes interviews, new and old advertising and film fragments, new media and communication tools into a theatrical video installation. In an audiovisual landscape she creates a dialogue and points of view are released to the viewer. The audience finds itself in a multimedia landscape and is an active witness.
A man is stuck in the middle of a crowd. She is surrounded by other people who watch her fight against time, fight choices, fight the rhythm, fight her own critical mind. Who’s fighting? Her body fights. Her body fights against her limiting beliefs. Her body fights for our tiring one-eyed behavior and searches for new and real connections. Who wants to play? Play and risk loosening up our way of living.
Humans are physical beings… where are they going? That is the central question of my new (solo?) work that I am making. In a consumer culture where our minds do the work and enjoy themselves afterwards, our bodies are abandoned and connections are lost.