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.