Merel Vercoutere is a programmer. While studying Art and Theatre Science, she actively participated in dance workshops, after which she started working as a dance staff member at Mooss. Not much later she became interested in the production of dance performances and worked for Les Ballets C de la B. She also started working as a project assistant at DANSAND in Ostend. Her enthusiasm as an amateur dancer and as a worker in the professional arts she brings together in the initiative TALK vzw, more specifically in Gent Bougement. A project that evolved from festival work to a platform offering opportunities to connect dancers with social stories and needs. She eventually joined KAAP as a dance programmer. There she programs performances with a focus on dance and performance. In Bruges, she works together with coordinator Sigrid Janssens to flesh out the ambitious project “Dans in Brugge”. She creates opportunities for creation through co-productions and rehearsal space and presents performances in the appropriate context such as Bits of Dance or December Dance. Some of these creations are also presented at DANSAND, where she is also responsible for the rest of the programming.
“Out of curiosity about what young people create today. What drives them, what interests them? Because I myself still find it interesting to talk about dance together and share each other’s feelings about it. And from the conviction that it is interesting to also introduce them from a programmer’s point of view: what do we pay attention to, how do we look…”