E l k e   L u y t e n   a n d   K i r a   A l k e r

D E A T H   D R I V E


Created by Kira Alker and Elke Luyten
Performed by Kira Alker 

During this piece, one seeks to surrender oneself to trauma. Within the choreography one explores the need to constantly revisit a painful experience.

From Wikipedia:

“In classical Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the death drive (German: Todestrieb) is the drive towards death and self-destruction. It was originally proposed by Sabina Spielrein in her paper "Destruction as the Cause of Coming Into Being" (Die Destruktion als Ursache des Werdens), which was then taken up by Sigmund Freud in 1920 in Beyond the Pleasure Principle. This concept has been translated as "opposition between the ego or death instincts and the sexual or life instincts".


, originally from Hasselt, Belgium, currently lives and works in New York City. Currently, Luyten is a choreographer and performer in Sibyl Kempson’s “12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens” performance project at the Whitney Museum in New York. In July 2017, Luyten created "Ducks and Drakes: (to play)" a 45-minute performance at the Raketenstation Hombroich in Germany. In 2015, Luyten created the choreography for David Bowie’s short film “Blackstar”.

Luyten performed throughout David Bowie’s short film BLACKSTAR; and again in Bowie’s final music video, Lazarus. In 2010, Luyten re-performed in several of Abramović’s pieces at the exhibition “Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present” at the MoMA. She also performed in Robert Wilson’s work called “The Life and Death of Marina Abramović”, which has toured internationally. Luyten curated the International Summer Fellowship program at the Stiftung Insel Hombroich in Germany in 2013.

Luyten’s own work has been showcased at such venues as the REDCAT in Los Angeles, the International Conference on Performance Art Theory in Mexico, the Dream Shot Festival in Belgium, and the Kyoto University of Art and Design and Honen‐in Temple in Japan. In New York, she has presented work at Movement Research at the Judson Church, AUNTS, Dixon Place, Dance New Amsterdam, FLICfest, CAVE, BKSD, Danspace Project and Dance and Process at The Kitchen. In July 2013 the New York Times discussed Luyten’s work “Death Drive” as being part of the evening of dance as “One of the most fascinating programs of the year…” “…it was a game-changer. It felt like a new beginning.”

She has taught at the Department of Drama at New York University in New York, Pomona College in California, Theatre of Yugen in San Francisco, Hippocampe Centre d’Etude du Mouvement in Paris, Kyoto University of Art and Design and many other places. During the winter she is the Center Manager at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center in the Hamptons.