Retina is an ambitious contemporary dance company artistically led by Filip Van Huffel, producing dance performances of differing scales; from theatre performances to large-scale site-specific events, multi-media projects and a wide range of accessibility and educational projects. Working from both Belgium and the UK, Filip Van Huffel has established a particular working methodology that emphasises his investigation of pure movement that affects the viewer theatrically through a physically vibrant movement quality that is uniquely Retina.
Founded in 1995, Retina has created 19 company productions to date, and has toured throughout the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, South Korea and Venezuela.
Collaborations with movement analysts, composers, musicians, visual artists, film directors and lighting, set and costume designers shape the work in a particular framework that is stark in its setting but with an edge of beauty and humanity.
For many years, Retina had a base in both Nottingham UK and Antwerp Belgium. This resulted in extensive support and influence from both countries. This year Retina has closed its UK office, but will continue to operate from Belgium, delivering high quality dance performance and artistic education projects internationally.
How can I comment on society through an abstract art form and express an honest, insightful and sometimes satirical response to the world around me? Can I create characters through the observation and investigation of people, their physical quirks, movement and spatial behaviour, and can I shape this into a form that emotionally affects the viewer?
I believe that dance has a strong, powerful ability to effect people's emotions and senses and I want to be able to trigger these. I want to create a movement language that is unique, contemporary and human, a language that makes sense both for the dancer and for the viewer, full of body intelligence and physical expression.
I want to attain clarity in my dance productions, asking myself clear questions that I can explore with both complexity and simplicity, constantly searching for something new, pushing the choreography in different directions that are a challenge physically, emotionally and visually.
My aim is not to tell a literal story but to take the audience on a journey that begins and ends in movement.