Klaas Devos is a freelance choreographer and researcher exploring the intimate poetry of knowing and thinking bodies and the aesthetics of the (mis)understandings between them. He graduated at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp (HID), a dance and choreographic study he backed up with a master in arts theory (UAntwerp), focusing in his thesis on modern dance epistemology and practice theory. This fascination for dancing as a way of thinking and making sense has guided him through his post-gradual researches (P.A.R.T.S., a.pass). Today, Devos’ research is supported by a doctoral program as part of the research group CORPoREAL of the Conservatory of Antwerp, and with the support of ARIA of the University of Antwerp.
Inspired by a rich palette of masters and mentors (a.o. Yvonne Rainer, Kattrin Deufert & Thomas Plischke, Thomas Hauert, Lilia Mestre). Devos’ artistic language brings together somatic practices (a.o. Min Tanaka, Florence Augendre, Tamara Milla Vigo) with neuro- and cognitive science. It criticizes Western dance history from a speculative and post-human perspective (a.o. Andre Lepecki, Bojana Cvejic, Martin Spangberg). The resulting aesthetics of his interdisciplinary experiments stimulate cracks in the traditional dichotomy between practice and theory.
Devos focuses on the instant of interpretation in a dance improvisation. His somatic dance practice can be defined as a series of experiments on how we sense and move ourselves and our environment, it further interweaves with electronic music, digital arts, neuroscience and live-electronics. After a series of solos and duets, Klaas made his first cross-medial choreography for a large dance and music ensemble in 2016. "Almosteverythinghappens" marked the start of an artistic research in extended choreography, investigating how dynamic and electronic environments influence how we move and interpret movement. The project was re-made the following year with a full Cuban cast for the International Performance Arts Festival, Cuba.
The exploration of dance and music aesthetics through scored improvisation is further rendered in "Solo for Nervous System" (2018) that since premiered in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. It proposes a intimate poetry of dance and technology, exploring the limits of improvising dance based on a self-generating speeding-up score live.
The researches and performances are organized in collaboration with the Barely imaginable Beings - further BiBs. BiBs are an “undisciplined open collective” founded in Brussels, 2018. It is a meeting place for artistic practices that questions the confines of traditional techniques or technologies. BiBs expose through live- and digital performances, and through workshops that focus on cross-medial and technology-enhanced compositions. In the past BiBs have been Quentin Meurisse (programmer and experimental composer) and Klaas Devos, experimental composers (Maarten Buyl, Nina Fukuoka), contemporary ensembles (Ensemble Fractals, G.A.M.E.), and electronic installation artists (Thea Soti, Gertjan Biasino).
Since 2018, Devos is part of an international research group that focuses on the Practice as Research (PaR) and Research as Performance (RaP). …Through Practices, a production of this research group, developed during the last phase of "Distraction as Discipline" (Heike Langsdorf) in preparing dialogue with Alex Arteaga, Anouk Llaurens, Miriam Rohde, Laetitia Gendre, Klaas Devos, Fransien van der Putt, Lilia Mestre, Bilal Kamilla Arnout and Irene Lehmann. The event invites to explore the ecology of one’s personal attention and sense for participation. A variety of guided and hosted scores and protocols make tangible how our mind’s presence is influenced by how we move and take part in things (and vice versa).
In extension to research and production, Klaas Devos coaches students ranging from high school (MUDA) to post-master level (a.pass). He further contributes to the field as a dramaturge (Liesbet Hermans, Naomi Kerkhove) and as a critical writer (Mousse publ., APE publ.).