Jan Lauwers is an artist, choreographer and the artistic director and founder of Brussels-based Needcompany, an interdisciplinary performance group that creates work for the stage and film.
He studied painting at the Acadamy of Art in Gent, and in 1979 formed the highly successful performance group Epigonenensemble which later became the Epigonentheatre zlvcollective. He disbanded this group in 1985 and founded Needcompany.
His work, exploring violence, love, eroticism and death, is characterized by a highly visual aesthetic, fragmentary composition, and has seen the elements of main theme and storyline come more to the forefront in recent years. His work also explores the paradox between acting and performing.
His latest collection of work is a trilogy called Sad Face | Happy Face, which includes the works "Isabella's Room" (2004), "The Lobster Shop" (2006) and "The Deer House" (2008).