Jeroen Peeters began writing on dance for the students weekly Veto in Leuven (October 1997 to May 1999). Right after graduation he started his professional life as a freelance dance critic for the Belgian newspaper Financieel-Economische Tijd in October 1999. During his short but intensive time as a professional dance critic from October 1999 to May 2001 he covered the entire Belgian dance scene, by way of reviews, journalistic essays and interviews. From August 2003 to December 2005 he took up reviewing again for the Flemish daily De Morgen. Afterwards he changed his focus towards dramaturgy and aristic research, yet he continued writing essays and reviews on dance for media such as Etcetera, Corpus and Dance Theatre Journal.
Returning themes in Peeters' writings are the claim that dance is not a pictorial medium, the performing arts as a site for social experiments, and embodied knowledge. Next to dance and performance, Peeters writes about visual arts, jazz and film, as well as about art theory, aesthetics and topics with a wider resonance in society, such as sustainable development. Out of anthropological interest in documenting the "languages of making", Peeters set up several dialogical projects with artists, which resulted a.o. in his book in collaboration with choreographer Meg Stuart, Are we here yet? (Les presses du réel, 2010). A book on dance as a critical force within visual regimes is currently in preparation.
On Sarma, a selection of the early reviews for Veto is available, and the whole body of texts written for Financieel-Economische Tijd and De Morgen, except for short announcements. This collection is supplemented with essays, programme texts, book reviews and an annotated selection of Afterwords, a critical project realised for the ImPulsTanz Festival in summer 2002.
In Fall 2012, Peeters receives the Dutch literary Award Pierre Bayle for his dance criticism. From the jury report: "De jury danskritiek bewondert de betrokkenheid, de hoge literaire kwaliteit en de kritische reflectie in het oeuvre van Jeroen Peeters. Op diepgravende en eloquente wijze weet hij dansvoorstellingen te duiden en in hun artistieke en maatschappelijke context te plaatsen. Zijn werk geeft blijk van een scherpe en analytische geest en gedegen kennis van de internationale dans en zijn esthetisch discours. In deze voor de kunsten moeilijke tijden heeft hij een eigen podium gecreëerd voor zijn kritieken, waarmee hij een belangrijke bijdrage levert aan de maatschappelijke legitimering van de dans als kunstdiscipline."
["The jury for dance critism admires the commitment, the high literary quality and the critical reflection in the oeuvre of Jeroen Peeters. In a profound and eloquent way he knows how to interpret dance performances and place them in the context of both the arts and society. His work betrays a sharp and analytical mind, as well as a thorough knowledge of the international dance and its aesthetical discourse. In these for the arts difficult times, he has created a stage for his critical writing, through which he makes an important contribution to the social legitimisation of dance as an artistic discipline."]
Jeroen Peeters (1976) was educated in art history and philosophy and is currently living and working in Brussels, as critic, dramaturg and performer. As a critic he wrote about dance and performance in the weekly Veto (1997-99) and the newspapers Financieel-Economische Tijd (1999-2001) and De Morgen (2003-05), as well as in various specialized media such as A-Prior, Contact Quarterly, corpus, Dance Theatre Journal, DWB, Etcetera, Highway Journal, Janus, Jazz'Halo, Maska, Mouvement, Oikos, TM. He is co-founder and editor of Sarma. As dramaturg, artistic collaborator and performer, he contributed during the past years to performances and research projects of amongst others Eleanor Bauer, Julien Bruneau, Paul Deschanel Movement Research Group, deufert+plischke, Jack Hauser, Sabina Holzer, Anne Juren, Thomas Lehmen, Vera Mantero, Martin Nachbar, Colette Sadler, Meg Stuart and Superamas.