An artist talk will be held after the show on October 25.
Multilingual with German and English surtitles
In THE BLIND POET Jan Lauwers deals with the family trees of the Needcompany performers, and he writes a new history about their different nationalities, cultures, and languages. He goes back hundreds of years in order to reflect on the notion of identity in present-day multicultural Europe. Lauwers draws on the Arabian poet Abu l-'Ala al-Ma'arri (973 -1057) and on Wallada bint al-Mustakfi, an Andalusian author in the 11th century. Their works describe a time when Córdoba was the financial and cultural center of the world and Paris an insignificant provincial city, women held positions of power, atheism was commonplace, and Charlemagne was illiterate. History is written by the victors. By men who think they know what has to be done. How many lies, coincidences, and disasters have made history what we consider it to be today?
Text, direction and stage designJan Lauwers Music Maarten Seghers With Grace Ellen Barkey, Jules Beckman, Anna Sophie Bonnema, Hans Petter Melø Dahl, Benoît Gob, Maarten Seghers, Mohamed Toukabri, Elke Janssens and Jan Lauwers Costumes Lot Lemm Dramaturgy and surtitles Elke Janssens Lighting design Marjolein Demey, Jan Lauwers Sound design Ditten Lerooij Sound Ditten Lerooij, Marc Combas Technical manager Marjolein Demey Technique and production Marjolein Demey, Kurt Bethuyne Technical set construction De Muur, X-Treme Logistical support Irmgard Mertens Assistentin Costume assistant Lieve Meeussen Trainee director Lisaboa Houbrechts Trainee technicians Pablo Pérez Albalaejo und Ludovicus Grevendonk Dramaturgical introductionErwin Jans Dramaturgical advisor Jef Lambrecht, Lucas Catherine und Taha Adnan French translation Olivier Taymans English translation Gregory Ball
Jan Lauwers (b. 1957 in Antwerp) studied painting at the School of Arts in Ghent and is an artist who works in almost every media. He and Grace Ellen Barkey founded the Needcompany in 1986, and the company was artists-in-residence at the Burgtheater in Vienna from 2009 - 2014. Jan Lauwers received the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria in 2012 and the Golden Lion at the Venice Art Biennale for his lifework in 2014. In his theater works Lauwers dissects theater as a medium, he develops a form of transparent »thinking-acting« and reflects on the paradox between »portraying« and »performing«. His diverse film and video projects were shown at, among others, the Buenos Aires International Human Rights Film Festival; the Venice International Film Festival; and BOZAR Brussels. The latter devoted a solo exhibition to this artist in 2007. Ever since his production of THE SNAKESONG TRILOGY (1994) Lauwers has been writing the texts for his stage projects himself. His piece MARKETPLACE 76 was performed at SPIELART 2013. His latest work, THE BLIND POET, had its world premiere at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts 2015 festival.
Production and realization
Production Needcompany. Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen, FIBA - Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm. Supported by the Flemish Government