A love for theatre is something that needs to grow, mature, be nurtured. Theatre has an ancient feel to it, it reminds us of Romans, of Shakespeare or, in some cases, it transports us into the future; the highly experimental performances we encounter on some small stage in a hidden place. Love at First Sight is the second edition of a festival created from a never-ending love affair with the art of theatre making. This year they will present five premieres created by young upcoming theatre makers guided in their process by a temporary alliance of Belgium’s greatest: Arenberg, De Studio, d e t h e a t e r m a k e r, Monty, Troubleyn/Jan Fabre, Zuidpool and Toneelhuis.
Words by Valerie Steenhaut
Pictures shot by Tiny Geeroms
When Talitha went to first grade she was searching for a hobby. It was only when she went to see her cousin perform at the local dance school that she found her passion. Talitha fell in love with bodily movements, its nuances and possibilities, and hasn’t stopped dancing ever since. She says dance is like communicating, believes movement isn’t just about virtuosity, and finds complexity in the pure and simple without forgetting that which we tend to crave most: laughter. Alongside Troubleyn/Jan Fabre, Talitha will premiere Tinkling, an interpretation of the likewise named traditional Philippine folk dance.
For their upcoming play Pygmalion, Eva Binon, Jason Dousselaere and Louise Van den Eede reflected on man as a creator, and ended up with the concept of the creating theatre spectator. With an aesthetic drenched in abstract enthusiasm, they aim to liberate our imagination. They told us theatre is fleeting; it is magical and coherent, creating a temporary sense of another time and space, away from the ordinary. Compagnie Frieda doesn’t feel very different from the theatre makers before them; they try to be as free from tradition as can possibly be, while simultaneously knowing it is impossible. The nonsense of their premise has a mouth and it smiles.
XYX is Moreno’s second piece as a professional theatre maker. It is a play on gender, seen as a cultural contract we can break away from in order to find a much more fluid essence; something spiritual, non-defined, or in other words, human. Working in nightlife and for cabaret shows, he got in contact with the audience in a totally different way than he could in a theatre. It is also why he loves to mix different body knowledges; from contemporary dance to vogue, from ballet to pole dance, from physical theatre to fetish practices. Because we shouldn’t forget how important it is to be entertaining and not only conceptual in theatre.
Together with Victor Lauwers, Romy Louise Lauwers and Oscar van der Put, Lisaboa Houbrechts founded the theatre company Kuiperskaai, an artist collective of performers, musicians, visual artists and writers. They used to live, work and perform in the exact same space, sleeping in tents while rehearsing and organising expositions. From there, they burst open into everything they are today. For their play,1905 words will form the basis for a physical interpretation of a story about moderation, extremism, and a mystery that pervades a zeitgeist.
Last year Reynout and Bartel made a play every three weeks. It taught them to trust their intuition and imagination. Their love for theatre sprouts from a co-experienced rhythm, the co-construction of a world, the reciprocative play between audience and actor. How a theme, for approximately one hour, comes to life. In De Spits van de Koude Oorlog, they will bring a play on the conceit of a Russian society that existed not so long ago, a land they didn’t know much about, but in which they found more familiar than they expected. Just for a brief moment.
Love At First Sight takes place in Antwerp between 13 and 17 September. The play 1095 is free for members on 14 September and Pygmalion is free for members on 15 September. Become a member here.