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Interview with Marc Bogaerts, the artistic soul of The Festival

By Florian Mueck • Apr 20th, 2009 • Category: Home Zone Belgium, The Festival Themes, The Project, Top News

Marc Bogaerts, internationally renowned choreographer, producer and director, and the artistic soul of this project shares with us some first thoughts about The Festival and how to make people from all over Europe move to Berlin in July 2012…

About Marc Bogaerts

Marc Bogaerts is a professional producer, choreographer and director and widely recognized for his creativity and innovation in the field of entertainment and artistic performance. Having grown up in Belgium studying Latin, Greek and philosophy under the tutelage of the Jesuits, he became intimately interested in the mind/body dynamic which was later expressed by his innovative productions.  Marc’s pillars of inspiration are rooted in his international experiences, in Europe, the United States and the Eastern bloc countries.

He went on to excel at boxing and middle distance running; he later decided to pursue more artistic efforts. Marc Bogaerts began his artistic career at the Royal Ballet of Flanders. He later became an honorary guest performer with Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown and Laura Dean. He called New York his home for eleven years, while continuing to mesmerize audiences worldwide.

From New York he continued on to Berlin, where he cemented his reputation as a pioneer in cross-disciplinary genres.  He achieves this vision through less conventional combinations such as ballet dancers with athletes, circus artists with ballroom dancers, figure skaters with weight lifters, dramatic tension is uniquely created by exploring the boundaries of artistic synergy. //



Marc has choreographed over 10 ballet productions with the Royal Ballet of Flanders, during which time he worked with MTV, the Antwerp Fashion Museum, the band “Praga Kahn” as well as venues such as the Royal Opera House, Sadlers Wells and the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt—all the time working to achieve his ultimate vision.

Bogaerts has also worked in choreographing with more than 40 international dance companies including:

  • Royal Danish Ballet (Denmark)
  • Deutsche Staatsoper “Unter den Linden”
  • Deutsche Oper Berlin
  • Tanztheather of the Komische Oper Berlin
  • Bayerisches Staatsballet
  • Washington Ballet
  • International Dance Festival Tokyo
  • Sibiu International Festival (Romania)


Marc Bogaerts has also worked intensively with the…

  • Tollwood festival in Munich
  • Cirque du Soleil in Montreal, Canada
  • Freidrichstadtpalast in Berlin
  • Circo d’ell Fuego in Antwerp.


True to his creative side, Marc has choreographed two films with Director Robert Groslot: “The Great Globe” and “Si le Monde.”  Bogaerts has also choreographed “Novalis, die blaue Blume.”  These films are innovative, multi-faceted and open to many interpretations.

He has also choreographed for:

  • Placebo
  • Hooverphonic
  • Praga Kahn
  • Dirk Zoellner


  • Under the protection of Prince Phillip, Marc choreographed for the 100th anniversary of Scouting Worldwide “Jambe,” with more than 600 performers for a crowd of 80,000 at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.
  • Under the highest protection of Queen Fabiola and King Baudouin, Marc choreographed “Father Damiaen” in celebration of Father Damiaen’s canonization by Pope John Paul II in 1995, with more than 800 performers for a crowd of 60,000.


He has also conceptualized for many American and Canadian Olympic ice-skaters for both national and international competitions.  Bogaerts also worked extensively with former German champions Kati Winkler and Rene Lohse.


  • Studio 54
  • Ice Theater of New York
  • I Fiaminghi “Sound of Silence” (Togo Hideki, Japan)
  • Maurice Engelen and Inja Van Gastel “Eroticon” & “Code Red”


True to the cross-disciplinary nature of his work, Bogaerts has choreographed, directed and collaborated with numerous sporting events:

  • Deutsche Turnfest 2005 Berlin “Berlin bewegt uns”, working with Berlin’s Multitask Mediabuero, live broadcasting and over 100,000 spectators.
  • DKB Istaf 2007 & 2008 Opening Ceremony “Golden League” at the Berlin Olympic Stadium
  • Opening Ceremony for the Pan-American Games, Opening Ceremony Eurogames 2007
  • Promotional Video Clip for Special Olympics with Pascal Duquenne and Giulia Tonini


  • Deutsche Oper Berlin—“Carmina Burana” “L’Histoire du Soldat” and “Amahl and the Night Visitors”
  • Royal Flemish Opera—“La Traviata”, “Meistersinger von Nurenberg”, “Kiss Me Kate”, “My Fair Lady”, “Sound of Music”, and “Fiddler on the Roof”
  • Schwetzingen Festival and the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music working with Philippe Arlaud on “El Divisione del Mondo”
  • Staatstheater Mecklenbuergisches Schwerin “Dracula”


Bogaerts has also exploded on to the newest scene in artistic productions working with “Carpe Diem” to create a street theater performance for Quicksilver “Not strictly Van Eyck.”


Convinced of the stagnation of modern dance after the death of Limon and Graham, forseeing new development in contemporary and classical dance, Bogaerts developed a methodical-pedagogic system (Starting at age 12), that combines the Vaganova method with Limon technique and emphasises on the knowledge he acquired working for many Olympic Training centers worldwide.

Bogaerts has taught worldwide at:

  • State School of Ballet Berlin
  • Australian Conservatory of Ballet
  • St. Petersburg Ballet School
  • North Carolina School of the Arts

Awards & Achievements

  • Marc Bogaerts Day was created by the Mayor of Orlando, Florida for his drug awareness work in collaboration with the “Say No to Drugs Week” established by Nancy Reagan
  • Received the Keys to the City in Omaha, Nebraska, USA for his work with orphans in collaboration with Boystown.
  • Chosen to be knighted as a Commander in the Order of Merit for lifetime achievement by the Foreign Office of Belgium in 2008
  • Chief Choreographer for Hans-Otto Theater Potsdam in collaboration with the Brandenburger Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Co-Founder of the Ice Theater in New York
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Florian Mueck is European, initiator and co-founder of The Festival: "Passion for Europe maybe does not exist in the media. But it does exist in many hearts of many people."
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