Oona Van Aken (°1990, Mechelen) is a choreographer, dancer and teacher from Belgium.

After graduating from contemporary dance education De!Kunsthumaniora in Lier in Belgium (2008) Oona went on to study dance and performance at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance where she graduated in 2011. In the frame of her education, Oona performed works by Anton Lachky, Martin Kilvady, Ohad Naharin, Jelka Milic, Diego Gil, Ori Flomin, Renan Martins and Assaf Salhov. In her final year at S.E.A.D., Oona danced in productions by the schools company Bodhi Project. She appeared in Edge 35.5 (2010) by Matej Kejzar and in Undergrowth (2010) by Maya M. Carroll, a piece which toured in Austria, Germany (OUTNOW! Festival), The Netherlands (ITS Festival) and Spain (ACT Festival). In that same year, Oona danced in the duet BORN (2010) by choreographer Yuriko Suzuki; a piece which toured in Austria, Belgium (PACTT Festival), Spain (ACT Festival, winner of the award Best Choreographic Direction), Czech Republic (PROART Festival), and Germany (OUTNOW! Festival) and was presented subsequently at the Yokohama Dance Collection in Japan where it won First Prize.

In 2012, Oona started an additional education at the University of Ghent where she studied Science of the Arts, option Theatre. In 2016, she graduated summa cum laude as an art scholar with a minor in Ethics. Oona has published two scientific articles (2016, 2018) on the subject of documentary film and the work of director Werner Herzog in the scientific journal Documenta – Tijdschrift voor Theater.

Since 2018, Oona is active as a freelancer in the field of arts and education. As a dancer she is currently working for Nelle Hens and her collective ONT MOET in which she is a member of the artistic team and has performed in two works Nobody (2018) and No Body (2019). Oona also works for Maya M. Carroll and her collective The Instrument. She is the soloist of their new dance production Encapsulation which was premiered at Dock11 Theatre in Berlin, last January 2020. As a choreographer, Oona is working on her own first production, called Rough Magic, which is set to premiere in the fall of 2020. As a teacher Oona works for Belgian educational organisations such as Wisper and Rosas as well as for Libby Farr for whom she takes on the role of teaching assistant (P.A.R.T.S Summerstudios, Impulstanz). In 2020 she also became a teacher at the Academie voor muziek, woord en dans in Bornem.

Since 2021, she is a proud member of ONT MOET vzw (which she founded with Nelle Hens) and Artenova vzw, a platform which supports artists, thinkers and makers in Mechelen.

(banner © hansmaakteenfoto)

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