Grensgeval (Borderline)

based on Elfriede Jelinek

  • Theatre
  • Dance
  • Show
The 2017 archive

Maud Le Pladec and Guy Cassiers

Antwerp / Created in 2017

Refugees cross the Mediterranean in makeshift boats, only to face mistrust and fear upon landing on the opposite shore.

Grensgeval (Borderline) © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


A group of refugees are crossing the Mediterranean. Risking their lives in makeshift boats, they only encounter mistrust once they reach the other shore; an ambiguous world plagued by its own fears and questions, at once concerned and powerless to do anything. Guy Cassiers, director of the theatre of Antwerp, the Toneelhuis, has chosen to adapt Elfriede Jelinek's engaged and provocative text and to collaborate with choreographer Maud Le Pladec to question our relationship to the other and our capacity for understanding. “We can only, in reality, talk about ourselves.” If this is a topical subject, its representation is made possible thanks to the distance theatre and dance create, and to the dreamlike quality of the images and the violence of the words of the Austrian writer, which echo great mythological texts about population movements and negotiations about the notion of welcome. Divided into three movements, the text and the scenic creation reflect those long, nightmare-like journeys through language and space, “to the point that the audience loses the thread, no longer able to distinguish who's talking between European and refugees, because words meld until arises a certain schizophrenia that's symbolic of our society.” The general feeling of powerlessness then becomes almost tangible.



Text Elfriede Jelinek / Traduction Tom Kleijn
Direction Guy Cassiers
Choreography Maud Le Pladec
Dramaturgy Dina Dooreman
Stage design, costumes Tim van Steenbergen
Lights Fabiana Piccioli
Video Frederik Jassogne
Sound Diederik De Cock

With Katelijne Damen, Abke Haring, Han Kerckhoffs, Lukas Smolders
And the dancers Samuel Baidoo, Machias Bosschaerts, Pieter Desmet, Sarah Fife, Berta Fornell Serrat, Julia Godino Llorens, Aki Iwamoto, Daan Jaartsveld, Levente Lukacs, Hernan Mancebo Martinez, Alexa Moya Panksep, Marcus Alexander Roydes, Meike Stevens, Pauline van Nuffel, Sandrine Wouters, Bianca Zueneli


Production Toneelhuis
Co-production Festival d'Avignon, Le Phénix Scène nationale de Valenciennes, Centre chorégraphique national d'Orléans, La Filature Scène nationale de Mulhouse, Centre dramatique d'Orléans / Scène nationale d'Orléans
In collaboration with the Conservatoire royal d'Anvers formation danse AP Hogeschool
With the support of the city of Antwerp, Onda fot the 71st edition of the Festival d'Avignon

Les Suppliants by Elfriede Jelinek, translation Magali Jourdan and Mathilde Sobottke, is published by Editions de L'Arche.

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