Pieter Desmet started his dance training at the Kunsthumaniora in Brussels, after which he continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, where he graduated in 2018.
Since 2019, Pieter has been dancing with Ultima Vez / Wim Vandekeybus in the performances TRACES, Hands do not touch your precious Me and Scattered Memories. He also works as a freelance dancer for, among others, OESTER / Aïda Gabriëls and Chris Snik. He can be seen in the film installation Carriers by Koen Broos, and in music videos by the electro-pop band Fortress and the noise-rock band La Jungle.
Pieter also teaches contemporary dance technique at, among others, the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp (BE), Performact in Torres Vedras (PT), the DO-Festival (PL) and the International Dance Week Budapest (HU).
Since 2017, Pieter has been researching his own multidisciplinary work with the overarching theme of identity development. In 2019, he founded the art platform Persona together with dancer and dance therapist-in-training Steffi Mennen and audiovisual artist Jonathan De Maeyer. Within this they collect their individual work and develop and (co-)create within their shared research The Body as Manifestation of Identity.
Photo: Nathan Ishar
MY AUGUST FEELS LIKE DECEMBER wordt een multidisciplinaire performance en installatie waarin individuele rouwervaringen een gemeenschappelijk karakter krijgen door een ruimte te bouwen waarin rouw op aanvaardbare wijze met anderen kan worden gedeeld. Vertrekkend vanuit de herinnering belichaamt en materialiseert het artistieke team individuele rouw en vervreemding van de wereld waarna ze zichzelf zowel fysiek als emotioneel transformeren. Ze onderzoeken hoe hun eigen lichaam reageert op verlies, maar ook hoe een overlijden ruimte kan scheppen voor groei en ontwikkeling als individu.
The need to realize MY AUGUST FEELS LIKE DECEMBER stems from Pieter’s personal experience with the loss of his parents, and how that shapes him as a person within a rushing society that leaves little room for introspection and expression about loss. Grief and sadness are feelings that everyone has to deal with sooner or later in their own way. This project aims to connect individual grieving experiences and offer them an artistic and communal framework.
MY AUGUST FEELS LIKE DECEMBER creates a space of reflection where the metamorphosis of the individual makes room for collective transformation. Where it becomes acceptable to share grief. Where individual grief takes on a communal character. Where the visitor can be comforted by the shared experience with a stranger.
Pieter starts this project close to and from the moving body, but relates it to several other disciplines. The central medium of dance resonates further in digital video art, sound design, scenography, costume and lighting design and invites the visitor to a committed presence. All these media together play an equal role in the universal meaning of the work.
MY AUGUST FEELS LIKE DECEMBER will be an intimate experience between the visitors and the performers. Together they become one community where comfort and hope predominate.