My love for what I do and what it brings me and others is much bigger than any setback.
It’s said that even before her entrance into the world, Laura Vanhulle’s sole purpose was dance and movement.
Hailing from the beautiful country of Belgium, Laura has captivated viewers over the years and opened her own performance art company, the Vanhulle Dance Theatre in 2013.
Along with her team of fellow dancers and creatives, the Vanhulle Dance Theatre transforms performance art and expression into a tool of transformation and empowerment. This nomadic Theatre is its own unique, revolutionary kind of stage: teaching, choreographing and collaborating with artists of different mediums in different spaces to inspire positive change, empowerment, and connection.
We are delighted to have Laura Vanhulle join us on the CARAVANAFreethinkers stage as an agent of change and positivity as she shares the beauty of dance with the world.
I’ve expressed myself through movement for as long as I can remember. My body knew how to move.
When was it that you first felt your passion for dance and movement, what about this kind of self-expression you were drawn to the most?
When I was in my mother’s tummy. During one of the check-ups, the doctor had said that there was more than one baby, perhaps a “twin or triplet”. After the scans and discovery that I was alone, he declared that I would be a “footballer”. I’ve always been curious about movement and hypersensitive to space. I walked on my hands before I walked on my feet. I’ve expressed myself through movement for as long as I can remember. My body knew how to move.
The world of dance seems like an intensely competitive arena, almost cutthroat. Was there ever a moment, or a series of moments where you doubted your path and the anecdotes that pulled you through.
I still face these questions often, however, my love for what I do and what it brings me and others is much bigger than any setback. As long as movement is a part of it, I get excited no matter what style or art-form gets involved, it excites me.
What has been your most emotional performance, a moment that took you outside of yourself that felt truly magical?
‘Moo Shim’ was created by my partner Oliver Robert Russell and me during the lockdown. It was always a dream of mine to have a partner I could perform with. It was the first time that either of us had performed after a 1.5 year lockdown.
As long as movement is a part of it, I get excited no matter what style or art-form gets involved, it excites me.
Are there moments when the lines have blurred between dance being work and being your passion, and how have you reclaimed your love for movement if you’ve experienced this?
The balance of artistry and financial survival is challenging at the best of times. I think there is a worth to what we do, my younger self would do everything, with the driving force to perform and to make art. However, earning enough to survive and be comfortable whilst just starting out can be difficult. When you are skilled and have something to offer it’s important to be paid what you are worth and not settling for less. It takes great courage to turn down work that you feel is underpaid. For me, this has been the line that has blurred the most. Know your worth.
What is your message to the next generation of performers?