Grace Ellen Barkey, born in Surabaya in Indonesia, studied dance expression and modern dance at the theatre school in Amsterdam and afterwards worked as an actress and dancer. She choreographed several productions before co-founding Needcompany in 1986. She created the choreography for Need to Know (1987), ça va (1989), Julius Caesar (1990), Invictos (1991), Antonius und Kleopatra (1992) and Orfeo (1993). She also acted in several of these productions, as well as in The Snakesong Trilogy - Snakesong/Le Voyeur (1994), Caligula (1997), Needcompany’s King Lear (2000), Images of Affection (2002), No Comment (2003), The Lobster Shop (2006), The Deer House (2008), The art of entertainment (2011), Marketplace 76 (2012), The blind poet (2015), Needlapb en The House of Our Fathers. She was one of the cast of Goldfish Game (2002), Jan Lauwers & Needcompany’s first full-length film.

Since 1992 she has been steadily and successfully building an international career with her own stage creations. Her first pieces, One (1992), Don Quijote (1993) and Tres (1995) were coproduced by Theater AmTurm in Frankfurt. These were followed by the Needcompany productions Stories (Histoires/Verhalen) (1996), Rood Red Rouge (1998) and Few Things (2000). Few Things was received very enthusiastically both at home and abroad. With (AND) (2002) she transcends all the boundaries of theatre, dance and music with an irresistible flair. In 2005 Grace Ellen Barkey presented her new stage show, Chunking and was nominated for the Flemish Community Culture Prizes (2005). For The Porcelain Project (2007) she created a porcelain installation together with Lot Lemm. In 2010 she made the production This door is too small (for a bear). MUSH-ROOM (2013) is her latest production.


In 2004 Grace Ellen Barkey & Lot Lemm set up Lemm&Barkey to give shape to their close artistic cooperation: they designed the costumes for Isabella’s room (2004) and were responsible for the concept, set and costumes for Chunking and The Porcelain Project. In 2007 they created a porcelain installation for the production The Porcelain Project. It has been shown at several museums including BOZAR (Brussels) and the Benaki Museum (Athens). The curator Luk Lambrecht then invited them to take part in the group exhibition I am your private dancer (2008) at Strombeek cultural centre, they created works for the group exhibition Het spel van de waanzin, over gekte in film en theater (2008) at the Dr Guislain Museum (Ghent) and were invited to take part in the ‘contemporary ceramics’ section of the Down to Earth (2009) exhibition by its curator Hugo Meert.

The curator Pieter T’Jonck has invited Lemm&Barkey to put together an exhibition on their last three productions: Chunking (2005), The Porcelain Project (2007) and This door is too small (for a bear) (2010) for the Modemuseum in Hasselt in 2012. It will be part of the third Hasselt Triennale / Superbodies: an art project for contemporary art, fashion and design. For this they made 18 video works entitled The Ontology of a Series of Images, in which images are constructed and deconstructed almost in passing. Human figures become forms, matter becomes a part of the body, hesitation becomes eroticism.

Opening: November 26th 1992, Theater am Turm Probebühne, Frankfurt

Don Quijote
Opening: October 28th 1993, Theater am Turm, Frankfurt

Opening: October 18th 1995, De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam

Stories (histoires / verhalen)
Opening: February 19th 1997, Brigittinenkapel, Brussels

Rood Red Rouge
Opening: October 5th 1998, STUK, Leuven

The Miraculous Mandarin
Opening: October 1999, PS 122, New York

Few Things
Opening: October 7th 2000
BIT teatergarasjen, Bergen (Norway)

Opening: October 23rd 2002, De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam

Opening: May 12th 2005, PACT Zollverein, Essen (Germany)

The Porcelain Project
Opening: October 10th 2007, Kaaitheater, Brussels

This door is too small (for a bear)
Opening: February 25th 2010, Kaaitheater, Brussels

Odd? But True!
Opening: November 9th 2013, BRONKS, Brussels

Opening: March 22nd 2013, PACT Zollverein, Essen (Germany)