Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in collaboration with
Photo ÂŠ KOEN BROOS
ABOUT THE COMPANY EASTMAN Founded in January 2010, Eastman was set up to produce and spread the works of artistic director/choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Cherkaoui’s work provides the audience with a vast array of projects and collaborations, ranging from contemporary dance, theatre, ballet, opera, musical, movie to other forms of performance. His non-hierarchical thinking on movement, body language and culture is the basis of his artistic approach. Set in his native harbor city of Antwerp, Eastman forms the central point for all of cherkaoui’s work. Eastman is company in residence at deSingel International Arts Campus (Antwerp). Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is associated artist at Sadler’s Wells (London). Eastman is supported by the Flemish authorities and BNP Paribas Foundation.
4D 4D. Four Duets, For Dance, Four Dimensions, Fourth Dimension: with a title that leaves itself open to a myriad of interpretations, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui serves us with duets that are both complete in themselves and glimpses of wider worlds. These are duets whose original versions were born in very diverse settings. Matter in its initial avatar was a pivotal sequence in the 2008 piece Origine that premiered at the Bourlaschouwburg in Antwerp. Faun was originally commissioned by Sadler’s Wells in London as part of its centennial offering to the great impresario, Sergei Diaghilev, the 2009 mixed bill ‘In the spirit of Diaghilev’ which also showcased work by Wayne McGregor, Russell Maliphant and Javier de Frutos. Sin grew out of Babel (words) (2010), which was choreographed together with Damien Jalet in 2010. Pure was commissioned by the Flemish dance festival Dansand and performed for the first time on the beaches of Ostend under July skies in 2010. In 2011 it was reworked for TeZukA. These four duets were revised, nurtured to realise their potential as freestanding works and brought together to form a full-fledged programme. The show can be booked in different versions: with live or recorded music, depending on the possibilities and interest of the inviting venue.
Photo © KOEN BROOS
MAT T ER Matter was a pivotal sequence in the 2008 piece Origine. Origine explored the wellsprings of civilisation, but it was also intensely, almost painfully, topical – sharply underscoring among other things, the solitude of 21st century existence and the omnipresence of the cult of consumerism. Matter highlights our favourite clichés of East and West — only to shatter, mix, and reshape them thoroughly. It features the supposedly spiritual East, prototyped with android impassivity by Kazutomi Kozuki — as the fountainhead of all technology, technology that has taken over as the ruling deity in most of our lives. Alongside this East appears Daisy Phillips’ youthful West which is strangely reminiscent of the grace and fluidity of classical sculptures, her movements imbued with precision of expression we associate with ancient Asian performing arts. Matter is an ode to the omnipresence of objects around us, and their role as buffers to our extreme solitude in today’s world. Bodies incarnate the extreme mutability of forms both animate and inanimate, and everything is interchangeable – limbs, torsos, digits. Fingers transform into earrings, apples, a lighter; hands morph into mirrors, soap or a steering wheel; legs into a chair then a car, a back becomes an ironing board. After Daisy Phillips embraces the comfort of Kazutomi Kozuki’s silent presence, he segues into a series of appliances, accessories and utility goods that reappear later in a home as present-day totems against loneliness – so the everyday object acquires all the importance of a former household god.
PU RE “Now the spirit of man loves Purity, but his mind disturbs it. The mind of man loves stillness, but his desires draw it away. If he could always send his desires away, his mind would of itself become still. Let his mind be made clean, and his spirit will of itself become pure.” (Excerpt from a Taoist text) With Pure Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui explores the implications of purity, and the overwhelming preoccupation with the concept. He questions whether purifying a body could make that body disappear and if absolute purity does not actually mean that nothing will be left. Together with the Norwegian dancers Guro Nagelhus Schia and Vebjørn Sundby, he seeks a movement language that can portray this disappearance. The dancer aims not to disturb the air around her body whilst keeping her body straight. Her partner approaches her gently and brushes her body with a soft cloth. With every cleansing touch, no matter how gentle, he impacts her entire body until it vanishes. Pure was first performed in 2010 at Festival Dansand and reworked in 2011 for TeZukA.
Photos © OLIVIER OFFSCHIR
SIN Sin was created for the 2010 piece BABEL(words) by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and the French-Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet. Cherkaoui and Jalet have been working together for the past 12 years. Sin developed from a duo featuring Navala Chaudhari and Damien Fournier. Its strength and impact inspired the two choreographers to rework the sequence and give it a life of its own. If the myth of Babel in the Bible represents the first collective failing, then the story of Adam and Eve would be the first individual offence. The duet explores the opposition between Eros and Thanatos, or the instinct of life against that of death within the intimacy of a couple. The destructive instinct of the passion, the toxicity that arises in couplehood, the search for domination of one over the other, the imbalance between two peopleâ€Ś all these find their way into this relationship. Animal, serpentine and sometimes spider-like gestures develop in a game of reverse birth and death where one draws his/her vital energy of the other. The conclusion is found in the beginning, like a snake biting its tail.
