Originally from Rome, Marco Torrice is a dancer, teacher and choreographer who is now based in Brussels.
After initially studying philosophy, Marco began formal dance training at the age of 23 – training with Diana Damiani of the Associazione Incontrotempo, Roma.
Marco went on to study dance at the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios in Brussels. Although his work has taken him around the world, he has made Brussels his adopted home.
We caught up with Marco for a behind-the-scenes look at his life in the capital of Belgium.
How did you find the move from Rome to Brussels?
It was tough. For a start, Rome is a sunny city – Brussels is not known for its good weather.
Culturally, it was challenging. My first year in Brussels was all about surviving the struggle of language.
Also, my father had been battling cancer for a number of years. He died during my first year here in Brussels. Dance became a physical therapy for me, helping me to process that grief.
Over time, I started to really love Brussels. I came to appreciate how culturally diverse the city is. It’s also a welcoming city – it’s where I feel at home. Even though my French is still super-bad, I feel at home in Brussels.
Beyond the technical aspects, what did you learn about yourself through your dance training?
I was always dancing as a child – my body could get me more attention than my words as I was dyslexic and also had a stutter. Growing up, dance was my way of taking up space, of making space for myself.
When I started training at college – I was 23 by then – it all got a bit more conscious. In the art of movement and dance I could immerse myself in an existential space, I could create my own imaginary world.
For me, dance became a form of unconscious therapy – I could take the bad things from my life and transform them into something else in the dance studio. That was really powerful.
How does dance help us connect with other people?
For me, dance is more than just a performative tool – it’s a social practice. What I mean by that is that we can have dinner with people or we can dance with people – dance is a tool that enables social interaction.
In that context, dance has similarities with language – you can give meaning to things through dance. Dance helps us build bridges between each other. Dance is a tool that can help us to connect different communities.
If we’re unable to communicate effectively through verbal language, we can still make a rich connection through dance. Dance can hlep to blur any cultural barriers. We don’t need immigration papers to go to another universe through dance.
How does dance connect to dating and sex?
I have conflicting feelings about this. On one hand, it’s definitely one of the elements that attracts me to someone – along with things such as smell, voice, and appearance. But if they don’t dance well, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m not going to be attracted to them.
Having a sense of rhythm is definitely a good thing. Having sex is like dancing – you’re finding a way for the rhythm of these two people to merge together.
I remember dating before we had hook-up apps. Generally, the first time that I would meet a guy was on the dance-floor of a club. Things are different now.
Is Brussels a good city in which to pursue a dance career?
For me, it’s one of the best cities in Europe. There’s an incredible diversity in performance here. Brussels has its own style but it’s also open to international artists. This is a place that sees dance as something that is culturally important.
For a visitor to Brussels, what would you recommend?
When my friends come to visit, I take them to Gay Haze. It’s a mixed, diverse crowd and it’s a lot of fun.
What do you hope that people feel when they dance?
I just hope that people feel something when they dance – anything, as long as they feel something.
Dance has the power to enable us to let go of friction in our lives – to overcome that feeling that we’re a bit stuck.
We need to connect more through dance. We need to dance more.
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