Yo escribo. Vos dibujás.

    10/05  | 20:30
    11/05  | 15:00
    11/05  | 20:30
    12/05  | 15:00
    12/05  | 19:00
    13/05  | 20:30

€ 20/16

Argentinian theatre director and film-maker Federico Léon returns to Brussels for the first time since 2015. With the premiere of Yo escribo. Vos dibujás. (I write. You draw.), he lets you wander around in a parallel world where all sorts of things are going on. While you are handed flyers with messages, you discover different little stands and activities that seem to be quite unrelated to one another. As if you had ended up quite by chance at a kind of fair or public gathering. And yet a certain order gradually becomes perceptible in this seeming chaos. Between the lines and in the combination of the unrelated events, a hidden connection emerges, directed by a school of self-knowledge combining rituals, childhood games, memories and fragments of dreams. Yo escribo. Vos dibujás. ingeniously mediates on the way in which we experience and interpret the world around us. Expect a mysterious journey that declares the individual, superficial gaze bankrupt.

See also: Talk: Argentina: Fiction & Reality
12/05 – 20:30 (after the performance)
EN/ES, free entrance
With: Federico León, Benoît Hennaut
In collaboration with: Alternatives théâtrales

Concept and direction: Federico León
Performance: Silvina Sabater, Felipe Boucau, Annette Felix, Zoë Segelstein, Flora Mosleh, François Van Merris, Jahangir Rheghabi Gholami, Aboubacar Koita, Aleksander Boski, Peter Kirschen, Juan Mendez y Blaya, Franco Rossi, Anthony Forrat, Benoit Finschi, Kevin Dupont, Mehdi Delanoeije, Benoit Dassy, Tomas da Fonseca, Jaime de Mendoza, Bruno Hardt, Radek Kaliski, Issam Ouertani, Amine Mokhtari, Mustafa Abulkhir, Lucas Trouillard, Colin Vanandruel, Mustafa Aboulkhir
Set Design: Ariel Vaccaro
Set Design assistance: Valentina Remenik
Music and Sound: Diego Vainer
Lighting Design: David Seldes
Costumes: Paola Delgado
Technical coordination: Laura Copertino
Dummy's realisation: Cecilia Polidoro
Casting: María Laura Berch and Mariana Berch
Production Coordination: Rodrigo Manuel Pérez
Executive Production: Melisa Santoro Aguirre
Production assistance: Tamara Belenky
Delegated Production in Spain: Carlota Guivernau
International communication and Delegated Production in France: Julie Le Gall / Cokot
Direction assistance: Juan Francisco Reato 
Production Kunstenfestivaldesarts: Arnaud de Schaetzen, Safa El Alami, Elise Vermuyten

The printed materials are a free adaptation of texts from the studies for the human vocation written by Bernardo Nante
The number The nurse is authored by Claudia Schijman and was released in 1989
The conference contains autobiographical material by Claudia Schijman 
Surtitling: Babel Subtitling 

Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Les Halles de Schaerbeek
Production: ZELAYA
Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Teatro Nacional Argentino – Teatro Cervantes (Buenos Aires), Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), FITEI (Porto), Teatro do Bairro Alto (Lisbon)
With the support of Iberescena and Mecenazgo
Thanks to: Grand Studio    
World premier at Teatro Nacional Argentino – Teatro Cervantes (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

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The Zenith of Astrology

We had to bury my cat. We had rescued Simona from a roof seventeen years ago, and she was faithful to us through all our adventures, just like any loved one. We were prepared for this moment, but the only philosophy available is endurance. It was terrible. I ran from the vet’s to bury her in the garden, before the children saw the lifeless body of one who had brought us so much happiness. I planted some winterflowering plants on her tomb, my son wrote out a cardboard headstone for her, my three-year-old daughter asked when we would see her again. The same night, I had to make a bank transfer over the internet; my access code was my cat’s name, and without warning, my bank told me that “my key had expired”. This synchronicity is always present, but we only seem to notice it when something unexpected disturbs our normal perception of our surroundings, and we experience a greater sensitivity to the world around us. Then we start to read coincidences as omens, chance as a message, a sequence of signs as a horoscope resolving the recent past. 

