TALES OF THE BODILESS

Musical fiction–without–science

Kaaitheater

21, 22, 23/05 – 20:30
EN > FR / NL
1h 15min

How can you get out of your body? Can you leave it for a while? TALES OF THE BODILESS explores a condition that is hard to imagine before you experience it: a world without human bodies. Four stories unfold, four situations in which humans are a past, and hence no longer central. In this fiction without science, bodies turn into ‘foam’ or become one with the landscape until they transform into colourful dust. Humans evaporate in the memory of the species that outlives them. Eszter Salamon’s daring new piece takes you on a journey through regions whose main property is a certain tangible sensation. Each place composes a movement of voices, sound, light and space: from sinking to dissolution, from urge to aggression, from joy to explosion. In order for your body to enter a bodiless world, this theatre had to send its body – the stage – on vacation. There is not much to see on the stage. The habitual hierarchy of senses is unsettled: listening overthrows vision and sight. The body of the spectators becomes the battleground of sensations: invoking them evolves over time and prevents everything from being given all at once.

Direction
Eszter Salamon

Concept, dramaturgy & text
Eszter Salamon & Bojana Cvejic

Music composed by
Cédric Dambrain, Terre Thaemlitz

Musical advisor
Berno Odo Polzer

Set & light design
Sylvie Garot

Assistant
Sasa Ascentic

Sound design
Peter Böhm

Technical direction
Philippe Baste

Sound recording
Bart Aga

Voices
Polina Akhmetzyanova, Sasa Asentic, Ragna Aurich, Joanna Bailie, Patricia Barakat, Eleanor Bauer, Sofie Benoot, Johanna Beuys, Bérengère Bodin, Boglárka Börcsök, Daniel Blanga Gubbay, Saskia Bovijn, Claire Bringiers, Kuryn Buys, Pierre Caillet, Erwin Carlier, Chris Carroll, Michael Casey, Marie Cordonier, Bojana Cvejic, Céline David, Lisbeth De Ceulaer, Eva De Grave, Christine De Smedt, Kim Lien Dessault, Caroline Dewynter, Marcus Doverud, Anne Duquenne, Katrien Feyaerts, Elisabeth Franken, Nada Gambier, Nestor Garcia Diaz, Julie Gilbert , Rina Govers, Annerose Goyet, David Helbich, Catherine Herman, Matthias Koole, Gérald Kurdian, Aurore Labrosse, Giulietta Laki, Christophe Meierhans, Pierre-Guillaume Méon, Natasha Mokrane, Muna Mussie, Sandy Napier, Tim Oliphant, Chrysa Parkinson, Tiziana Penna, Agnès Peter, Jo Reymen, Anna Rispoli, Jan Ritsema, Eszter Salamon, Michael Schmid, Janne Steenbeke, Iffy Tellieu, Terre Thaemlitz, Gunhild Tuschen, Sylvie Van Molle, Anne-Sophie Van Neste, Margot Van Scharen, Michael Schmid, Anne-Sophie Van Wesemael, Wim Veys, Tracee Westmoreland, Adva Zakai.
Bodies: Eszter Salamon, Sasa Asentic

Choir coach
David Helbich

Bodies
Eszter Salamon, Sasa Asentic

Special thanks
Charleroi/Danses for the studio, Jefta van Dinther, Juan Dominguez, Eleanor Bauer, Gérald Kurdian, Jan Ritsema, Perrine En Morceaux, Floris Deerenberg, Tom Pauwels, drop prod (Mathilde Maillard, Cinzia Maroni)

Presentation
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Kaaitheater

Production
Botschaft Gbr (Berlin), extrapole

Coproduction
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Les Spectacles Vivants – Centre Pompidou (Paris), Ircam (Paris), Tanz im August 2011 (Berlin), Choreographisches Zentrum NRW – PACT Zollverein (Essen), steirischer herbst festival (Graz), Kampnagel (Hamburg), Les Subsistances (Lyon)

Back to top

TALES OF THE BODILESS
Musical fiction-without-science

TALES OF THE BODILESS is a composition of voices, sounds, lights and space that evolves in four tales about bodilessness. The four tales explore a condition that is hard to imagine before you experience it: a world without human bodies. Once humans are a thing of the past, and hence, no longer central, the world will be made vacant for fantasies about nonhuman forms of existence.

