Jeroen Peeters is a writer, dramaturge and performer active in the field of contemporary dance across Europe. His publications include Are we here yet? (2010), a book in collaboration with Meg Stuart. In 2012, Peeters received the Dutch literary award Pierre Bayle for his body of work in dance criticism.
“A creative process is not only a site of collaboration and negotiation, but indeed also shaped by the actual living together of artists in residencies, by quarrels and personal crises. These aspects don’t get much attention in discourses on collaboration, nor are they tangible on stage. Not that the performing arts should become private and confessional, but if living together is at issue on stage, then to what extent do artists allow the social aspects of collaboration to affect it?”Jeroen Peeters
Jeroen Peeters (1976) was educated in art history and philosophy and is currently living and working in Brussels, as a writer, dramaturg and performer. He began writing on dance for the students weekly Veto in Leuven (October 1997 to May 1999). Right after graduation he started his professional life as a freelance dance critic for the Belgian newspaper Financieel-Economische Tijd (October 1999-May 2001), in which he covered the entire Belgian dance scene, by way of reviews, journalistic essays and interviews. From August 2003 to December 2005 he took up reviewing again for the Flemish daily De Morgen. Afterwards he changed his focus towards dramaturgy and artistic research, yet he continued writing essays and reviews on dance for media such as Corpus, Dance Theatre Journal, and Etcetera, of which he’s been part of the editorial board (2008-14). Peeters furthermore co-edited books on the aesthetics of Jean-François Lyotard, queer theory, monstrosity and the performing arts collective Superamas. Since 2002, Jeroen Peeters has been part of the artistic team of Sarma, a laboratory for discursive practices and expanded publication.
Recurring themes in Peeters’ writings are the claim that dance is not a pictorial medium, the performing arts as a site for social experiments, and embodied knowledge. Next to dance and performance, Peeters writes about visual arts, jazz and film, as well as about art theory, aesthetics and topics with a wider resonance in society, such as sustainable development. Out of an anthropological interest in documenting the “languages of making”, Peeters set up several dialogical projects with artists, which resulted a.o. in his book in collaboration with choreographer Meg Stuart, Are we here yet? (Les presses du réel, 2010). His research on spectatorship and dance as a critical force within visual regimes led to the book Through the Back: Situating Vision between Moving Bodies (TeaK, 2014). In collaboration with Jack Hauser and Sabina Holzer he made the artist book We don’t know what free jazz is (WTKB Editions, 2015), a collective, improvised book on improvisation in the shape of a double LP. The essay Reseeding the Library, Gleaning Readership was published with Afternoon editions in 2018. A monograph on Mette Edvardsen’s work, Something Some things Something else was published by Varamo Press in 2019. Currently, Peeters is preparing a book on ‘ecologies of attention’ in literature and film.
Peeters regularly engages in artistic collaborations with among others Julien Bruneau, deufert+plischke, Mette Edvardsen, Jack Hauser, Sabina Holzer, Heike Langsdorf, Martin Nachbar, Meg Stuart, David Weber-Krebs and Jozef Wouters. Collaborative performance works include Anarchiv #1: I am not a zombie (2009) with deufert+plischke and Marcus Steinweg; Die Unbändigen (2012) with Jack Hauser, Satu Herrala and Sabina Holzer. With Jozef Wouters he created The Metaphors (2015), a lecture performance on the use of text and image in the debate on climate change. Together with Martin Nachbar he made A Field Trip (Der Choreoturg) (2016), a fabulatory performance attempt to reforest the theatre. Atelier III and Projecting [Space[ (2017) are in situ creations with Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods and Jozef Wouters that seek to experiment with social and artistic places of encounter.