‘With this performance, I investigate the meaning of stagnation in a society that seems to be constantly in motion. Is standing still a premonition of death? Is movement therefore automatically synonymous with life? Where and to what does that movement lead? Who or what determines our movement, our life course? When do we deliberately choose an exit and when do we follow the trodden path of our predecessors? How strong is the individual, how compelling is the system, how decisive is the society in which a person participates? ‘
In December 2017 a preview of the indoor version was shown at BOZAR as a homage to Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Third Paradise.
The performance lasts 4.30 am, it is possible to follow only one chapter (1 to 4) or to participate without obligation.
WITH: Kim Amankwaa, Coralie Meinguet, Kim Verbeke, Elise Ludinard
CONCEPT/ REGIE: Kasper Vandenberghe
ARTISTIC ASSISTANT: Annabel Reid
COSTUME DESIGN: Johanna Trudzinski
In the site-specific endurance piece ‘Panic Fear of Standing Still’, four dancers walk on a plane of sand. Following a steady pattern for a total duration of three to six hours, their traces in the sand gradually form more complex and intricate figures. What initially starts as a circle turns into a lemniscate, then into a three-part lemniscate to eventually become a spread-out mandala. Unlike its Buddhist original, this mandala will not be destroyed by the hands of man but by wind and water, thus by nature itself.
A study of mundane, humdrum patterns – mostly unconscious, more likely than not repetitive. That is the starting point for MOVEDBYMATTER, the company led by performer and director Kasper Vandenberghe. Experimenting with ways to choreograph or simulate movements that escape our conscious control, the following question is raised: can new rituals be of use to instigate a state of trance-like surrender to the mundane?
At the same time, the company looks for ways to express the tension of repetition and the mundane with the forces of change and constant evolution. According to the director, these counteracting forces can be characterized by referring to the Greek terms Kronos and Kairos. Whereas the former defines the ticking of the clock or the objectively measurable and passing time, the latter signifies the meaning of that time for an individual, the unique opportunity that needs to be caught.
Four dancers draw a circle of footprints. They revolve around an untrodden center, an unexplored emptiness, like the four points of a compass. It never seems to come to a mutual meeting. In an ever more complex pattern, the four women reveal their ritual for the moon.
‘With this performance I investigate the meaning of stagnation in a society that seems to be constantly in motion. Is standing still a premonition of death? Is movement therefore automatically synonymous with life? Where and to what does that movement lead? Who or what determines our movement, our life course? When do we deliberately choose an exit and when do we follow the trodden path of our predecessors? How strong is the individual, how compelling is the system, how decisive is the society in which a person participates? ‘
During the past decade, director Kasper Vandenberghe (35) was mainly on stage as a performer at Troubleyn / Jan Fabre. Vandenberghe could be seen in the two major re-enactments ‘The Power of Theatrical Madness’ and ’This Is Theater As Expected And Foreseen’ and more recently in the twenty-four-hour performance ‘Mount Olympus’. With his own brand new company MOVEDBYMATTER, Vandenberghe is now expressing his qualities as a maker for the first time.(Text by Stijn Dierckx)
Both start in the same way: four dancers come out of four different directions and start walking, first forming and then following a pattern in the sand. The repetition of their movements offers trance, offering them calmly to develop insights. Meditatively deepening their path into the sand, at the same time they are delving their own graves. In the meantime, the ticking of the clock and the heedless impact of the environment on the traces point to the central element of decay and impermanence. Almost with desperation, a man tries to immortalize the present moment. In vain, because he ignores forces greater than him. Change is unstoppable.
Man’s attitude toward his powerlessness is displayed by the movements of the dancers: from a passive, constrained manner to a fetterless form with more personal agency paused from time to time by actions referring to daily rituals such as sleeping, eating, drinking and working. In such way, also the relentless passing of days starts playing a role in the performance.
After each break, the path or what is left of it is resumed.
A bird’s eye view of the performance reveals its central symbolism: the pattern consists of a circle (eternal return), the lemniscate (interaction) and the three-part lemniscate (Pistoletto’s Third Paradise). The drawing will change location over time and fade under the influence of the environment. With patterns in decay, the dancers face the alleged necessity but impossibility to follow a mapped out road. Patterns are flooded and must fade.