Universal Tongue
Anouk Kruithof

April 13, 2024 – May 12, 2024
Twerking, Vogueing, Fortnite, flash mobs, a Sufi dance, or musical chairs: the artist Anouk Kruithof is fascinated by dance as a form of self-expression and empowerment. Together with a team of 52 researchers she scoured the internet and collected over 8,800 dance videos from all over the world. These clips are brought together in the video installation Universal Tongue. This work explores how dance has been developing itself over the course of history as part of our worldwide media culture, and how it is currently manifesting itself online. The immersive installation guides us through the internet jungle, showing us dance is a universal language that is able to connect people.

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 “In our diverse and complex world, nothing connects us more than dance — the moving body. It acknowledges our shared vulnerabilities and our common human condition. It also points us towards the possibility of a more inclusive world with limitless exchanges and a better understanding of new identities, a world in which simply everyone is a dancer.” -— Anouk Kruithof

Cultural phenomenon

In 2018, as part of her wide-ranging research project, Kruithof studied dance as a worldwide cultural phenomenon. With her team of helpers from around the world she collected 32 hours of video footage from YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, covering over a thousand dance styles from 196 different countries. Each of the researchers would enter the same key words into their search engines, but due to their geographical distribution they all arrived at different search results, varying from the Cuban abakúa and the Argentinian tango to the Zimbabwean sungura, and the German zwiefacher. They furthermore came across dancing animals and virtual figures, such as avatars and creatures from video games. 

Joy of living

The result is an exhilarating video installation with a four-hour choreography on each of its eight screens, featuring a wide variety of dance styles for solo dancers, pairs, and groups. The various forms of expression in this kaleidoscope of virtuosity, joie de vivre, and ritual performance make Universal Tongue an experience that is as moving as it is fascinating.

Be sure to visit the Universal Tongue website where the full scope of the project is extensively showcased.

Discover Universal Tongue during Friday Night LIVE

Friday Night LIVE

Motel Mozaïque

19 April 2024 17:00 - 19 April 2024 22:00
Start your weekend with Friday Night LIVE! On each third Friday of the month you will be welcome at the Kunsthal for an exciting and inspiring programme infused with a generous dose of art. All exhibitions will be open until 22:00 hrs.

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Zie ook

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Installatie Universal Tongue in Museum Voorlinden, foto Vincent Basler
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Friday open until 22:00
On 19 April - during Friday Night LIVE - the Kunsthal will be open in the evening.
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