In 1999, Vandekeybus was already a well-established name in the world of dance, with a number of productions behind him. His works were, and still are, praised for their intense physical and poetic qualities. However, his focus has moved from instinctive reactions and emotions to inner consciousness and to some degree also subconscious reactions and structures. The relationship between man and woman has always been an endless source of inspiration for the choreographer.
However, Vandekeybus made a radical decision in his work In Spite of Wishing and Wanting: He wanted to use only male dancers in the ensemble. The production became a smash hit all over the world. Part of the reason lies in the way he has succeeded in combining thematic risk with brilliant visuals, despite a comparative lack of resources. Well-known themes such as dreams and suffering were stripped bare of typical psychoanalytical clichés, and transformed into spectacular and poetic dance with the unmistakable Ultima Vez signature.
The production’s power stems from a seamless symbiosis between dance, theatre and film. The captivating dance is expanded and reinforced by David Byrne’s essential music, taking us into monologues about fear, the desire for safety, and the magical terror of sleep. The film The Last Words, which is part of the production, is based on two stories by the Argentinian author Julio Cortázar. Here we can see the original dancers from 1999, including Wim Vandekeybus himself.
- another remarkable production by Wim Vandekeybus' Ultima Vez company