Photos © KOEN BROOS
FAUN Cherkaoui’s Faun, for there have been so many Fauns since the seminal piece by Nijinski, had a very specific point of departure: James O’Hara. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui had always found this young dancer to embody the duality in man, a natural presence of the animal within. In this short piece, Cherkaoui revisited Stéphane Mallarmé’s tale of sexual awakening, of male-female energies discovering and rekindling each other and the ineluctable moment of harmony, then unison, as one merges into the other and the two become an indissociable whole. His concerns were more with the animality of these two bodies, these beings, which end up as one hybrid entity; and with the nature of the liberating and organic force that links them to the universe they spring from. Daisy Phillips’s and James O’Hara’s personalities, their own movement hybridity, have informed this Faun. And with Nitin Sawhney’s music added to Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and Hussein Chalayan’s costumes, Faun sheds its cultural baggage and becomes in itself dual or multiple, primeval and modern, suddenly uprooted from history and geography. The flute-playing Faun could transmute into Krishna, another eternal charmer; and in Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s own mythology, a nymph could just as easily be man’s imaginative response to a firefly at dusk. Faun premiered in October 2009 as part of ‘In the Spirit of Diaghilev’. For this duet Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui was nominated for Best Modern Choreography by the British National Dance Awards in 2010.
Photo © HUGO GLENDINNING
CRE D I T S 4 D Choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, for Sin in collaboration with Damien Jalet
Assistant Choreographer and Rehearsal Director Nienke Reehorst Music composed by Patrizia Bovi, Tsubasa Hori, Olga Wojciechowska, Claude Debussy (Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune) with additional music by Nitin Sawhney Performers Navala Chaudhari, Damien Fournier, Kazutomi Kozuki, James O’Hara, Daisy Phillips, Guro Nagelhus Schia, Vebjørn Sundby
Musicians Patrizia Bovi, Tsubasa Hori, Mahabub Khan, Sattar Khan, Gabriele Miracle, Olga Wojciechowska Lighting design Adam Carrée Costume design Frédérick denis, Alexandra Gilbert, Elisabeth Kinn Svensson, Sasa Kovacevic, Isabelle Lhoas, Hussein Chalayan
Video design Paul Van Caudenberg Production Eastman Coproduction: deSingel International Arts Campus - Antwerpen, Theater Im Pfalzbau - Ludwigshafen, Théâtre du Beauvaisis - Beauvais, ToneelhuisAntwerpen,
CRE D I T S ORI GI NA L P I E C E S Matter Choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Assistant Choreographers Nienke Reehorst, Satoshi Kudo, Claire Cunningham, Performers Kazutomi Kozuki, Daisy Phillips, Music Byzantine, Sephardic and Syriac traditionals Music performed by Patrizia Bovi Lighting design Enrico Bagnoli, Costume design Isabelle Lhoas, Frédérick denis, Produced by Toneelhuis, Muziekcentrum De Bijloke Gent
Pure Choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Performers Guro Nagelhus Schia, Vebjørn Sundby, Music composed and performed by Tsubasa Hori, Olga Wojciechowska, Lighting design Adam Carrée, Costume design Sasa Kovacevic, Rehearsal Director Nienke Reehorst, Satoshi Kudo
Produced by Eastman, Bunkamura and Sadler’s Wells London
Sin Choreography Damien Jalet & Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Performers Navala Chaudhari, Damien Fournier, Music Indian traditional Musicians Patrizia Bovi, Gabriele Miracle, Mahabub Khan, Sattar Khan, Lighting design Adam Carrée, Costume design Alexandra Gilbert, Rehearsal director Nienke Reehorst Produced by Eastman & De Munt
Faun Choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Performers James O’Hara, Daisy Phillips, Music Claude Debussy, ‘Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune’, with additional music by Nitin Sawhney, Lighting design Adam Carrée, Costume Design Hussein Chalayan, Rehearsal director Miranda Lind, Nienke Reehorst Produced by Sadler’s Wells London Co-produced by Théâtre National de Chaillot Paris, Monaco Dance Forum, Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, Mercat de les Flors Barcelona, Opera de Dijon and Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg
Supported by the Foyle Foundation and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet
PUZ/ZLE sidi larbi cherkaoui
In PUZ/ZLE Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui questions and highlights the puzzles that lie behind human relations (emotional, intellectual, sexual), the morphology of the body, and intangibles like musical traditions inspired by and woven together from separate and multiple strands and traditions.
EASTMAN also presents
sidi larbi cherkaoui / damien jalet
BABEL(words) takes as its starting point the specific moment in the tale of the Tower of Babel when God punishes those who built a tower in his name, causing chaos by splintering them into different languages, cultures and lands.
PLAY sidi larbi cherkaoui / shantala shivalingappa
PLAY pivots on two intertwined conceits: the idea of playacting, the role playing required in theatre; and the games people play. games of chess, games of seduction, games of masquerades,â€Ś of assuming another role, of putting on masks...
sidi larbi cherkaoui
APOCRIFU questions the rationalism of Western ideas but also the negation of the body by most religions. It examines the Talmud, the Koran and the Bible. These three religious books symbolise the broader theme that Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has studied for some time, which is the intrinsic similarity between various cultures and religious visions.
photo © HUGO GLENDINNING
SALES CHRISTINE.TINLOT@EAST-MAN.BE JAN VAN RIJSWIJCKLAAN 155, 2018 ANTWERP, BELGIUM T: +32 3 800 01 40, M: +32 476 47 03 67, WWW.EAST-MAN.BE or FRANS BROOD PRODUCTIONS, INFO@FRANSBROOD.COM, T: +32 9 234 12 12