• zoomRichard of York Gave Batlle in Vain
    Richard of York Gave Batlle in Vain © Alvarez Luis
  • zoomRichard of York Gave Batlle in Vain
    Richard of York Gave Batlle in Vain © Alvarez Luis
  • zoomRichard of York Gave Batlle in Vain
    Richard of York Gave Batlle in Vain © Alvarez Luis
  • zoomRichard of York Gave Batlle in Vain
    Richard of York Gave Batlle in Vain © Alvarez Luis
  • zoomRichard of York Gave Batlle in Vain
    Richard of York Gave Batlle in Vain © Alvarez Luis

Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain


On tastes and colours
The starting-point of Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain (a mnemonic sentence for remembering the order of the colours of the light spectrum, i.e., red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) is colour, to which Thierry Smits and his dance group give a resolutely subjective reading. In this piece, nine dancers pass through seven contrasted sequences. The colour that is at the basis of each sequence is a pretext for the making of a collage of the various sensitivities felt by the artists participating in this creation. Neither the order of the sequences nor their internal structure follow any rules other than the intuitive rules of the sensation of colour and logic of movement. No classical dramaturgy is at hand here. Rather, Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain is an invitation to travel through colour to what lies beyond, a voyage that starts with a colour and takes us elsewhere, just as the show’s title ultimately transcends its mnemonic function to produce an independent meaning. The way in which this meaning is perceived will probably vary depending on the beholder.
Violent and joyful, experimental and playful, formal and emotional, technological and physical, this project promises to be as full of contrast as the colours themselves.



"Via the conjugated codes of an eclectic dance, through its mnemotechnic title and behind its symbolic data, ‘Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain’ affirms choreographic polysemy.  Indeed disparate, this work is particularly rich and tremendously open…  …Perception, thence subjectivity, thence insight and sensation… …Thierry Smits borrows from the codes of ballet to the abstractions of the purely contemporary, and uses dramatized imagery of counter-cultures.
Transgressive, playing wilfully with nudity and bondage, the entire universe of Thor is present. It is a universe of contrasts and unexpected shocks, nevertheless omitting neither lightness nor poetry. And his humour, just like his darkness – always present, mocking to the highest degree."
La Libre Belgique, Marie Baudet, 10/03/01

"The dance ‘sucks’ you in at certain moments of the performance, to then spit you back out just as quickly…  …The music and the pure choreographic images give the audience the largest freedom for a personal interpretation of [each] colour."
De Morgen, Sally de Kunst, 12/03/01

"Smits is an eclectic choreographer who combines pure forms with brutal energy and kitsch.  Theatricality with physicality, this time in a multi-disciplinary perspective…  …The result is a literally many-coloured collage of images reminiscent of Middle-Ages Art, pop art; various dance disciplines and a variety of music genres."
Tijd Cultuur, 14/03/01

The choreographer Thierry Smits confirms his talents with “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain”, and celebrates with dignity the ten years of his company’s existence.  Assuredly, here is a mature piece, rhythmic to the maximum and ceaselessly vacillating (Smits ‘oblige’) between ‘tender’ emotion and murderous tension.
Steps Magazine, 04/01

Thierry Smits and his team, sign an accomplished piece, elegant and, at times, provoking.
Le Vif/l’Express, Lucie Van de Walle, 6/04/01

"This voyage through colour has plenty surprises in store… …Within each coloured atmosphere, the apparent absence of tight guidelines does not prevent the development of themes either dramatic or humoristic. The dance is rigorous and supported by video and various other accessories to accelerate or slow down the rhythm of these little short plays…  …It is funny and intense, a rare mixture, necessarily colourful, ‘Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain’ is worth seeing…"
Culture-Matin, Christian Jade, 6/04/01

"A mixture of short humorous edifying texts, built on luminescent experiences, completing the undulating dance and total humour of the troupe."
Le Soir, Jean-Marie Wynants, 10/04/01

"A refined choreography, geometrically studied figures through which a personal message is expressed, in turn violent, engaged or provocative…  …We are seduced by the refinement of the choreographic composition. Thierry Smits has surpassed himself and his dancers have thrown themselves with body and soul into the adventure."
A corps perdu (on-line), Lucie Dendooven, 11/04/01

"A chromatic variation where the physical reunites the physique in order to deflect the eye into the rhythmical universe of a man who maintains a relationship with his art, as radical as it is sentimental.  To see a performance by Thierry Smits is always a visual experience in which the lighting leads the spectator to loose him/herself in a place where there are no more beacons – in the world of a fantasy under creation."
Mosquito (Télémoustique, 11/04/01)

"Special group-choreographies and individual dances, with a beautifully refined language of personal movement. The spectator… …enjoys the strong given shape of the dance with its attributes, technique and lighting and all this in beautiful harmony with the rhythm and the stirring sounds and music… …Thierry Smits dances the colours and lets the colours dance."
De Bond, Tuur Devens, 20/04/01

"The alternation, the quick passing from one strong emotion to another, from the deepest anxiety to the most childlike joy; this is the whirlwind into which we are pulled by the forceful personalities of these nine dancers…  …Fierceness and serenity succeed each other at a pace even more effective when performed by grand dancers and by a choreographer who still knows the meaning of the word… …These tableaux of dancers are built with coherence and balance, and reveal a great aesthetic sensitivity… …Smits’ work reflects a refusal of systematized choreographic expression.  It is also the desire to address as many of us as possible by proposing to the audience an intrigue generally very readable… …Thierry Smits has been successful in working out his own choreographic language, full of refinement, play and dexterity."
Journal du Médecin, Louisiane Renaud, 4/05/01



Première 08, 09, 10/03/2001 Théâtre le Muselet CHâlons en Champagne (FR)
13/03/2001 CC La Louvière La Louvière
16/03/2001=>30/03/2001 Het Paleis Antwerpen
03/04/2001 Stadschouwburg Brugge Brugge
06/04/2001 CC Westrand Dildbeek
10/04/2001=>18/04/2001 Théâtre Varia Bruxelles
20/04/2001 De Velinx Tongeren
25/04/2001=>27/04/2001 Théâtre de Namur Namur
04/05/2001 De Werf Aalst
06/05/2001 CC Leuven Leuven

dezoom next