Ula Sickle (CA/PL) is a choreographer and performer based in Brussels, Belgium. From a background in contemporary dance, she works across disciplines and in collaboration with artists from other domains such as the visual arts, contemporary music or architecture. While her work takes many forms, from film to installation to live performance, she focuses on a choreographic approach to movement and a work on perception and reception, specific to the live arts.
Ula’s interest in looking for an alternative to the cannon of contemporary dance, has led her to seek out performers who embody other movement histories. The solos Solid Gold (2010) & Jolie (2011) as well as the group performance Kinshasa Electric (2014) are all collaborations with performers from Kinshasa (DR Congo). Extreme Tension (2012) is a powerful solo for a self-taught dancer in her 60’s, and Prelude (2014) is a solo for a female vocalist. Frequently centered around strong performers, she searches for forms of choreographic writing, where the cultural coding and political power of ‘popular’ dancing can be revealed or where the musicality and materiality of the body itself can take center stage.
Ula studied Art History & Semiotics at the University of Toronto and Performance Studies at Paris VIII, before attending P.A.R.T.S. Performing Arts Research and Training Studios in Brussels. From 2008-2010 she pursued her interest in the visual arts and film, studying at Le Fresnoy, a post-graduate media program in the North of France, where she also met sound artist Yann Leguay, a frequent collaborator. The video works Looping the Loop (2009) and Atomic 5.1 (2010), as well as the filmic dance pieces, Light Solos (2010-13) all stem from her time at Le Fresnoy.
Extended Play (2016) her most recent project, is a collaboration with visual artist and DJ Daniela Bershan (Baba Electronica), who also created the sound and performed live in Kinshasa Electric (2014). EP premiered this past spring in the Kunstenfestivaldesarts and Les Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris.
Ula has been presented in many international theaters and venues such as Kaaitheater, KVS and Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels BE), ImPulsTanz and TanzQuartier (Vienna AT), Zodiak & Moving in November festival (Helsinki FI), Reykjavik Dance festival (Iceland IS), Tangente (Montreal CA), Nowy Teatr (Warsaw PL), B:OM festival (Seoul KR), Zürcher Theater Spektakel (Zurich CH), les Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis (Paris FR), among others.
Ula is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Flemish Community.