Wim Vandekeybus was born in Herenthout (Belgium) on the 30th of June 1963. His father was a vet. After finishing secondary school, he moved to Leuven to study Psychology. In 1985, however, he decided to follow a completely different path and auditioned for Jan Fabre, who gave him a part in The Power of Theatrical Madness. One year later, he founded Ultima Vez.
His first show, What the Body Does Not Remember (1987), was an international success, earning him a Bessie Award (New York Dance and Performance Award) for its innovation. And now, after almost 30 years and a whole series of films and videos, Wim Vandekeybus is still searching for novelty and innovation. “For me, the form has to be different every time,” he explains. “This is why on one occasion I might create an extremely musical show (nieuwZwart or Speak low if you speak love...), then for my next project base a film on the experiences of one man (Monkey Sandwich), why I then might switch to a classical mythology play (Oedipus/bêt noir) or even an analytical piece in which theatricality plays a major part (booty Looting or Talk to the Demon).” In all these very different productions, Ultima Vez nevertheless remains true to its own movement idiom. Tension, conflict, body versus mind, risks and impulses. Physicality, passion, intuition, instinct. These are essential elements that will always be part of Vandekeybus’ work. But on each occasion they are given a completely different appearance.
In December 2012 Vandekeybus received the Keizer Karel prize from the Province of East Flanders. This prize is awarded every three years to an artist as a mark of his exceptional talent in the field of art and culture, his commitment and his work with younger generations. One year later Wim Vandekeybus and Ultima Vez became the 6th laureate of the Evens Arts Prize. They receive the Prize for their important contribution to European contemporary dance, for their multidisciplinary work and for their social and cultural commitment.
Galloping Mind is Vandekeybus’ first full-length film.