A couple of years ago, the TV show So You Think You Can Dance became very popular in the Netherlands. It’s a talent show in which the jury is looking for the best dancer out there. I was so impressed by all the amazing moves the contestants showed. Their control over their body was phenomenal. Of course some dancers where better than others, but there was one particular choreographer who made every dancer shine: Isabelle Beernaert.
She’s a Belgian choreographer who creates modern dance choreographies. But she doesn’t just create a bunch of dance moves, she creates an entire story. All her moves have a deeper meaning. And she has a way of letting her dancers show exactly what she has in mind. Every time one of her choreographies was danced on the show, I was completely moved.
So I was thrilled to see that she was coming to the Netherlands with one of her shows last year. I could see one of her stories for real now! Except… It was completely sold out. Apparently more people feel the same about her as I do. Luckily, this year she came back with a new show: Under My Skin. And this time, I was in time to buy my ticket!
Under My Skin
The show was everything I had expected and then so much more. It was phenomenal right from the start. When the curtains opened, they revealed a woman standing in the middle of the stage, wrapped in a huge dress that covered the whole stage. It looked so impressive and reminded me of a fairy-tale.
There was a great use of lights, colors and images on a big screen behind the dancers, which gave an extra dimension to the show. They enhanced all the different moods and emotions. With each song, the atmosphere changed. It went from powerful to fragile, from intense love to intense hate and from feeling loved to feeling alone. It was not boring for a second.
The main character was awesome. He danced so powerful, his emotions really showed through his movements and he had moves I can only dream of. His red-haired counterpart was my female favorite. It’s not the dance moves that I loved most though. Despite all the incredible techniques the dancers displayed, what touched me most was their expressions and their chemistry. Those were the things that gave me goosebumps and tears in my eyes.
A lot of the music was French, which is not so surprising, seeing that Isabelle Beernaert is from Belgium. What surprised me more, was that the music was so diverse. I had expected a dance performance to stay in one particular atmosphere, I guess. But that was definitely not the case here, which made it so much more interesting. The most touching part was when the song L’aigle Noir by Barbara started playing. It’s a very emotional song for both Ruud and me as it is, but combined with the dancing and the images it teared us both up in seconds.
It was a very memorable evening. I will definitely going to see another show of Isabelle Beernaert in the future.
Isabelle Beernaert in real life
After the show, Ruud and I stayed for a drink. We were very surprised that all the dancers did too! And not only them, even Isabelle was among them. In amateur theater, this happens all the time, but with professional plays, it’s quite unusual. I have no clue of what’s the norm in dancing land, but I was very surprised to see them all mingle with us ‘normal people’.
I noticed that Isabelle Beernaert was very kind to everyone who wanted to speak with her. She signed autographs, she took pictures, she answered questions. All with a tremendous patience, although it surely must be tiring after a while. I mean, she literally could not set a step before a new person was trying to get a hold of her.
I really wanted to speak with her as well, but I always feel a bit awkward in these kind of situations. I mean, she might be famous, but she’s just a person, probably trying to enjoy her evening just as much as everybody else. Yet, I wouldn’t forgive myself if literally everyone in the room would have had talked to her except me. So after what felt like a decade, I walked up to her and told her how much I’d liked the show. She was very kind and warm to me. I even got a picture of us.
Wanna go see it yourself?
If you’ve gotten curious and would like to see the show for yourself, you’d better hurry. Under My Skin will only be performed until February 21st. That’s only a bit more than a week! I wouldn’t have a clue to whether there are tickets left, but if you’d like to know, then check her tour agenda.