Jan-Jan Van Essche

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui pieces together a mosaic drawn from the animate and inanimate elements of the desert. Meanwhile, from the dance floor, we get glimpses of the fluidity and adaptability of creatures that thrive in the harshest of conditions; the beautiful transience of sand dunes and winds that change direction and shape and speed in the twinkling of an eye; the intense physical and emotional thirst, the yearning for water and safety, for consolation that guide both animal actions and the human quest for spirituality. And above all, the spirit of togetherness, of friendship and symbiosis, key to survival and evolution in an arid world that would be insurmountable alone. NOMAD is the fourth collaboration with Jan-Jan Van Essche, after Icon, Satyagraha and Memento Mori. His costumes for Nomad are inspired by the richness of fabrics that inhabitants of the desert wear to protect themselves from the heat. There's a giant image of the desert filling the back of the stage: This desolate landscape is a metaphor for ultimate freedom, but also for the impossibility to survive. We even get the feeling that this landscape is not in our own trusted world, especially when the animated backdrop shows the earth floating above the horizon like a moon. The dancing nomads seem to be isolated in this environment, like the world today sometimes seems like a desert in the eyes of minority groups, a dangerous place to be in.

Premiere: 04 June 2017
Music: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Felix Buxton, Kaspy N'dia
Choreography: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Set design: Willy Cessa, Adam Carrée
Light design: Willy Cessa, Sam Mary
Video design: Paul Van Caudenberg
Producer: Eastman
Co-producer: 420PEOPLE, Cultuurcentrum Berchem
All images: Filip Van Roe