Somnia

€ 22 / € 18

Long duration / outdoors / walking
Shuttle service from Brussels to the venue upon reservation (the number of seats is limited, contact the box office)

Together with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Jolente De Keersmaeker, forty-four dancers enter into a dialogue with the natural landscape, where factors such as sound and silence, light and dark, distance and proximity become a matter of perspective, and where both new possibilities and boundaries emerge. In search of an ecological aesthetic they leave behind the four walls of the theatre for a performance that requires few theatrical interventions and fuse seamlessly with the natural environment. The woods and the night sky offer the perfect backdrop for the ‘dreams’ to which the title Somnia refers. The first of the dreams is Somnium, a novel by the seventeenth-century astronomer Johannes Kepler, in which science and science fiction merge to show that the planets revolve around the sun in an elliptic orbit. The second dream underpinning the performance is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Combining Kepler and Shakespeare, the dancers explore the intersection of text, dance and music playing with gravity while guided by fantastic stories in a space-time far beyond the borders of urban theatre. Somnia is a project with the final-year students of P.A.R.T.S., the dance school founded by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker in 1995.

Due to the big success of Somnia, extra dates are being organised by the Kaaitheater from 5 to 9 June 2019. You can book your tickets for these dates via kaaitheater.be.

With: Rita Alves (PT), Maureen Bator (FR), Cassandre Cantillon (BE), Calvin Carrier (UK), Wai Lok Chan (HK), Aminata Diallo (FR), Synne Enoksen (NO), Papis Faye (SN), José Fernandez (ES), Carolina Ferreira (PT), Némo Flouret (FR), Rafael Dos Santos (BR), Jonas Gineika (LT), Tessa Hall (NZ), Hanako Hayakawa (JP), Hyeonseok Lee (KR), Thomas Higginson (UK), Mei-Ning Huang (TW), Cheyenne Illegems (BE), Keren Kraizer (IL), Georges Labbat (FR), Robson Ledesma (BR), Eimi Leggett (JP), Ivan Lucadamo (ES), Lydia McGlinchey (AU), Audrey Merilus (FR), Vasco Mirine (MZ), Fouad Nafili (MA), Azusa Namba (JP), Timothy Nouzak (AT), Stanley Ollivier (FR), Alban Ovanessian (FR), Jean-Baptiste Portier (FR), Margarida Ramalhete (PT), Luis Ramirez Munoz (CO), Myriam Rosser (ES), Julia Rubies (ES), Cintia Sebök (HU), Joshua Serafin (PH), Mariana Silva (BR), Judith Van Oeckel (BE), Mooni Van Tichel (BE), Gustavo Vieira (BR), Mamadou Wague (FR)
Created with: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Jolente De Keersmaeker
Artistic assistants: Marie Goudot, Michaël Pomero, Scarlet Tummers
Text: Somnium, Johannes Kepler; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare
Music: after The Fairy Queen, Henry Purcell
Arrangements: Fabian Fiorini, Calvin Carrier, Némo Flouret
Musical advice: Tom Pauwels
Musicians: Laurent Blondiau, Lieve De Sadeleer, Isabel Favilla, Benjamin Postal, Kinga Ludvai 
Voice coach: Lucy Grauman, Fabienne Seveillac
Natural Movement: Aron Blom
Costumes: Lila John
Costumes assistant: Heide Vanderieck
Production assistant: Sien Van Dycke
Fire: Corentin Hannon, Dries Kestemont
Technicians: Steven Peeters, Herman Venderickx
Kitchen: Wieke Nelissen, Sureshkumar Rajendran, Carole Sainte-Marie,  Petronella van der Hallen
P.A.R.T.S.: Lief Bigare, Etienne Bracke, Johanna Buys, Jens Buysschaert, Sandra Da Costa, Steven De Belder, Laura De Bie, Els De Meyer, Maria Leandro, Steven Peeters, Manon Santkin, Naomi Solomaniuck, Charlotte Vandevyver, Sien Van Dycke, Theo Van Rompay, Sandy Williams, Czeslaw Wnorowski
Location: Kasteelpark Gaasbeek
Production: P.A.R.T.S.
Coproduction: Rosas, tg STAN, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Agentschap Natuur & Bos, Kasteel van Gaasbeek
Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Kaaitheater, Agentschap Natuur & Bos, Kasteel van Gaasbeek
Thanks to: Kuno Bakker, Bart Coen, De gemeente Lennik, Hugo De Greef, De Groentelaar met Tijs Boelens, Nicolas Naessens en Sander Van Haver, De School van Gaasbeek, Drinks Limbourg, Juan Díaz Dorronsoro, Eva Fillet, Jade Fillet, Rone Fillet, Steven Fillet, Thomas Hertog, Ictus, Floor Keersmaekers, Emilie Kino, Luc Mishalle, Klaas Tindemans
P.A.R.T.S. is supported by the Flemish Ministry of Education

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Somnia

Together with Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Jolente De Keersmaeker, forty-four dancers enter into a dialogue with the natural landscape, where factors such as sound and silence, light and dark, distance and proximity become a matter of perspective, and where both new possibilities and boundaries emerge. In search of an ecological aesthetic they leave behind the four walls of the theatre for a performance that requires few theatrical interventions and fuse seamlessly with the natural environment.

