Ever since she was a little girl Ilse Wanten has had visions. These vivid memories of past lives – who rewrite mainstream history completely – pushed her naturally towards a never-ending investigation and into an artistic direction.
In this life, Ilse looks upon herself as a self-taught woman. She finished her studies at the Humaniora Kindsheid Jesu Hasselt (Greek-Latin/Mathematics-Modern Languages & Informatics), checked out the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten/Ghent (Film-Photography) and experienced an intense period under the wings of Jan Decleir at the Studio H. Teirlinck/Antwerp (Drama). She followed several workshops – La Fura dels Baus (performance), Marie de Corte, Les Ballets C. de la B./Koen Augustijnen (modern dance) and Jan Fabre (As long as the world needs a warriors soul). She experimented with trance-dance, butoh, sjamanistic drums, food & fasting, herbs & healings, hiking, yoga & meditation and took private singing lessons (classical voice-jazz) from Miriam v. H.
Starting out as an actress, dancer, performance-artist and model, she later began creating her own performances which led her to writing and singing.
As an actress Ilse toured the world with the Flemish theatre-company Blauw Vier/Laika (Pinokkio; Een dame in de kast; Peep&Eat). As a mannequin/model she worked in Paris and Milan for Martin Margiela and Dries van Noten. From ’97 to 2002, she was the AF Vandevorst house-model (who won the ‘Venus de la Mode’ in ’99). As a dancer/performance-artist she joined forces with Tom Tosseyn (Isda?), Hazim Kamaledin (Gamma van Stilte), Romeo Castelucci (Inferno), Ann Huybens (several fashion-performances and the book ‘Coeurs Crus’), Toon van Ishoven (Doors; Top-Play; de Keering) and Niek Kortekaas (De man in de boot).
Ilse presented the Festival van de Beweeging 4 (curated by dancer/choreographer Marc Vanrunxt), participated in the music-video ‘Disco!’ from Stef K. Carlens/Zita Swoon and was a founding member of Luna Baal and Het Achtervolk (with artist Andy Wauman). She worked with director Greet Vissers/Het Paleis (De drie badhuisjes) and fashion-designer Harald Ligtvoet (I’m a dreamer), gave feedback when the Belgian dancer/choreographer Lisbeth Gruwez (Voetvolk) was creating her ‘Birth of Prey’, and lend her vocal capacities to the Belgian band Boenox/Dimitri Brusselmans when they recorded their album ‘Styl-O-Phone’
‘Wilde Wilde Wereld’ with Fleur Boonman (Melkweg/Paradiso-Amsterdam) and ‘Geheimnis#aconspirationdesarts’ with desnodevormgevers (DeFabriek-Eindhoven) were steps in creating even more personal work. After presenting a solo-performance at the ‘Jonge Honden Festival’ (‘s Hertogenbosch), she began a writing- and research-process which lasted seven years.
While performing for the Flemish Opera (Ivo van Hove, Waut Koeken, Christoph Waltz, Robert Carsen ect.) Ilse published her first book. ‘Soul in Sight!’ (Ziel in Zicht!) saw the light in 2012 and was accompanied by the launch of her first website. She then decided the next step was the translation of the content of this book into music. This is where the story of Isle of the Sky begins.
Seven years after her first book, Ilse launched her second book ‘Heavens’ (Lieve Hemel) on the 20th of June 2019 at the high frequency art Galerie Annette De Keyser/Antwerp. She still works for the Flemish Opera.