Archive for the theatre Category

Making the ungraspable tangible. Or how Romeo Castellucci gets his ‘Minister’s Black Veil’ right the second time

Posted in performance, theatre with tags , , , on December 28, 2016 by Utopia Parkway


When was the last time these people had been queuing up to get into a church? Not to admire a unique painting or a stained glass window, but for a real service? Just a thought, as I was standing on the steps of Antwerp’s Sint-Michiels church, watching the crowd, waiting for the doors to open, thinking about religion, theatre and rituals. Three things I was sure this evening was going to be about. The Minister’s Black Veil. Five years ago Romeo Castellucci tried to stage it, but he failed. So I was really curious to see what he would do this time, with the help of American actor Willem Dafoe.

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Mourning in a museum of another kind: ‘Moeder’ (Mother) by Peeping Tom

Posted in contemporary dance, dance, performance, theatre with tags , , , , on November 24, 2016 by Utopia Parkway


A painting starts to bleed, a sculpture comes to life, and isn’t that coffee machine behaving rather strangely? Welcome to Peeping Tom‘s universe, where “normal” is a concept that doesn’t seem to exist. With Moeder (Mother) the Brussels-based company once again puts on stage a piece resembling a surreal dream, in which one strange event follows the next.

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Torn clothes and shattered hopes: ‘Nicht Schlafen’ by Alain Platel & Les Ballets C de la B

Posted in contemporary dance, dance, sculpture, theatre with tags , , on November 12, 2016 by Utopia Parkway


The piece reached its low point somewhere near the end, when one of the dancers pulled his briefs down and started fucking the dead horse that had been lying there all the time, legs wide open. It was not a scene depicting utter hopelessness or despair, it was a scene that stood for the lack of directorial vision I had been feeling for quite a while, watching Nicht Schlafen; at that point a piece that seemed not to know where to go anymore. Just do something, and it will be okay. Even fucking a horse.

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Those magic fingers are at it again: “Cold Blood” by Jaco Van Dormael and Michèle Anne De Mey

Posted in contemporary dance, dance, film, theatre on October 3, 2016 by Utopia Parkway


“Three, two, one”, a voice said. “When you open your eyes, you are still alive.” The lights went on, and it seemed as if everyone around me was waking up. A few moments later everybody in the theatre (KVS, Brussels) got to their feet for a roaring standing ovation. If there’s one thing filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael and choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey are good at, it’s this: bringing a packed theatre into a state of collective reverie. Yes, Cold Blood, the successor to that immensely successful Kiss & Cry (180.000 spectators, 300 performances, 20 countries) has its flaws, but to make a theatre with grown-ups look at things with the same sense of wonder they had when they were kids? Quite unique.

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A 92-year-old lady, an anarchist, an Afghan refugee, 51 women and 49 men, ánd one dog: ‘100% Brussels’ (Rimini Protokoll)

Posted in Kunstenfestivaldesarts, performance, theatre with tags , , on May 8, 2014 by Utopia Parkway


You wonder how they pull it off. On stage: 100 people, a group that is an exact representation of the city these 100 individuals are living in, Brussels. Women, men, older people (the oldest participant is 92) and children. Belgian citizens and foreigners, and of course a couple of illegal immigrants. (That’s why there are actually… 105 people on stage.) Through the answers all of them give to lots of questions 100% Brussels should teach you a thing or two about Brussels. The performance, by Berlin-based Rimini Protokoll, was one of the opening performances of this year’s Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels).

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An unusual poster campaign and a pink carpet: Kunstenfestivaldesarts takes over Brussels

Posted in art, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, performance, theatre on May 2, 2014 by Utopia Parkway

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Don’t get annoyed if someone is staring into your eyes too intently, one of these. He or she is just obeying the orders of Tim Etchells, one of the guests of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), kicking off tonight and running through May 24. Apart from an exhibition and a performance the British artist, known for his theatre work with Forced Entertainment, presents a poster campaign with quotes from people who are for one reason or the other not allowed to vote on May 25 (election day in Belgium). ‘Don’t forget to look other people in the eyes’ is one of them. This year the festival center (box office, bar, party’s…) is located at an unusual place: the old Marivaux cinema (Boulevard A. Max 98). Do look at the floor, as you’re entering the building: the pink carpet has been chosen by Belgian visual artist duo Sarah & Charles. They have decorated the rest of the place as well, and named their project The Cover-Up.  As I paid the center a visit earlier today, they were still constructing and painting several of their props. Remarkable for this international contemporary theatre and dance festival: about a third of all productions is by local artists or international guests who present projects focused on Brussels. All info here.


Two wind-up boys in an absurdist tale: ‘The Old Woman’ (Willem Dafoe & Mikhail Baryshnikov, directed by Robert Wilson)

Posted in theatre with tags , , on December 1, 2013 by Utopia Parkway


Perfection can be boring. I guess it came down to that. On paper it looked very enticing: the great Willem Dafoe and Mikhail Baryshnikov in a play directed by the equally great Robert Wilson, based on a piece of absurdist literature, a novella by Russian writer Daniil Charms. I sure spent a wonderful evening, at deSingel (Antwerp), watching The Old Woman, a splendid piece of theatrical machinery at work. But did it leave a lingering impression, apart from that? No.

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