Les Ballet C de la B is definitely not a ballet company

Les Ballet C de la B, photo: Chris van der Burght

Alain Platel is the director of Les Ballet C de la B, which is in fact not a ballet company, and definitely not your typical dance company.

Based in Belgium, Alain tells us how he started Les Ballet C de la B by accident and has over the last 30 years challenged the normal conventions of dance.

Working with both professional and non-professional dancers, live musicians, and even animals, Alain creates work that makes us question ‘what is dance’, who is allowed to dance, what is a dancer, where does dance end and movement begin, is theatre dance?

His piece Nicht Schlafen being shown at Sadler’s Wells (30 June and 1 July), is an example of his radical dance that deals with life and death. Alain explains the inspiration drawn from Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, political change, uncertainty and social tensions.

With a cast of all men except one lone female dancer, Nicht Schlafen explores the role of men in today’s society, responding to, as Alain says, the new wave of feminism.

Listen to Alain talk about his observations and influences and the importance of the music from composer Steven Prengels in his work.

Thank you to Francesca Marotto for compiling the interview questions.