During a recent trip to Moldavia, I had the pleasure to meet with a couple that was deaf and dumb.

It was amazing to see how well they communicated together even without any word being said. It was also very special to talk with both of them and I was very surprised I was quit good at it although I never learned any sign language. On my way back in the plane I was thinking about it and realized that the fact I was trained as a dancer probably helped me in expressing myself to them and also to understand them very well.

We learn to speak with our bodies and hands as dancers and rhythm is also very important. Being aware we have to adapt to the rhythm of others also helps me as a leader of teams. Because as a team leader or project manager it is very important to feel the rhythm of all your team members. And then the challenge is to conduct them to a song they write together.

This takes me back to classes I got from Fernand Schirren while I was part of the test group of dancers of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, before she opened her school  P.A.R.T.S in Brussels.


Mr Schirren also teached in Mudra before, the school of my great idol Maurice Béjart in Brussels

One of the things he said and honestly believed was that in a school of artist we have to teach in a level for those with the most talent and the others just have to try to follow. But he also said that the worst pupils in a rhythm class are the most interesting and that they are capital to understand some things in life. Because those people have a problem to let themselves go. People who do not have rhythm see everything as a problem and they put every thing always in question.

I must say so many years later I think he is right to say that rhythm is everywhere, not only in arts like music or dance. But in live, the forces of nature, male and female, life and death,…

I remember his rhythm classes as philosophical classes with drum sticks in my hand.

And those who had the chance like me to have had classes from this composer (he died in 2001) remember certainly:


And I am sure that my friends in Moldavia would have understood his classes even if they can not hear a thing, because yes also for them I think rhythm is key. And when they come and visit me in Belgium I will show them his book, printed in his handwriting:

“Le rhythme, promordial et souverain” par les éditions Contredanse en 1996.

Handtekening Suyin (1)



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