Liefdesverklaring

Y Generation Festival: Small, great tastes of dance

from: Uit PAC Magazine di Arte & Culture 18/10/2016

During the Y Generation Festival, two works embodied the need to experiment with new methods of communication and the new generation, as well as the need to facilitate an inter-generational exchange through dance languages.

The Belgian group fABULEUS, with DECLARATION OF LOVE, and the company Abbondaza/Bertoni I BAMBINI, with DUEL_TERZA GENERAZIONE, open up new perspectives on dance for and with youngsters. These works manage to establish a language that crosses and involves the different generations inside and outside of the stage, with a mixed audience (teenagers and adults) on one side and a clear age choice on the other on stage (children and teenagers), in the conviction that an artistic work can communicate through these (young) bodies.

The company fABULEUS has, since twenty years, been working with teenagers on developing their talents and strengthening a young audience. The company manages to offer accessible work of good quality. With this work it managed to captivate and engage a diverse audience thanks to the use of current language, not only concerning the movements on stage, but also in the choice of music and the use of the voice.

DECLARATION OF LOVE is a surprisingly disorienting and mesmerizing work, an ode to the genres of theatre and to its audience. The reference to the work of Peter Handke is being turned upside down in an unusual love declaration. The writing of Magne van den Berg with the dramaturgical support of Peter Anthonissen is with no doubt original.

The beginning is very recognisable. On a bright green backdrop (almost annoyingly bright) six young performers (Allen Assi, Bastien Bodarwé, Siska Bouwen, Laetitia Janssens, Stephanie Peeters and Jonas Vermeulen) stare at the audience from behind their microphones, stating that nothing will happen. However, later a surprising flirting with the audience starts through dance moves set to the rhythm of beatbox. It develops into an unexpected love declaration addressed first towards the whole audience and then towards individual spectators as a necessary completion of the act.

There is no shortage of twists: the young actors invade the audience and the audience is invited to occupy the stage and there are sudden and brief mood reversals, until at the end of the show comes the difficult farewell, which puts a strain on both the actors and the audience. Difficult as is any parting between those who have lived a common experience. Luckily the show never loses its lightness, not even in the most dramatic moments. It alternates between choreographic sections – curated by Nicole Beutler – and musical sections of composer and dj Gary Sheperd, which almost turn into a pop concert.