For this production, Thierry Smits agreed to focus on a text by the Flemish author and poet Peter Verhelst. The Dutch text, translated into French and recited in both languages during the performance, chronicles a post-mortem tale, in which couples, who have experienced intense love à la “Romeo and Juliet,” could relive their passion after their deaths.
Once again, the theme allows Smits to re-explore the human body, which is constantly yearning and being tested: “The four dancers’ bodies pass through highly different phases. Initially, they are malleable flesh lacking identity; they then become sex-bodies, completely tensed-up in their desire for relationships and suffering; they are subsequently subjected to a fusional attempt, which in its organicity is more reminiscent of the seabed than of any human figure; they then become medicalised bodies, subject to examination; and finally combative bodies, engaged in a desperate struggle with death.”
This is the first occasion that Smits’ company is involved in a multimedia presentation, using an extensive set design that includes a ten-metre screen on which images and excerpts from Verhelst’s text appear, as well as a huge curtain made of transparent, undulating plastic tubes through which, at the end of the piece, a reddish liquid spills out onto the stage, evoking not just the cold, remote and technical world of medicine, but also the vitality of human beings in all their vulnerability and their ineluctable propensity to escape.