Be a Part of P.A.R.T.S. Summer School

May 29, 2012

Still deciding what to do with your summer? Here’s a dance program I can personally recommend: the P.A.R.T.S. Summer School in Brussels, which runs July 2–27 and is open to students of all levels over age 16.  P.A.R.T.S. is the contemporary dance conservatory affiliated with the company Rosas, directed by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, whom I admire in a big way. While De Keersmaeker doesn’t teach at the summer school, you do get to learn her repertory (like Elena’s aria, Achterland, Drumming, Rain, Zeitung, and The Song), taught by a faculty of incredible artists, many of whom have danced with Rosas and other highly regarded European companies.

When I attended the Summer School in 2010, I spent mornings taking contemporary class with either Dominique Duszynski, a former Pina Bausch dancer with an affectionate teaching style, or Roberto Olivan, a Catalan choreographer who theorized that dancers (at least those hoping to find jobs) need to be as daringly acrobatic as circus artists. In the afternoons, I took a Drumming repertory workshop with Clinton Stringer, one of the most good-natured yet challenging teachers I’ve ever had. Coming from New York, which does, indeed, sometimes feel like the center of the universe, I found it refreshing to have this exposure to an entirely new international dance community. It was hard work, but the schedule included a restful lunch break (I opted for the macrobiotic meal plan—surprisingly tasty) and time to explore the city during evenings and weekends. While Brussels is considered one of the busiest dance hubs in Europe, summer seems to be an off-season for performances, though I did find my way to a couple of terrific outdoor music events.


In the past couple of years, the Summer School curriculum has expanded to accommodate more levels (from “amateur/basic” to advanced) and workshops in composition, improvisation, tango, and various approaches to dance-making and performance. You can register for one week or more (no audition required), and the school can help you find accomodations. For more details, visit —Siobhan Burke


Photo: The sign outside the Rosas/P.A.R.T.S. headquarters.