Sonic Boom

3.4/05 > 18:00
5.6/05 > 20:30
Nl > Subtitles : Fr

Sonic Boom: going through the sound barrier, a supersonic explosion.

"I remember playing in my garden when I was a child. There was a really loud bang that made all the windows in my house rattle. My legs gave way. I looked up at the point in the sky where the noise came from and the plane wasn't there anymore..." Vandekeybus goes on to remember: "Listening to the radio at night, sounds evoke images in which memories and stories melt together."

With David E. Edwards (for some of the music), Peter Verhelst (text), the 9 performers from Ultima Vez and 3 seasoned actors from Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Sonic Boom bridges the gap between primitive sensations and the imagination, sound and image, the body and words.

Choreography & direction:

Wim Vandekeybus

Created with & performed by:

Joop Admiraal, Kitty Courbois, Titus Muizelaar

& 8 dancers of Ultima Vez:

Laura Arís Alvarez, Elena Fokina, Jozef Frucek, Ina Geerts, Robert M. Hayden, Germán Jauregui Allue, Linda Kapetanea, Thomas Steyaert

Also created with:

Thi-Mai Nguyen

Original music:

David Eugene Edwards (s.r./o.v./t.b.c.)


Peter Verhelst & Ultima Vez

Extra texts:

Ultima Vez, Joop Admiraal, Kitty Courbois and Titus Muizelaar

Artistic assistant:

Eduardo Torroja


Wim Vandekeybus

Assistant scenography:

Daniel Huard, Sascha Van Riel

Light design:

Wim Vandekeybus & Ralf Nonn


Isabelle Lhoas

Assistant styling & costumes:

Frédéric Denis

Assistant to Wim Vandekeybus:

Greet Van Poeck

Extra technician on tour:

Jan Olieslagers

Technical coordination & light engineer:

Ralf Nonn

Stage manager & props:

Daniel Huard

Sound designer & sound engineer:

Benjamin Dandoy


Gavin Janet

Set realised by:

Atelier Toneelgroep Amsterdam (Alex Daas, Jan Van Dalfsen, Rob Stoffers Joop Reesen, Theo Van Rooy, Ellen Windhorst, Karin Heslinga)

Costumes realised by:

Atelier Toneelgroep Amsterdam (Farida Bouhbouh, Wim Van Vliet, Renske Kraakman)

Production management:

Harm Witteveen


Chris van der Burght


Maaike Loncke

Special thanks to:

Philippe Vandendriessche, Femke Van der Fraenen


Toneelgroep Amsterdam & Ultima Vez


Festival de Marseille, PACT/Zollverein Choreographisches Zentrum NRW (Essen) & Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam


Kaaitheater, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

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There are two plane trees on a square.

Nobody remembers who planted them.

Perhaps, on this square once, there was a girl and a boy.

Perhaps their eyes met, like two swans with undulating necks, magnetised by each other, in the midst of the others.

They are in the square, the boy is motionless, the girl, her back turned to him, is facing a house and watches the reflection of the boy in the glass.

The boy smiles and his smile spurs the girl into action. She lets herself fall backwards, as if in slow motion. Just to the point where the boy can catch her.

No longer.

There, where their steps came to a standstill, two trees have grown.

Much later on, their tops have interlaced.

There, where they touched for the first time, resin falls drop by drop onto the stones.

The heat is stifling, almost too hot to want to move. The night craves the coolness of the sea, but in vain. On a square, a young woman asks a man for money. She has to take the boat. The man gives her money and asks if she is really going to go on board. He decides to follow her.

In a hotel room, an old man is waiting for a woman. Many years ago they spent long nights together as lovers. The woman had asked him for money and he had followed her. The feverish heat prevails. They wait for night to fall before they risk going outside. They meet on the square, by the sea wall and later in hotel rooms. The radio plays continuously in the background. Nobody knows any more what is reality and what is hallucination.

In the autumn of 2001, Ivo Van Hove, director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam, invited Wim Vandekeybus to direct the actors of his Dutch theatre company. For this unique project – which at the beginning was given the provisional title of Metamorphosen – Vandekeybus chose three experienced actors from Toneelgroep Amsterdam and eight members from his own company, Ultima Vez. The script is written by the poet and author Peter Verhelst, who also wrote the Ultima Vez productions Scratching the Inner Fields and Blush.

David Eugene Edwards, singer-songwriter for the American band 16 Horsepower and for his solo project Woven Hand, has written the music. Some existing pieces from different groups and artists are integrated into the performance soundtrack.

At the outset, the production addresses two entirely independent phenomena: supersonic boom and night radio: image is faster than sound. The sound coming from late night radio evokes images. Voices and sounds enhance the imagination. Stories and memories merge. Everything is transformed.

In Sonic Boom, Vandekeybus bridges the gap between raw emotion and imagination, between the physical and the verbal, between images and stories, between dance and theatre.

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