Ugo Dehaes

Ugo Dehaes started to dance at the age of 18. After his professional dance education at PARTS, he joined Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods for 3 years.

In 2000 Ugo founded his own company 'kwaad bloed', and toured about 15 choreographies extensively in Belgium and the rest of Europe.

In 2018 he shifted his focus to become a Choreographer of Things, and learned how to build and program robots. Since then his work is presented in theaters, musea and technology-festivals.


Arena is the first project of the Forced Labor cycle by the Belgian choreographer Ugo Dehaes. In this installation the audience is invited to interact with 8 robots and to help them become better dancers. Ugo has been making dance performances for the last 20 years with a wide variety of dancers. Lately he shifted his focus to become a Choreographer of Things. Following the trend in other sectors, Ugo fired all of his dancers to replace them by robots. In this installation he uses artificial intelligence and the help of the audience to train his robots so that one day they will be able to create a dance performance all by themselves. To do this the audience can move robots around, vote on their movements or observe how they evolve.








Simple Machines

Simple Machines is the second project of the Forced Labor cycle by the Belgian choreographer Ugo Dehaes. This lecture-performance (40') tells the story of a choreographer who tries to be replaced by technology. Starting from the most simple machines, he builds up a universe that is populated by mechanical organisms that train and learn to become artists on their own.

In Simple Machines Ugo explains how robots are born, from slimy cocoons to shiny machines, and how we can train them with artificial intelligence until they are capable of creating and performing their own show.

The performance ends with a glimpse of the future : a ballet for homemade robot-dancers without the intervention of a human choreographer. Each robot-dancer has its own shape, none of them humanoid, and thus its own set of possible movements. The choreography is build up around their unique physical possibilities, and the data generated throughout the performance.



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A performance by: Ugo Dehaes.

Scenography and composition: Wannes Deneer

Dramaturgy: Marie Peeters

Silicone in collaboration with: Rebecca Flores

Construction table: Kristof Morel

Production: kwaad bloed & Tuning People

Coproduction: C-TAKT

Supported by: STORMOPKOMST

Thanks to: Pol Eggermont, AI Experience Center VUB, Hans De Cank, Caroline Pauwels, Gertjan Biasino, Roeland Luyten, VGC & De Factorij