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‘For me Belgium is one of the places in the world that really takes care of culture’

José Paulo is Santos

Name: José Paulo is Santos
Nationality: Brazilian
Occupation: Professional dancer

José Paulo came to Belgium to become a professional dancer. Fifteen years later he is living his dream at a renowned Belgian dance company.

‘I started dancing as part of a social project in a small village in Brazil. Which was not an obvious thing to do for a boy. One day someone from the dancing school of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker saw me dance and a couple of months later I was dancing in Belgium, in the kind of school where every professional dancer wants to be. That was crazy.’

‘Now I’ve been living in Belgium for 15 years. Culturally speaking Brussels is one of the cities that I really appreciate. There are so many things happening. Festivals, museums, so many things to do … I have never seen a city like it'

‘They clearly care about culture here, which is not the case everywhere in the world. I think it’s no coincidence that Belgium has multiple first-class dance companies. In my dance company there are people from all over the world. And the fact that Belgium supports that, is amazing. Because it’s so enriching. To bring people together around culture. And it takes the work to a higher level too.’