Alexander Vantournhout & Emmi Väisänen / PARTNERING

Handshakes and other snakes / Open level

The first points of contact are often with hands and wrists (handshakes, pull and push, touch). From these points we have developed unconventional exercises and will invite the participants to focus on finding the complexity and imagination for new possibilities with another body.

We propose very specific movement situations where we aim to obtain principles (rather than forms) where the body and the mind are challenged to discover situations that are unfamiliar and we aim to approach partnering from a different angle. Later on, in the proposed partnering situations, the initiation of the movement is unreadable – who is leading and who is following? We believe that the interaction with another body should take place with availability, understanding, predicting, improvising and negotiation. Problems and solutions to those problems arise almost simultaneously, and the state of imbalance is constantly at stake.

You can watch workshop trailer here.

Trailer of performance “Screws” choreographed by Alexander.


Emmi Väisänen (Finland/Belgium)  is a contemporary dance artist. She studied dance at Turku Conservatory in Finland and S.E.A.D (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance), Austria. Since 2015 she has worked with choreographers such as Alexandra Waierstall, Claire Croize, Etienne Guilloteau/ECCE, Julia Schwarzbach, Rakesh Sukesh.

Alexander Vantournhout (Belgium) studied single wheel, juggling and dance acrobatics at ESAC (Ecole Supérieure des Arts du Cirque, Brussel). From 2010 till 2012 he studied contemporary dance at P.A.R.T.S (School of Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker), created several dance pieces. He taught regularly at ESAC and ACAPA (Academy for Circus and Performance Art, Tilburg, NL) and was a guest lecturer at Codarts (NL), Verigo (IT), Plesni Center, Marbior (SL), Travno Center, Zagreb (HR), Circuscentrum, Concervatoire de Mons (BE), Concorde-Montreal (CA), Hong Kong Circus (CHN). Alexanders teaching is inspired by the Fighting Monkey practise, which he has been practising a decade now. There are two constant factors in the work: his search for creative and kinetic potential in physical limitation, and the relationship or boundaries between the performer and the object.

In 2018 Alexander Vantournhout presented his creation “Aneckxander” in New Baltic Dance festival in Vilnius (trailer here).