Piet Van Dycke: "I hope Tilburg continues to dream".

| Sanne Leenders

He is a creator, choreographer, dancer, physical performer, coach and teacher: the Flemish Piet Van Dycke is only 24 years old and does it all. In Tilburg he is already working on his way. In a month's time we will even be able to see three of his works at Festival Circolo. For Piet our city is his base: "Tilburg really fulfils his task to give the art student perspective and to participate in the current climate and to search for solutions like during corona. Nevertheless, he hopes that Tilburg will continue to dream. "Break the bubble and stay alert." How about that? You can read it here in this new unfiltered edition.
Photo's: RAWCAT Media

In the intro you already got a little foretaste of the daily life of Piet. But, did you know that this wasn't all he does yet? In addition to everything Piet also has his own dance and theater company called Collectief dOFt. "I'm very difficult to categorize, because I'm in the theater -, dance -, as well as circus circuit. They are all loose threads running through each other, but my main profession is creating and playing performances. The variety makes me like to do it. I come to so many places and meet so many people. I take all that with me as a creator. One makes that I can do the other. That's how everything comes together again."

Makershuis Tilburg

That his energy doesn't go unnoticed becomes clear when Piet wins the unique Jacques de Leeuw prize during his graduation year at the FHK (Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Tilburg). This prize offers young and talented artists the opportunity to develop themselves and stimulate their ambitions. Piet explains: "The prize has helped me to build up my network and as a result I ended up at the Makershuis Tilburg: the breeding ground for young Tilburg creators who can take their first steps towards their own creations very casually. In Tilburg everything revolves around working together with both institutions and artists. When I give guest lessons at Fontys I always keep this in mind. Who knows, maybe I can discover new talent for a future project."

All the way from Leuven is here...

Piet! We thought this headline was appropriate, we're still a bit theatrical. But it's also the question, because what makes a creative person like Piet come all the way to Tilburg from Leuven? And how does someone decide to choose for his fascination with circus? Piet says: "As a child I was already at a circus school, but at first I wanted to become a doctor. I had decided that I would first study Latin and then mathematics, but the grades didn't stimulate me enough. You can't confuse the facts. When the question is solved, you're done. That's completely different in the performing arts. You're never finished there. Even when a performance has premiered, it remains exciting. The quality must always remain high, even if you play something so often. So, Piet took the bold step and auditioned at FHK Tilburg. Why Tilburg? Doesn't Belgium have any dance education? "Belgium also has dance education, but in my opinion Tilburg was much more open to creativity. The first thing you have to do during an audition is a technique lesson. I didn't start dancing until I was 17, so that technique wasn't at a high enough level yet, but the FHK in Tilburg was the only academy that looked through it. A lack of technique, but the potential. They are open to foreign projects to build your network. Yes, I could really express myself there. For me it was the best place to study!"

Piet studied performing dance for a total of 2 years and later switched to the bachelor choreography, in which you are supported in creating performances and building your own cultural entrepreneurship. "This education should be much more appreciated. People don't choose this course very often and that's a real shame. The guest teachers are quality creators from the field and the school continues to innovate. I can recommend it to everyone!"

"In the present I work with the tools of the past"

Between 16 and 25 October we will not only see Piet's work shine at Festival Circolo, he will also play along! "In this period I live roughly in the Leijepark", Piet jokes. "October will be exciting for Tilburg. I get to present no less than three performances: On Point, A matter of time by TeaTime Company and on/off in collaboration with Tilburg theater maker Peter van der Heijden, with whom I won the Jacques de Leeuw prize. All three different performances, but I definitely recommend them!" But picking one? Pete can't do that. The modesty speaks for itself: "Just come and watch all three! Festival Circolo is really fun for young and old. Here they present contemporary circus with fully-fledged performances ranging from touching to grand. It's a mix that satisfies everyone! I think Festival Circolo is a forerunner within contemporary circus, because they give new creators a stage, like now in projects supported by Keep an Eye Foundation. Within this project they guide graduates of the ACAPA (Academy for Circus and Performance Art Tilburg). Eventually, both their own culture and international companies will get a chance to show themselves."

"Tilburg continues to feel like coming home"

"During the corona crisis I was not allowed to cross the border for a long time, but once back in Tilburg it continues to feel like coming home. My own work and friends are mainly located in this city. I feel that the Tilburg authorities really believe in what I do. I feel trusted there. Still, Tilburg is loud in the beginning for a subdued Fleming like me. The average Tilburger doesn't have a filter. That really is a strength, but also a weakness. On the one hand because you always know where you stand, on the other hand it can make you very insecure. I remember everyone saying: 'Tilburg? What are you looking for there?' I really hope that more people go to Tilburg, because it has so much to be proud of. Take for example De Pont museum, super fun".

"Tilburg can be proud of the fact that they don't stand still"

"The city continues to develop presentation platforms and invest in new creators. The openness is really great! The great thing about Tilburg's artist community is that they are looking at how we can contribute something to the city. Take Kaapstad, for example, or Get together, in which the Vloeistof dance company and young makers talk to passers-by on the street. They enter into a dialogue with the people to bring culture to the inhabitants. This open communication that the Tilburger carries out between the residents and institutions is very valuable and certainly something they should continue to do.

"Tilburg, stay alert!

You certainly wouldn't have missed Piet's praise of Tilburg. But he also has an unfilterd opinion, although translated into a wish: "I wish Tilburg would sometimes break the bubble to its creators. Once you're in the bubble, you have opportunities. But I hope that there is enough eye for continuing to appreciate new influences from new people. That they keep their eyes open for new talent and new developments. Tilburg must remain alert. That means continuing to look for ways to bring society and art together even more. And don't get me wrong, they are already doing that well! I just hope that Tilburg will always keep a critical eye on its own developments. Tilburg, keep dreaming. I like to build on the future together with the city."


Within this section we give creative Tilburgers a stage. A Ticket to... the expression of their unfiltered opinion about the city. Are you curious who also has something to say about Tilburg other than Piet Van Dycke? Then you should definitely read these interviews: