Arch8 – Erik Kaiel

This isn’t an everyday dance company.  Making dance performances for ages 6 and up Arch8 views theatrical traditions as a resource, using them to create new forms, then sharing these new forms in public space, architectural space and theatrical space.

Choreographer Erik Kaiel has been making dances for many years. In subway stations, sculpture gardens, empty swimming pools, city streets, and occasionally on stage.  In 2003, after a decade in New York City, he moved to the Netherlands. He performs, choreographs, and teaches throughout the Netherlands, Europe, and the world.  Erik is the artistic director of Crosstown Den Haag, a choreographic fellow at Danslab, and a faculty member at the Artez Dance Academy in Arnhem.  In 2010 he won the Dutch national prize for choreographic talent and the No Ballet Competition in Germany.

Having grown up in Portland, OR, Erik earned a masters degree in dance and choreography from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.  He danced and choreographed in New York City for ten years before moving to the Netherlands where he has focussed on arch8 for another ten years, working on a mix of performing, choreographing, collaborating and teaching.

Erik led the choreography program at the ArtEZ Institue of the Arts, Arnhem for a number of years, and regularly teaches composition workshops globally. Erik is a founding artist member of Fresh Tracks Europe and a Danslab research fellow.

Best for Grades 4 and up and family

The Netherlands

My True North

My True North (2008) – ‘my true north’  is a male-female duet about connectedness.  It is very athletic, very acrobatic, flowing from beginning to end, almost without stopping.  Together the two dancers build a rollercoaster, and invite us to ride it with them as they navigate the space, exhaustion, and their increasingly intimate relationship to each other.

My True North Tech Information

my true north video

No Man is an Island

No Man is an Island– This dance duet pushes the limits of physical possibility.  It explores balance as one body climbs and shifts atop another without ever touching the ground.  No Man is an Island brings connection, cooperation, communication and creativity together.

No Man is an Island Tech Information

No Man is an Island Video

O Snap

O Snap (2012) – Rhythm is a dancer. Freedom is a rhythm, shared. Together, we got the beat. Who are we, what do we want, and where do we belong? O Snap is a dance performance about finding your own identity in an overloaded world. The road to maturity is full of stumbling blocks, but luckily you are not alone. Friendship is freedom. Friends give you courage. Friends give you wings. Friends catch you when you fall. O Snap. The world is a subway car, rocketing forward. Each of us has to spring aboard and try to fit in. Find friends and fight for air. O Snap. O Snap is an ode to friendship, to belonging, and to the simple truth that who I am is partially determined by who we are. Amicus ergo sum.

O Snap Tech Information

O Snap video


Tetris (2011) – Inspired by the game Tetris this extremely physical dance quartet explores how we connect with one another, building a private language to communicate, and then invites others to enter into the dancers world.  It is for the kids who can’t sit still, for the ones who like to climb the walls, and those who can imagine further than they can see.

Tetris Tech Information


Murikamification- In this public space performance the performers evoke dream worlds, layering them upon ordinary urban space.  This work invites audiences to step into the daydream that unfolds before their eyes.  Creating an intensely physical performance trail, inspired by the magical stories of Haruki Murakami, the work is adapted to the local context in each new city.  In each version of Murikamification a diverse and curious audience is overwhelmed by surprising scenery in the streets of the(ir own) city.


During the 14/15 season Erik will be leading workshops in the USA for the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center Education.

The arch 8 dancers have worked with leading european companies, such as DV8, Itzak Galili, and Ann Van den Broek’s WArd/waRD and along with Erik have significant experience giving workshops in partnering, composition, contemporary technique, and site-specific work.

All workshops can be combined with a question and answer session about the European scene, collaborative projects in Africa and the Middle East, arch8’s work and advice for aspiring dancers.

Review of 
No Man/Tetris from DC Theatre Scene by Ryan Taylor


“I yelled “bravo” during a round of applause yesterday. I’ve never done that before. And it wasn’t even at the end of a show. It was during the act break. Of a children’s dance piece. Color me delightfully surprised.”

DC Theatre Scene

Review of 
Tetris from by Katherine Colombus: Oct 2016

“It’s a feel-good fully inclusive ending to a work of inventive artistry, looking at how to fit together or strike out alone, using courage, creativity and acceptance to do so.”

Review of 
 Tetris from by Emily May: Oct 2016

“It’s inventive. It’s engaging. It’s impressive.”

A Younger Theatre

Review of 
No Man is an Island/My True North from The Scotsman by Kelly Apter: May 2013

“The fascinated stares and open mouths in the audience said it all.”

Scotsman 050813 Duets Review

Review of 
Murikamification from The Argus on August 3, 2014

“This magical promenade performance led the audience on an intriguing journey”

The Argus 080314 Duets Review

Review of 
No Man is an Island/My True North from The Herald Scotland on May 10, 2013

“Exhilarating stuff“

Herald Scotland 051013 Review

Review of 
Murikamification from Latest Services on May 3, 2014

“provocative and mystifying“

Latest Services 050314 Review

Review of O Snap from The Scotsman

“terrific piece of dance“

The Scotsman O Snap Review

Review of 
No Man is an Island/My True North from The Herald Scotland by Mary Brennan: May 2013


Herald Scotland 051013 Duets review