“Toumaï” means “hope of life” in the Goran language, which is widely spoken in the central Sahara, in reference to newborns during the season when survival is most challenging. It is also the name attributed to the fossil remains of a primate found in Chad, a potential missing link in the evolution toward the emergence of the human race, a symbolic link that connects us to the whole of life and non-human life on Earth. 


Thierry Smits’ latest creation draws its inspiration from humanity’s darkest side. Juxtaposing humour, tragedy, and poetry, Smits sets out a series of contrasting visions, sketching a future humankind confronted with post bio-climatic collapse. These visions interweave disoriented bodies, imaginaries in utter denial, violent impulses, muffled memories of productivist fury, and the oversights in eco-feminist struggles. Echoing the prevailing health crisis, a few rare visions, sometimes extremely brief like the last one, leave open moments that we might believe to reveal a glimmer of hope, depending on how each and every one of us perceives the predicament. 

With the support of a cosmopolitan cast, articulated around an enigmatic choreographed black container, Toumaï translates our possible future somewhere between catastrophe and resilience into visual and sonic situations,  at once embodied and radical. 

Without deciding on issues such as transition or adaptation, these visions propose venturing off the beaten track, translating the impact of these issues on our bodies and their desires driven by life expectancy. . .

In five core parts Toumaï Visions probes the question: how does the rupture in the link to universal consumption impact us? 


« Toumaï » signifie « Espoir de vie » dans la langue gorane parlée au Sahara central en référence aux nouveau-nés pendant la saison où la survie est la plus difficile. C’est aussi le surnom donné aux restes fossiles d’un primate retrouvé au Tchad, potentiel chaînon manquant de l’évolution vers le genre humain, trait d’union symbolique qui nous relie à l’ensemble de la vie et du non-humain sur Terre.


2022/02/01 01 > 26.02.2022 20:30 Studio Thor Brussels


— Choreographer

Thierry Smits

— Dancers

Giada Castioni, Iuri Jorge Da Silva Costa, Victoria Kennett, Mimbi Lubansu, Irene Occhiato, Nelson Reguera, Alessandro Sollima, Dries Verstreepen

— Assistant director and dramaturge

Jacques André

— Assistant choreographer

Vicenzo Carta


— Collective scenography in conversation with

Boris Dambly

— Costum design

Stefania Assandri

— Costume Design and Costum Assistant

Estelle Bibbo, Miguel Penanrada Olmeda, Giulia Cauti, Charlyne Misplon


— Sound design and management

Jean-François Lejeune

— Light design and construction

Ralf Noon

— Pictures & Video recordings

Hichem Dahes, Stanislav Dobak, Ryszard Karcz



Toumaï - Trailer