“With Somnia, we set out to create an environment within which both students and audience could experience nature in the most direct way and to do so through the most familiar, inner environment a person possesses: the body, through which we live and breathe. We believe that we can control and exploit nature, but in our physical presence we are part of nature and nature is part of us. In that experience lies the awareness that if we destroy our environment, then our end is also near and hopefully it will wake us further to the great challenges that await us in the decades to come.”

The woods and the night sky offer the perfect backdrop for the ‘dreams’ to which the title Somnia refers. The first of the dreams is Somnium, a novel by the seventeenth-century astronomer Johannes Kepler, in which science and science fiction merge to show that the planets revolve around the sun in an elliptic orbit. The second dream underpinning the performance is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Combining Shakespeare and Kepler, the dancers explore the intersection of text, dance and music playing with gravity while guided by fantastic stories in a space-time far beyond the borders of urban theatre.

How do we organise movement as if it were a play with gravity, or as the expression or embodiment of a thought, text or language? Anne Teresa and Jolente De Keersmaeker looked for possible answers to these questions with the last-year students of P.A.R.T.S. In doing so, Somnia writes a new story, drawing the outlines of the dream of a generation of young dancers preparing for the challenges awaiting them as the inhabitants of this earth.

These are the forgeries of jealousy;
And never since the middle summer’s spring
Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,
By paved fountain or by rushy brook,
Or in the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But with thy brawls thou hast disturbed our sport.
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge have sucked up from the sea
Contagious fogs, which, falling in the land,
Hath every pelting river made so proud
That they have overborne their continents.
The ox hath therefore stretched his yoke in vain,
The plowman lost his sweat, and the green corn
Hath rotted ere his youth attained a beard:
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrain flock; The nine-men’s-morris is filled up with mud,
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
For lack of tread, are undistinguishable.
The human mortals want their winter cheer;
No night is now with hymn or carol blessed; Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound.
And thorough this distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
And on old Hiems’ thin and icy crown
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set. The spring, the summer,
The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which.
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original.

Titania’s monologue from A Midsummer night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

All Levania experiences the succession of day and night as we do, but they lack the variation that goes on all year among us. […] To produce equal nights at each of the poles, the sun is hidden half the time and shines half the time as it travels around the mountains in a circle. For Levania seems to its inhabitants to remain just as motionless among the moving stars as does our earth to us humans.

Extract from Somnium by Johannes Kepler
Translation: Normand Raymond Salardeau, Nexum Ediciones, 2015

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P.A.R.T.S. is an international school for contemporary dance and choreography based in Brussels. P.A.R.T.S. is first of all an artistic project, with a curriculum inspired by the artistic practice of its founder Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and other choreographers. It is a laboratory for the future, aiming to challenge and stimulate students to become independent and creative artists. P.A.R.T.S. has two inde-pendent programs. The Training Cycle (3 years) is a professional education for dancers and choreographers that offers the theoretical and practical fundamentals of contemporary dance and a focus on physical conscience, the development of creative and compositional skills, a training in drama and music and theoretical reflection. The Studios (2 years) target choreographers and makers who want to develop and articulate their creative practice and research, through movement research, choreography masterclasses, theoretical seminars and self-directed research.

In 1980, after studying dance at Mudra School in Brussels and Tisch School of the Arts in New York, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (b. 1960) created Asch, her first choreographic work. Two years later came the premiere of Fase, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich. De Keersmaeker established the dance company Rosas in Brussels in 1983, while creating the work Rosas danst Rosas. Since these breakthrough pieces, her choreography has been grounded in a rigorous and prolific exploration of the relationship between dance and music. She has created with Rosas a wide-ranging body of work engaging the musical structures and scores of several periods, from early music to contemporary and popular idioms. Her choreographic practice also draws formal principles from geometry, numerical patterns, the natural world, and social structures to offer a unique perspective on the body’s articulation in space and time. In 1995 De Keersmaeker established the school P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) in Brussels in association with De Munt / La Monnaie.

Jolente De Keersmaeker (1967) is a founding member of tg STAN. These past years she co-created and appeared in, among others, Eind Goed al Goed, Het Wijde Land, Bedrog/Trahisons, Nora, The Cherry Orchard, Quoi/Maintenant, Poquelin II and Infidèles. Beside her work with STAN, she’s regularly involved in the work of her sister, the choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, and of her dance company Rosas. She teaches at the Ghent Conservatory and she regularly gives workshops in Belgium and abroad.

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