Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet have lots in common.

Both are 38 and grew up in Belgium with a foreign parent — one from Morocco in Cherkaoui's case and one from France in Jalet's. Both are also globetrotting choreographers and dancers who share a liking for Japan — with Cherkaoui dedicating his 2011 work "TeZukA" to an idol of his, the late manga master Osamu Tezuka, while Jalet's most recent work, "yama," is based on yamabushi (mountain ascetics) he met in the Tohoku region of northeastern Honshu.

The pair first crossed tracks in 2000 in the beautiful Belgian city of Ghent while dancing in Alain Platel's famed Les Ballets C. de la B. company there. Soon after, they both struck out on their own, and in 2010 Cherkaoui started Eastman, his Antwerp-based company. Despite that, since leaving C. de la B. they have collaborated together many times, garnering numerous awards.