Jan Fabre inspires Peruvian theatre company LOT

May 2008 -

Sixteen bodies are slowly moving through the room. "Control yourself, concentrate, do not speed up." Shortly thereafter, an inspiringly rhythmic 1940s mambo reverberates through the dancing room. It is clearly difficult for the participants to stay in control. "It is important to find the essence of your movement and to hold onto that. To do so, you must take a risk and lose a lot of sweat, of course."

Image from the workshop

Marina Kaptijn of the Jan Fabre Teaching Group gave a five-day workshop for professional performers, actors and dancers in Lima, Peru in the second half of April 2008. "I teach the techniques that Jan Fabre developed in his lengthy career as choreographer and director for directing his actors, performers and dancers on stage. Central focus is not placed on a certain artistic discipline, but on the physical possibilities of the body."

"It was liberating not having to work from a specific artistic discipline in the training during this workshop. We really discovered what it can be like to experience a changing process with the body, irrespective of whether it involved theatre, dance or performance," says José Ruíz, one of the few male participants. "Although most of the workshop participants know each other and follow one another's work, we almost never have an opportunity to work together intensively for a period of five days."

Karine Aguirre is a member of the contemporary dance group Cuatro Costillas Flotantes. "We have been wanting to combine dance and performance for quite some time. That demands a different type of body control, making different combinations possible, for example with language and alternative spaces. In the next few weeks I will be sharing my experience with my three colleagues because the interdisciplinary nature of the workshop was exactly what we have been looking for."

The workshop offered by the Jan Fabre Teaching Group was part of the first phase of cooperation between the Peruvian interdisciplinary theatre company La Otra Orilla Teatro (LOT) and Troubleyn, Jan Fabre’s theatre and artistic laboratory in Antwerp. The events also included the premiere in Lima of Fabre’s Quando l’uomo pricipale è una donna, a free workshop on physical theatre for theatre students, and a conference on performance and the visual arts.

LOT is sponsored by Hivos.