© Stine Sampers
Ahilan Ratnamohan (°Melbourne, 1984) is a performance maker exploring forms that are atypical in a theater context and working almost exclusively with people without classical performance training. Among other things, his performances explore the cultural and choreographic potential of football and the political power of language.
After completing his film studies at the University of Technology in Sydney (2005), Ahilan attempted to make a career as a professional footballer in the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany, an experience that would strongly influence the style of his later work. From 2007 onwards he developed as a performance maker through collaborations with Urban Theatre Projects and Branch Nebula in Sydney. Within the social-artistic projects of these companies, he was able to develop and shape his unorthodox practice.
Ahilan has been based in Belgium since 2013, where he initiated a number of projects with footballers and athletes under the auspices of arts center Monty in Antwerp (Michael Essien I want to play as you..., SDS1, Drill, Mercenary). Some projects grew into long-term trajectories with the athlete-performers, resulting in new performances that were not necessarily football- or sports-related (Star Boy Productions, Reverse Colonialism!, Look on the Bright Side, a.o.). Ahilan's performances have toured Europe, Australia, Brazil, and South Africa.
Ahilan joined ROBIN as a choreographer and socio-political theater maker in 2019. In 2020, he started a research project at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp on the performativity of language learning and language learning as performance, a theme that also remains the focus of his current projects (Pidgin X, All the words I didn't know yet). A prominent additional track is his work trajectory in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, the hometown of his parents. One example is The Post Whitewash Reparation Company, a project in Jaffna that was awarded the Roel Verniers Prize in 2019.