The Bog, Dogs, Substitutes and Their Dot

Tale #1: It all begins at an indeterminate point in time – it could be five thousand years ago or as soon as tomorrow – in a BOG. A bog is a wetland that accumulates peat, a deposit of dead plant material and mosses. It is usually formed in a humid climate, from rainwater on the acidic ground surface. A rather sensitive habitat, this historical eco-system conceals the memory of vegetation and past life. Bogs have yielded extremely well-preserved bodies, with organs, skin and hair intact, that were buried centuries ago. What would it be like to choose to die as a bog-body and become one with the landscape?

Tale #2: A glimpse of a world without humans, abandoned to their best friends – DOGS!
The history of humans begins with hunting and farming, which would have never progressed without people recruiting and taming wolves. Dogs were domesticated for the many roles and services they could provide humans: guide dogs, utility dogs, assistance dogs, hearing dogs, therapy dogs, medical subjects, emotional slaves. The origin of the dog race is ambiguous: its short biological history doesn’t explain whether dogs were born by natural mutation from wolves or through human manipulation. By inbreeding dogs over the last three centuries, humans have engineered a limited variety of dogs based on the characteristics they desired to produce. After a long period – 15,000 years – of human bondage and living as underdogs, the new dog age begins with decolonization. Dogs are left to wonder about their future: is this a chance to continue their evolution without humans?

Tale #3: SUBSTITUTION is a world in which sexual differences are replaced by the difference between the bodiless and those who still have bodies, who are “bodiful”. This relationship between the bodiless and the bodiful, called “substitution”, descends from the trade formerly known as prostitution. In substitution, the bodiless are agents of desire; their desire consists of longing for the body they lost. It drives the bodiless to seek vicariously the physical pleasure in the sensations they aren’t capable of – since they no longer have bodies – in those who can live out this pleasure immediately in their own bodies. The substitutes are the only beings who can still enjoy their bodies. They substitute for the bodiless, by doing and acting out sensorial pleasure on their behalf. The very act is done without any physical contact because physical contact, like touch, is, of course, impossible between a body and a non-body.

Tale #4: Substitutes practice bacterial sex. It isn’t a reproduction of a species, but of the particles of one being – the substitute. The bodies of substitutes grow obese, uncontainable and unimaginable. Their flesh turns into foam made of a centillion of bubbles, of single-cell organisms, that explode in a centillion of micro-orgasms. At the moment when the force of breakdown is greater than the force of desire, substitutes experience their ultimate pleasure – a kind of heat death – and pass into dust. They become small particles, or DOTS, of infinitely small mass.

TALES OF THE BODILESS unfolds four landscapes of sensations and cognitions, of sinking and rotting, of neurosis and aggression, of joy and expansion, of explosion and dissipation. A bodiless world requires that theatre send its proper body – the stage – on vacation. This entails that the theatrical regime of senses and faculties in this performance is unsettled: listening battles vision and sight. The spectators’ bodies remain as a rare live presence that gives duration to the fictions they inhabit.

Bojana Cvejic

Back to top

Eszter Salamon is a Hungarian choreographer, dancer and performer.She is the author of solos What A Body You Have, Honey (2001) and Giszelle (2001) in collaboration with Xavier Le Roy, Reproduction (2004), a piece for eight dancers, Magyar Tàncok (2005) with Hungarian folk dancers and musicians, Nvsbl (2006), a film-choreography in collaboration with Bojana Cvejic AND THEN (2007) and together with Arantxa Martinez, the concert-performance Without You I Am Nothing (2007) starring Lukas Minkus and Ramon Pozo, Dance#1/Driftworks (2008), in collaboration with Christine De Smedt, Voice Over (2009), a piece commissioned and interpreted by Cristina Rizzo and Dance for Nothing (2010). Her work has been widely presented in Europe and Asia. As a dancer, she collaborated with Sidonie Rochon, Mathilde Monnier and François Verret. Her work in music theatre includes assistance to the opera Theater der Wiederholungen (2003) by Bernhard Lang staged by Xavier Le Roy at Steirischer Herbst Festival, Graz and staging the music of Karim Haddad in the frame of the project Seven attempted escapes from Silence (2005) at Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin. In 2008, she participates in 6Month1Location, an artistic research project based on self-organisation and self-education at the CCN, Montpellier. In 2009, together with the same group of artists, she co-curates and takes part in the festival In-Presentable09, Madrid.In 2009, Eszter Salamon developswith Christine De Smedt Transformers, aresearch project for a group choreography through workshops and artist residencies in Brussels, Madrid, PAF-St. Erme, Mexico City, Vienna, Tokyo and Stockholm. Following up Transformers, Salamon and De Smedt will present their new duet piece in autumn 2011.

