Prize Winner: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
The Belgian-Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui translates fundamental questions about our existence into fascinating dance performances. His unconventional career began with the imitation of music videos. He danced to hip-hop and jazz and performed as a go-go dancer. He began his classical dance education when he was sixteen and won first place for the best newcomer solo performance in Ghent in 1995. His first choreography, in Anonymous Society, was successful in 1999. Among the many following works are the famous Foi, Myth, and Apocrifu. In a very short time he became a celebrated star in his field with the three works Sutra, Babel, and Puz/zle.
According to the KAIROS selection committee, describing the fascinating effect of Cherkaouis’s productions, ‘the art of this choreographer makes the case wordlessly, but with powerful imagery, for empathy, thoughtfulness, and curiosity.’
The prize-giving ceremony took place in the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg on 15 February 2009. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui used the prize money to realise a life-long dream and established his own dance company, EASTMAN, in Antwerp.
About KAIROS Prize
The KAIROS Prize is honouring European artists and academics from the fields of the fine and the performing arts, music, architecture, design, film, photography, literature and journalism. The award is designed to be given to individuals for artistic achievements, but also to producers, festival directors, publishers or gallery owners and other personalities who give important impulses to art and culture in Europe. The KAIROS Prize is endowed with the amount of 75.000 € and aims to honour outstanding individuals working with entrepreneurial spirit, persistence and creativity in the field of European culture and intercultural understanding.
The prize is named after the Greek god KAIROS – the god for “the right moment” –as it seeks to encourage and promote people at “the right time in their career”. It is neither an award for life time achievement nor a singular project, but rather seeks to identify early achievement, special work in progress as well as potential for future sucess.
The KAIROS Prize is awarded annually in Hamburg by the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S. An independent committee decides on the awarding.
The current members of the committee are:
Christoph Stölzl (President Liszt School of Music, Weimar)
Christine Eichel (author and journalist)
Shermin Langhoff (artistic director Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin)
Heike Catherina Mertens (executive director Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House)
Monika Sandhack (ZDFkultur / 3Sat Kulturzeit)
Nike Wagner (artistic director Internationales Beethovenfest, Bonn)