Generation XIII - the podcasts

A three-year journey into the lives of five students at PARTS, the renowned school for contemporary dance in Brussels. Through interviews and voicenotes recorded on their mobile phones, we follow Kia from New Zealand, Zoé from France, Marllon from Brazil, Renátó from Hungary and Eleni from Greece. Each episode covers a semester at PARTS, from September 2019 until their graduation in the Summer of 2022.

Generation XIII is as much about dance as it is about the thrill and challenges of starting a new life, of learning and working hard, of homesickness, coming to grips with cultural differences, seizing life, forging friendships and having fun.

Concept, realisation and editing: Delphine Hesters
Coaching: Nele Eeckhout (Audiocollectief SCHIK)
Mixing: Brecht Plasschaert
Theme music: Carlos Garbin
Visuals: Davy Denduyver, based on drawings by Jeanne Colin & Killian Madeleine
Production: Delphine Hesters
Coproduction: PARTS, Concertgebouw Brugge, Kaaitheater, PACT Zollverein, STUK, Dansens Hus Oslo, DESINGEL, Etcetera
With the support of: Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie Brussel
Episodes 5 & 6: release Autumn 2022

Episode 1. This school is about the students
September 2019: the 40 students of Generation XIII gather on the school premises with great enthusiasm and nervous giggles for the start of their training program at PARTS. In this first episode, we learn what is specific to the school and how classes like ballet, performance analysis and rhythm present each of our five protagonists with their own, different challenges. It’s about the thrill and uncertainties of the start of a new life. How to find your bearings in a new city and within a new community while missing your loved ones back home? How to unlearn what you have previously been taught and start building anew?

Classes featured in this Episode
1. Contemporary, David Hernandez (to Havana Rhythm Dance of Auntie Flo ft Andrew Ashong) 2. Singing, Lucy Grauman 3. Rhythm, Michel Debrulle 4. Contemporary, Laura Aris (to Another White Bird of Wovenhand) 5. Music analysis, Mattijs Van Damme (to Quatuor VII ‘Opentime’ 21 variations Pour Quatuor à Cordes of Pascal Dusapin, played by Arditti Quartet) 6. Ballet, Janet Panetta (live piano by Pieter Smout)

Episode 1 can be found here

Episode 2. Who would have thought that we couldn’t touch anymore?
Halfway into the first school year at PARTS, the creation of a solo and the first intense theatre workshop push the students into new territories. The Coronavirus then hits Brussels and forces the school to close its doors. Just when friendships have started to take root, the group is forced to scatter. Some students return to their families in different parts of the world, while others have no choice but to stay in Brussels. How to dance when others have to be kept at a distance? How to move in a bedroom of 8m2? How to learn through a 13” screen and with all your peers far away?

Classes featured in this Episode
1. Contemporary, Laura Aris (to Sleeping Up of David Byrne) 2. Theatre workshop, group guided by Eva Schram 3. Ballet, Libby Far (live piano by Pieter Smout) 4. Contemporary (online), Diane Madden 5. Artistic Practice (online), Alexander Vantournhout (to Meteor Crater Part One of Andrea Belfi) 6. Gyro Ballet (online), Libby Far (live piano by Pieter Smout) 7. Contemporary (in Dudenpark), David Hernandez (to Let’s Stay of Hector Plimmer)

Episode 2 can be found here

Episode 3. Adapt, adapt, adapt
After more than five months apart, the students of Generation XIII reunite in Brussels - both elated and uncomfortable, due to the mandatory face masks, the 1.5m distance rule and the impossibility of giving spontaneous hugs. At the start of the school year, the mood is defined not only by the Corona pandemic, but also by the Black Lives Matter manifesto that students had addressed to P.A.R.T.S. just before the summer. This will be a year of adaptation, bubbles, quarantines and sub-bubbles... and a short escape to La Palma. Living in constant uncertainty, the pressure on the mental wellbeing of these youngsters is high. How to deal with a pandemic, far from home, while keeping your focus on your schoolwork?