Bojana Cvejicis performance maker and theorist, who also works in contemporary dance and performance as a dramaturge and performer. She has published in journals relating to the performing arts, music, and philosophy; in magazines and anthologies; and is author of two books, most recently Beyond the Musical Work: Performative practice (IKZS, Belgrade, 2007). With Jan Ritsema she has developed a theatre practice in a number of performances since 1999 (including TODAYulysses, 2000), and has collaborated as a dramaturge with Xavier Le Roy, Eszter Salamon, Mette Ingvartsen and others. Her own performance work includes directing five experimental opera performances in the period 1995-2008, most recently Mozart’s Don Giovanni (BITEF, Belgrade). Cvejic has been active in teaching in a number of European educational programmes (e.g., P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels), as well as organizing independent platforms for theory and practice in performance: TkH Centar (= Walking Theory Center in Belgrade), PAF (Performing Arts Forum in St. Erme, France) and 6Months1Location with eight other artists (CCN in Montpellier, 2008/2009). She is completing her PhD (Performance after Deleuze: Creating ‘Performative’ Concepts in Contemporary Dance in Europe) at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University in London. Since September 2009, she has taught contemporary dance and performance theory at the Utrecht University. Her two current projects are A Choreographer's Score, a book with films based on the research of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s early works (with De Keersmaeker), and How To Do Things With Theory with other members of Walking Theory at Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers.

Cédric Dambrainis a composer and electronic musician based in Brussels. He performs in most of his projects, aiming to develop a genuinely physical approach of electronic music. His work in the field of written composition includes Pure (2004) for cello and live electronics, premiered by Arne Deforce in Concertgebouw Brugge, and In memoriam (2005) for trumpet and live electronics with Renaud Lantin, extended as In Memoriam v.2 in collaboration with Philippe Ranallo and premiered at Ars Musica in 2009. He has also written chamber ensemble pieces such as Blazek (2006) for two trumpets, theremin, keyboard and live electronics, performed by the Ictus ensemble and starring trumpet players Bart Maris (X-Legged Sally / Flat Earth Society) and Laurent Blondiau (MÄÄK Spirit), and Grenz for harpsichord, electronic keyboards and live electronics, performed by Sara Picavet and Tomoko Honda (2008). As a composer, he has produced music for stage and is the author of three soundtracks (Iris/Sie Kommen/Home) for choreographer Louise Vanneste. In 2006, he partnered with Patrick Delges (CRFMW) to create and perform Penthesilea, a musical theatre production by Françoise Berlanger, which premiered at Kunstenfestivaldesarts. In 2010, he initiated PLq, an experimental metal project with electric guitar quartet Zwerm and drummer Jeroen Stevens (I Love Sarah).He recently completed the design of a musical controller prototype with vibrotactile feedback and is currently working as a performer on his new solo project EIG, focusing on perception paradoxes at extreme volume.

Terre Thaemlitzis an award winning multi-media producer, writer, public speaker, educator, audio remixer, DJ and owner of the Comatose Recordings record label. Her work combines a critical look at identity politics ̶ including gender, sexuality, class, linguistics, ethnicity and race ̶ with an ongoing analysis of the socio-economics of commercial media production. She has released over 15 solo albums, as well as numerous 12-inch singles and video works. Her writings on music and culture have been published internationally in a number of books, academic journals and magazines. As a speaker and educator on issues of non-essentialist Transgenderism and Queerness, Thaemlitz has participated in panel discussions throughout Europe and Japan. She currently resides in Kawasaki, Japan.