As usual, this new release from Federico León is an uncomfortable invitation to move out of certainty. Yo escribo. Vos dibujas (‘I write. You draw.’), in the Teatro Cervantes, is no exception. Driven by the voluptuosity of a courage which is hard to encounter, the piece is indescribable, serving as a living example of the anguish pulsing in synchronicity. 

A group carries out unrelated activities. A chess champion faces three novices. The pieces are made of chocolate, which is why his opponents – when they are not the audience – are beginning to eat up the pieces (literally) and the champion does what he can. And he loses. Some ping pong players use vacuum cleaners to make the little balls float, and drop them into cups and pipes. The balls have letters written on them: A, M, R and T, as if the idea was to write us a message. Eventually, it reads “trama”, but also “Marta”, “amar”, “rata”, “amar a MARTA”, “matarrata” 1 or else, almost always, nothing. Some basketball goal scorers, an open fridge, a girl who steals cheese from the fridge: everything is presented to us as in our dreams, but here we are awake and then the plot, which in dreams is fluid, resists us. The audience despairs. Some people want to interact. But all interaction is experienced as awe. 

We are then invited to go backstage and the astrologer explains to us what we have seen. The world as a fertile field of signs, our existence adrift, trying to curse synchronicity to discover our destiny and not dissolve into mere chance. There are various ways to analyse the signs of the world. I believe that the most scientific are those of psychoanalysis, but for some reason, not everyone is committed to listening through long hours of science when it is trying to link up apparently disconnected things and find answers where there are no clear questions. This explains the upsurge in astrology, for instance, with the millennial excuse of the balance of the stars, or the magical reading of coffee grounds, tarot cards, runes or the I-Ching: the quality of the poetry depends on one’s personal inclination towards one plausible interpretation or another.

What is certain is that reason governs our actions. And as reason does not explain finitude – the most final of these actions – philosophy appeared, an intermediate mechanism for passing to other, non-rational forms of reason: poetry, art, absorbed contemplation. It is also the eternal subject matter of the literature of Paul Auster: is there chance in fiction? Behind every sentence there is a writer who chooses it. Everything that appears in a book has meaning. But what writer chooses what happens to us in life? Can we tell the story of our life as we would do it in writing? How did my bank know that my cat had just left us for ever?

My seven-year-old son gave us an explanation, which is the right one: Simona originated from the cat galaxy, and her mission was to make us happy for a while. As we are very happy now, she went back to her star to wait for another mission. So be it.

Rafael Spregelburd
This text was published on perfil.com

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Federico León was born in Buenos Aires in 1975. He has written and directed Cachetazo de campo, Museo Miguel Ángel Boezzio, Mil quinientos metros sobre el nivel de Jack, El adolescente, Yo en el Futuro, Las Multitudes and Las ideas. He wrote, directed and acted in his first film, Todo juntos. In 2007 he wrote and directed with Marcos Martinez, his second film: Estrellas. In 2009 he wrote and directed with Martín Rejtman, Entrenamiento elemental para actores. In 2014 he made La última película, a series of interventions at former cinemas, now turned into parking lots. He has won various awards for his work, including the First Prize for Playwriting from Argentina’s National Theatre Institute, the 2004 Konex Prize in Literature for the production of the Quinquennium, the National Arts Fund, and the First National Prize for Playwriting 1996-1999 from the Argentinean Government. His plays and films have been shown at theatres and festivals in Germany, France, Holland, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Scotland, Canada, Belgium, Spain, Brazil, USA, Japan, Australia and Lebanon. As Professor of theatre, he has given workshops in Spain, France, Belgium, Costa Rica, Bolivia and Argentina. Some of his plays and the script of Todo Juntos, as well as reviews, interviews and texts about the creative process of his work, were published in the book Registros.

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