As Yves Aduhire prepares to set Pride Week ablaze with his Wild Fashion Show, BRUZZ retraces the journey of this untameable 33-year-old artist who never stops pushing the boundaries of dance and gender.
Yves Aduhire left Rwanda in 1994. He first saw Brussels from within the walls of the Petit-Château, where refugees were held while waiting to be processed. He stayed there for almost two years with his mother and his three sisters. He lost his father in the genocide that forced them to find a new home. Growing up, Yves felt difficulties fitting in with the expectations of his family and school. Until he decided to break free and follow his dream.
“I quickly realised that to be a dancer, I was going to have to fly the nest.” At 19, he joined the jungle of young Brussels artists seeking success. He frequented the hip-hop scene and took part in battles and joined the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles for two years before abandoning both classical and contemporary dance to practice by himself with the help of inspiring teachers and choreographers. The result is an eclectic and changeable style. “My dance fluctuates, depending on my mood. I can dance just as well in heels as I can dance hip hop or contemporary.”
Yves Aduhire soon surrounded himself with an artistic family made up of fellow dancers and people struggling for success, all members of the LGBTQIA+ community. In 2008, a core group took shape under his guidance and that of the dancer Olivier Twizere. Together, they launched the Wild Kidz company, which provides dance classes. “The name refers to our wild side. That was a time when we were hungry. We were everywhere, always watching to see what was happening. We were the avant-garde of the non-binary. We did whatever we wanted, we would go out wearing makeup and high heels to both queer and heterosexual parties.”
YOU GO GIRL
That unapologetic style, which smashed gender norms, shook up the urban scene. “The so-called ‘girly’ style was becoming more popular, mainly via the US. I won a lot of battles because people thought I was pretty and because my style combined a lot of different techniques.”
Outside of the artistic bubble, however, they were still stigmatized. “Back then, expressing your sexuality and gender was still a lot less safe than it is today. One day a guy in the street came up and punched me out of nowhere.” Once again, Yves Aduhire did not bow down; he overcame adversity by dancing. “Since I was a child, I have had to find the strength to carry on despite everything. Somehow, I no longer fear danger.”
In 2015, Aduhire took over the company, expanded its name and concept. Wild Kidz Party has now grown to include a choreography agency and a crew. Aduhire has been approached for shows by Kenzo, K-Way and KRJST and recently for the entrepreneur and influencer Gaelle Garcia Diaz. “Even though queer has now become mainstream, I make sure that my collaborators are engaged for artistic reasons and not to meet quotas or fulfil clichés.”
Alongside its commercial activities, Wild Kidz Party provides classes and coaching to a crew of semi-professional dancers. “I wanted to create a safe space for people who wanted to dance and experiment but who were unable to find their place within the set rules and dance schools, which are very focused on performance.”
By day, in order to fund Wild Kidz Party, Yves Aduhire arms himself with a comb and some scissors. “Funding is very difficult to obtain if you are not part of a specific network.” From his hair salon on Place Stéphanie, the dancer keeps his business running. “Many encounters in my salon have led to collaborations.” A hairdresser, dancer, choreographer, artistic director, entrepreneur, and production director (he will present the first Blue Davis showcase during Pride Week), Yves Aduhire is also working on his first single.
Not content with tearing down gender restrictions, Aduhire also breaks down barriers between the artistic disciplines, as in his Wild Fashion Show, which will take place during Pride Week in May. This parade, centred around the work of four designers, will be a giant show bringing together dancers, singers, and drag artists who trained outside of official institutions. “The fashion shows in Brussels are very basic and normative. We wanted to create something joyful and outlandish that reflected our community.”
In Wild Kidz Party, the emphasis is very much on the word “party”. “We celebrate who we are. We celebrate our successes, life, what we have overcome and what others have overcome before us.”
The Wild Fashion Show will take place on 11 May at C12 as part of Pride Week. Instagram: wildkidzparty