Classes featured in this Episode
1. Workshop Rosas repertory Drumming, Taka Shamoto, Ursula Robb, Clinton Stringer and Sue-Yeon Youn (to Drummingof Steve Reich, performed by Ictus) 2. Contemporary, Alesandra Seutin (to live music of Zouratié Koné) 3. Ballet, Libby Far (live piano by Pieter Smout) 4. Contemporary workshop Trisha Brown, Diane Madden 5. Workshop Flying Low, David Zambrano 6. Students practicing on Suena of Ondatrópica.

Episode 3 can be found here

Episode 4. I know myself better, thanks to Corona
The turn of the year marks a low point in the students’ resilience and morale. The school has lost the sense of home it previously gave them. With little to engage with outside of P.A.R.T.S. and with the diversity of the problems of the students highlighted, tensions can run high. But through this hardship, friendships also become more profound. And the students experience that growing up is first and foremost: learning to live with yourself.

Classes featured in this Episode
1. Rhythm, Michael Schmid 2. Contemporary, Laura Aris (to music of Roger Marín) 3. Singing, Lucy Grauman (Ach Elslein, Lieber Elslein of Ludwig Senfl) 4. Workshop Cunningham, Cédric Andrieux (to live piano by Pieter Smout) 5. Ballet, Douglas Becker (to live piano of Bart Van Bulck) 6. Contemporary, Cassiel Gaube 7. Trio presentation of Zoé, Eleni and Macarena (to Joseph Haydn string quartet, live by Ellen Van Neste, Ine Van Dyck, Saar Van Bergen and Emiel Vertongen) 8. Rhythm by Kaja Farszky 9. Contemporary, Laura Aris (to music of Samir Kadribašić for Under The Eyelids of Zagreb Dance Company)

Episode 4 can be found here

A 265083875 Photo Paul Taylor KIA
Kia. Foto: Paul Taylor

Kia’s Portrait
Find out the background story of Kia Jewell (New Zealand)

You can hear the portrait here.

Kia was born in Johannesburg, South-Africa to a father of English descent and a mother of Indian-Angolan-Portuguese origin. When Kia was 8, they moved to New Zealand, away from the violence of her hometown. Kia breathes dance. She started at an early age with tap and jazz later learning ballet and contemporary dance. By the age of 15 she’d started a professional dance training, finishing her high school studies by correspondence.

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Renato. Foto: Ariadna Navarrete

Renato’s Portrait
Find out the background story of Renátó Miskolczi (Hungary)

You can hear the portrait here

Renátó grew up in a small town on the outskirts of the Hungarian capital Budapest. Renátó started ballroom dancing after his basketball team folded. He started contemporary dance classes as he believed they would improve his ballroom skills, but eventually decided to pursue his training in contemporary dance. He considers himself first and foremost an artist, with dance as one of his many possible tools.

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Marllon. Foto: Tine Declerck

Marllon’s Portrait
Find out the background story of Marllon Araújo (Brazil)

You can hear the portrait here

Marllon grew up in favela da Maré, in Rio De Janeiro, experiencing the hardship of life defined by the lack of means and the poor health of his parents. As a teenager, Marllon started dancing to the songs of Beyoncé and Rihanna in a small room at home with his friends and in the clubs of Rio. Eventually he followed dance and theatre classes in a school in his favela, which lead the way to contemporary dance. Marllon is drag queen Havenna Beck.

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Zoe. Foto: Tine Declerk

Portrait of Zoé
Find out the background story of Zoé Lakhnati (France)

Your can hear the portrait here

Zoé was born in the South of France and grew up alone with her single mother, surrounded by their artistic family. Zoé finished a professional ballet training before she realised that ballet-company life was not for her as she prefers to explore her own artistic voice.

Eleni. Foto: Tine Declerck

Portrait of Eleni
Meet Eleni Roberts from Greece.

Your can hear the portrait here

Eleni grew up in the heart of Athens, the daughter of a choreographer and an architect. Even though as a toddler she spent days in a dance studio with her mother, she first focused on her athletics track and field training and piano courses. Eventually she found her way back into the dance studio.