As a child, the Moroccan-Belgian choreographer Cherkaoui (1976) wanted to draw reality. When the two-dimensionality of pen and paper no longer sufficed, he started dancing. Dance was like a temporary sketch of reality, as the drawing disappeared when the movement ended. From dancing, he moved to choreography. His performances are like storybooks in movement, which speak indirectly about the world around us, whether nearby or far away. And preferably they reveal both worlds at once, in a dance idiom that blends the best of extremely diverse styles and traditions into an exciting whole.
The dance magazine Ballet-tanz nominated him ‘Choreographer of the year’ in 2008, and in 2009 he was presented with the prestigious German Kairos Award. Sutra, Myth, Origine, OOK, and Apocrifu are just some of the productions he has created in recent years. With Toneelhuis in Antwerp, he did the choreography for Guy Cassiers’ House of the Sleeping Beauties and for Olympique Dramatique’s Adams appels.
In January 2010, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui founded his own company, Eastman, which is currently in residence at Toneelhuis. With this company, he recreated Foi at the beginning of 2010, and has created new works, including BABEL (words) and Play. His previous productions, such as Faun, Dunas, Apocrifu and Sutra, continue to travel the world. In June 2011, Larbi is also the choreographer of Labyrinth, created for the the Dutch National Ballet.