Je suis sang

by Jan Fabre

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The 2005 archive

Jan Fabre


Je suis sang © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


A world utterly at the mercy of the power of theatrical imagination is what Jan Fabre has been advocating since C'est du Théâtre Comme Il Etait à Espérer et à Prévoir (1982) and Le Pouvoir des Folies Théâtrales (1984). Those were the first of his pieces to draw attention with their flouting of stage convention. It's a kind of Theatre of Rebellion (As Long as the World Needs a Warrior's Soul, 2000), influenced by his training in plastic arts and his practical experience of performance art, simultaneously bringing to the stage a time related to materials of the painter, as well as that related to human beings or animals (Parrots and Guinea Pigs, 2002). However, everything is created out of the body and its language. The physical body in Sweet Temptations (1991), spiritual in Universal Copyrights 1&9 (1995) and erotic in Glowing Icons (1997). This body, that has memory and fundamental instincts similar to those of animals, is endowed with the almost magical power of metamorphosis. That is why he likes to describe his actors as "warriors of beauty", drawn into the enormity of images and dreams. Nonetheless, over and above excess, and often with humour or irony, Jan Fabre manifests a profound affection towards humankind and its weaknesses. In all these years entirely devoted to his art, a protean body of work which includes sculptures and installations, text and stage-production – more than thirty pieces to date - Jan Fabre, from the workshop to the tangible work, from the studio to the stage, has pursued the feverish quest of his visions. In his work, people are defined by their impulses, from the place where their beauty lies, in their bodies, their pleasure, from ecstasy to agony, from subservience to revolt. From his monologues (Elle Etait et Elle Est, Même, Etant Donnés) or personal solos custom-designed for his performers (Quando l'Uomo Principale è Una Donna, L'Ange de la Mort) to his flamboyant group pieces, the approach of this "man who measures clouds", preserves a flavour of childhood and games. Relying on his intuition, Jan Fabre works relentlessly on the plasticity of bodies, seeking to pour them into a poetic mould and create new horizons. Jan Fabre has already presented a number of pieces at the Avignon Festival, Das Glas im Kopf wird vom Glas in 1988, My Movements are Alone Like Street-Dogs in 2000, Je Suis Sang in the Courtyard of Honour in the Pope's Palace as well as an installation, Umbraculum in 2001 and L'Ange de la Mort in 2004.

In 2001, Jan Fabre made his mark on the 55th Avignon Festival with his piece created especially for the Courtyard of Honour in the Pope's Palace, Je Suis Sang (I am Blood). This year, he stages a new version of the "mediaeval fairy-tale" as a diptych to L'Histore des Larmes (A Tale of Tears). From marriage to parturition, from war to love, from violence to harmony, blood, this liquid body, transcends our humanity and celebrates the beauty of Humankind. About twenty performers, actors, dancers and musicians, take us on a journey into our most private spaces. Using the space like the painter Jerome Bosch, Jan Fabre has created a sensationally fantastical and beautiful tableau in the middle of the Courtyard of Honour in the Pope's Palace, inspired by the architecture and the memories within its walls. An exploration of where blood, as primary matter, flows, this metaphor, powerfully stripping bare the representation of the body, is also an essay on metamorphosis. An attempt at creating a liquid, unique body where human knowledge and animal instinct mix, without care for species or race, a body which could feel and think differently and, why not, bring about a different world. This is an intense show haunted by red colour. "I am freeing myself from myself," says one of the voices in the last moments of the piece. Has mankind overcome good and evil ? Could mankind have become invulnerable ? This fresco performed in French and Latin appears to have adopted a mediaeval aesthetic style, but in reality it shatters it into a prophetic language, a ritual action and electric choreography.


Text, scenography, choreography : Jan Fabre
Actors, dancers, musiciens : Linda Adami, Tawny Andersen, Vicente Arlandis, Dimitri Brusselmans, Katrien Bruyneel, Annabelle Chambon, Cédric Charron, Sebastien Cneude, Anny Czupper, Barbara De Coninck, Els Deceukelier, Stijn Dickel, Olivier Dubois, Ivana Jozic, Marina Kaptijn, Guillaume Marie, Dirk Roofthooft, Maria Stamenkovic-Herranz, Geert Vaes, Helmut Van den Meersschaut (cast in progress)
French translation : Olivier Taymans
Latin translation : Luc De Coninck
Dramaturg : Miet Martens
Assistant choreography : Renée Copraij
Original music : Dag Taeldeman, Maarten Van Cauwenberghe, Danny Dupont, Sebastien Cneude
Lighting : Jan Dekeyser, Jan Fabre
Costumes : Daphne Kitschen, Jan Fabre


Avec le soutien : de la Communauté flamande et du Ministre de la Culture Bert Anciaux
Recréation 2005 Production : Troubleyn / Jan Fabre (Anvers)
Coproduction 2001 : Festival d'Avignon, deSingel (Anvers), Sinequanon Dance Company (Athènes)
En collaboration avec : Muziektheater Transparant (Anvers)
Coproduction 2003 : Festival d'Avignon, deSingel (Anvers), Festival GREC (Barcelone), Melbourne Festival
Avec l'aide du : Programme culture 2000 de l'Union Européenne
Texte français publié par : L'Arche éditeur

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