Berno Odo Polzer is active in the fields of contemporary music, dance and performance. Born in 1974 in Bregenz, Austria, he studied archaeology, musicology, philosophy and German literature in Vienna. He is currently working as a freelance curator, dramaturge and researcher based in Vienna and Brussels.His recent projects include: curator for new music at the Alte Oper Frankfurt/Main, Germany; The Agora Project (performance, research and self-education project as part of PAF – Performing Arts Forum, St. Erme, France); curator of the Dialoge festival (Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg, 2007-2011); Open Space self-organised educational project at the Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music (Darmstadt, Germany 2010); artistic director of the Wien Modern International Contemporary Music Festival (Vienna 2000–2009); film program Televisionen – New Music on TV (Vienna 2009); interdisciplinary project Music and the Brain (Vienna 2008, Salzburg 2009); festival Pasta for Tired Dancers (Kaaitheater, Brussels 2007).His earlier collaborations include projects with:Jérôme Bel (John Cage, 2004); Krõõt Juurak (Once Upon, 2004); Xavier Le Roy (Mouvements für Lachenmann, 2005); Ionisation/Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle, 2006; Le Sacre du Printemps, 2007; More Mouvements für Lachenmann, 2008, Philipp Gehmacher (das überkreuzen beyder hände, 2006); Pierre Leguillon (Diaporama-Vestiaire, 2006); Anne Juren (Komposition, 2008); Cecilia Bengolea & François Chaignaud (Sylphides, 2009); Frank Scheffer (Docu-Concerts 2008, 2009); tat ort Wien (The beauty of Salix Babylonica, 2009); Jan Ritsema (The Agora Project, 2011).

Peter Böhmis sound director, sound artist and sound designer. Born in 1961 in Prague, he studied violin at the conservatories of Prague and Vienna, and studied jazz theory, arrangement, electro acoustics and experimental music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. From 1987-1988, he was sound director of the theatre group Gruppe 80 in Vienna. He has served as the sound director and audio engineer of the ensemble for contemporary music Klangforum Wien since its foundation in 1987, responsible for the concept and technical realization of compositions, interactive installations and performances. Since 1995, he has taught sound composition at the University of Vienna for Applied Arts, at the Institute for Intermedia Art, Sculpture and Multimedia. He works as a consultant for architectural acoustics and protection from environmental noise in buildings and architectural enclosures. In 2007, he developed the sound design for Xavier Le Roy’s performance Le Sacre du printemps.

Sylvie Garot is based in Paris. She designs stage lighting for the performing arts world and creates visual art installations. She first became interested in lighting design after taking a research workshop with the stage designer Josef Svoboda in 1990 – an encounter that was to prove decisive for her. She then left the physical theatre company she had been running for the past five years to devote herself exclusively to designing lighting.Each project is an opportunity for her to continue research into creating new spaces of reflection in collaboration with choreographers, directors, visual artists, stage designers, musicians and video-makers. For 10 years, she has specialised in making films of light video projected onto the stage space, which she considers and uses as light sources offering other spatio-temporal perceptions. After nvsbl (2005), AND THEN (2007) and Dance#1/Driftworks (2008), TALES OF THE BODILESS is Sylvie Garot’s fourth collaboration with Eszter Salamon.

Saša Asentićhas worked as an author, co-author and performer in diverse performing arts projects since 1998. Since 2000, his work has been presented in different festivals and art centres in the USA, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Ireland, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, etc. (since 2000). He has collaborated with Ana Vujanović, Xavier Le Roy, Eszter Salamon, Bojana Cvejić, Olivera Kovačević Crnjanski and others.He is the creator and program director of Per.Art – an organisation that deals with the production and promotion of the performing arts in Serbia (2005), and he also created and has led the Arts and Inclusion program for mentally disabled people since 1999.He has served as director of Nov.ples 2010 – a contemporary dance festival, director of the biannual dance festival Balkan Dance Platform 2009 in Novi Sad, and co-curator of IN-presentable 2009 festival in Madrid. He took part in ex.e.r.ce 2008, a program of the Centre Choregraphique National de Montpellier, the 6m1L extension project in 2009 at the Performing Arts Forum, and several other research and education projects, including: IWBWWMI project (Lisbon, 2007), Mobile Academy (Warsaw, 2006), City Stage (Novi Sad, 2004-2005)_, Bauhaus Stage Workshop (Dessau, 2004), New Dance Forum (Novi Sad, 2002-2005), Summer Academy of Performing Arts (Sofia, 1999, 2001, etc.). He studied Agriculture and Pedagogy at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia.

Back to top