Kaspar Konzert

Halles de Schaerbeek

10, 11 Mei/Mai/May 20:30
12 Mei/Mai/May 19:00
Duur/Durée/Duration: 1:00
Belgische première/Première belge/Belgian première

How does society allow itself the right to impose its own model as the only one that is valid? Based on an event that took place in the nineteenth century, the Kaspar Hauser case, choreographer François Verret considers "this crime against the soul". A wild boy was taken in by a gentleman who tamed him by force. Several years later the boy is found dead, alone in one of the town's squares. Verret speaks through the body that his scenery either imprisons or releases. His Kaspar is an aerial acrobat. His Kaspar Konzert flits between music, dance and circus to create the poem about this removal of freedom, a poem that is at once fugitive, melancholic and joyful.

Naar/D'après/Based on: Anselm von Feuerbach (Voorzitter van het Beierse Hof van Beroep in 1832/Président de la Cour d'Appel bavaroise en 1832/ President of the Bavarian Court of Appeals in 1832), Kaspar Hauser. Beispiel eines Verbrechens am Seelenleben des Menschen

Concept: François Verret
Muziek/Musique/Music: Jean-Pierre Drouet
Met/Avec/With: Mathurin Bolze, Jean Pierre Drouet, François Verret
Scenografie/Scénographie/Scenography: Claudine Brahem
Licht ontwerp/Création lumières/Light design: Christian Dubet
Lichttechnieker/Ingénieur lumières/Light engineer: Antoine Seigneur
Klankdecor/Environnement sonore/Sound environment: Etienne Bultingaire
Productieleider/Directeur de production/Production Manager: Jean-Noël Launay
Inspiciënt/Régisseur général/Stage manager: Olivier Philippo
Administratie/Administration: Stéphanie Meissonnier
Tournee/Diffusion/Touring: Julie George & Damien Valette

Productie/Production: Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, Le Quartz de Brest, Le Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Le Théâtre National de Bretagne (Rennes)

Met de steun van/Avec le soutien de/Supported by: Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Conseil Général de Seine St Denis, DRAC Ile-de-France, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication

Presentatie/Présentation/Presentation: KunstenFESTIVALdesArts
Met de steun van/Avec le soutien de/Supported by: L'Ambassade de France en Belgique et l'Association Française d'Action Artistique - AFAA (Paris)
In samenwerking met/En collaboration avec/In collaboration with: Bruxelles/Brussel 2000

Back to top

Coming from nowhere, or at least from where other people call nowhere because it is unknown and there is no common language with which to share this hidden past. Or finding yourself locked up for years for not being familiar with any aspect of this society. Being brutally trained to conform, ingesting the rules and bending to the norms. Being nothing as long as you do not fit into the straitjacket of a new language, in the mould of this majority that makes the rules. Being free as a bird and then being taken from the air suddenly to be subjected to gravity and learning about the heaviness of a body on the ground.

Choreographer François Verret is approaching the story of Kaspar Hauser with lightness and infinite universality. One day in 1832 in a Nuremberg square, the body of a young stranger is found. It appears that as an adolescent the man was taken in by a gentleman of the town who took it upon himself to ‘civilise' him. The child was wild. He had been abandoned and managed to survive in the Bavarian forest. His tutor chained him up in a cellar, training him to walk upright, speak his language and submit to his authority. The strange murder leads to a trial. The president of the court of appeal, Anselm von Feuerbach, recorded in his writings, "The death of Kaspar Hauser is an example of a crime against the life of the soul." The Hauser case became symbolic. Werner Herzog made a great film about it, Peter Handke wrote a narrative and François Truffaut tackled a similar case in France in his full-length film L'enfant sauvage. At the 1998 KunstenFESTIVALdesArts, Guy Cassier's Rotjoch, written by Gerardjan Rijnders, could have been called Kaspar - rotting away because he was misunderstood. The acuteness of this issue crosses the centuries: how does society give itself the right to impose its own model as the only one with any validity?

The words written by Christopher Colombus to the King of Portugal when he ‘discovered' America come to mind. He sailed to the shores of the Bahamas where the Taïnos lived and wrote, "It appears that they could be converted to Christianity quite quickly because they do not seem to belong to any religion. If it is God's wish, I will bring back six of them to Your Majesties so that they can learn to speak." By speaking he means speaking his own language of course. Verret's language is the language of the body. "It is the dream of every dancer to fly!" says Trisha Brown, the choreographer who in America invented a new dance enamoured with freedom, emancipated from the classical western form of dance. French choreographer Verret's approach to Kaspar Hauser is one of acrobatics.

He met a young aerial acrobat whilst directing the final year show of students at the Ecole Nationale du Cirque. With the face of a sad angel, agile movement and natural elegance, Mathurin Bolze is Kaspar, fluid and light. Claudine Brahem has designed a sound machine for the stage, a prison without bars, cramping his wings and a trampoline to precipitate him towards the light. Christian Dubet's lighting manipulates light and dark in the scenery's transparencies. On stage, three characters direct the acrobat's movement, each one, like him, needing no words, having their own language. Jean Pierre Drouet, part-actor, part-musician, gives rhythm to the piece - he will operate the stage set's sonorous pulley and give rhythm to its percussive respiration. A friend of Bério, Aperghis' colleague who was the cosmic sound effects engineer in Zingaro's Chimère, Drouet exhales the weight of the heaviness, emphasising the risk of falling with restrained rotations.

In contrast to Mathurin, François Verret, rooted to the ground, stammers a few movements and words that are barely intelligible, like a mechanical automaton, « That's very good, my boy. That's good. I was told that you have made progress. That's good, my boy. That's good. » On stage, Verret tracks the acrobat's shadow. In his sleepy state, he makes out of the acrobat a puppet he manipulates. His training becomes something like a ritual of the earth until, in his loneliness, Kaspar the will-o-the-wisp destroys himself. Kaspar Konzert is music of the souls. The choreographer has no need for words. His subtle elegance pushes him into an aerial, melancholic and joyful metaphor of a moonlit celebration of a removal of freedom. It is a poem lasting 55 minutes.

In the Parisian suburb of Aubervilliers, an old ball bearing factory serves as François Verret's artistic laboratory. He has made it his place of creation with workshops (writing, circus, singing, music, street arts) and a library, open to everyone, of books and films centred on two questions centred : "What is memory? What is the principal of hospitality?" His Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers in Seine Saint-Denis experiment with an alternative to the established laws of dance, to the incessant obligation to produce an output that meets buyers' requirements. Like Pierre Droulers (Festival 1998, Multum in Parvo) in Belgium, Verret belongs to the generation of French artists that includes Mathilde Monnier, Maguy Marin, François Tanguy (Festival 2000, Orphéon) and Stanislas Nordey (Festival 1994, Pylade). They try to spread a dynamic from place to place that can reaffirm the generosity of the gratuitous act, sharing ephemera and encounters. François Verret has always talked to other artists. Kaspar Konzert is built on the harmonious respect of languages of the body, space, light and music. None of these languages takes precedence. They listen to each other. They hear each other. And their individuality sparkles.

Back to top