Els Peeters

rehearsing 19thAug (3)Multi-talented actress, singer, dancer and performer, there are few areas of artistic expression where Els is not involved! She qualified and worked as a drama teacher after studying drama at Studio Herman Teirlinck in Antwerp, but is perhaps better known in Flanders as Elyse, the singer of French chansons in her band of the same name. Els has featured in many short films, sings regularly with country/gospel group Kandooris and is involved in several ongoing dance projects, including experimental dance theatre with Dina Mouton under the name of ‘Sacred Bone’. All of that without mentioning her day job at the Figurentheater Propop puppet theatre, where she not only appears in a great variety of roles but has written two highly original pieces herself, ‘de Kast’ in 2015 and ‘Kijk!’ in 2016.

flowery minidress (7)All of Els’ work is about expression and communication so it’s perhaps not suprising that she is also into nonviolent communication (NVC). She first got involved by volunteering for the organising team of the European NVC Festival in Belgium in 2012 and has been part of many trainings since then. Self-expression in gesture, music and acting is a popular feature of NVC festivals and camps, but is not part of the normal learning curriculum for students. NVC is still mainly taught and practised through verbal exercises – despite a growing wish for the words to be balanced with more bodywork. Before she had even heard of NVC, Els had co-written a semi-biographical theatre piece about Guilt and Shame, ‘de Chocopot’. This piece happens to highlight some key topics in NVC and Els successfully performed it at several NVC events. Now Els is building on that experience to explore how to combine NVC and theatre. The Theatre of Nonviolence – you heard it here first!