Benenbreken & Lijfstof

Charlotte Vanden Eynde & Ugo Dehaes  

“My body, which is visible and mobile, belongs in the world of things; it is one of them, is incorporated in the fabric of the world and its cohesion is that of a thing. But because it sees and moves, it also keeps things in a circle around it, they become an annex or extension of it, nestle in its flesh, are part of its complete definition, and the world is composed of the body’s substance itself.” (Merleau-Ponty)
If we have to designate a term for the work of the young Belgian artist Charlotte Vanden Eynde sculptural choreographer seems to fit best the description. This daughter of a fine artist approaches the body on stage as a sculptor uses raw material. The body, a hull containing a chunk of flesh, a trunk, a head, two arms and two legs, 10 fingers and 10 toes. “But how strange is this familiar image? How repulsive and beautiful at the same time, how vulnerable?”

If in classical dance the focus is upward, feigning a light, straight, elegantly curved, and balanced body, her intimate performances are about exposing its flaws, its defects and weaknesses. She reveals beauty, eroticism and humour in its clumsiness, bulkiness, ugliness and frailty.
The pieces of Vanden Eynde --who looks up to artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Rebecca Horn, Cindy Sherman, Frida Kahlo and Marina Abramović— are reminiscent of the distorted bodyscapes of Meg Stuart’s dance company Damaged Goods (introduced at the City of Women in 1997).
While studying at PARTS (the Brussels based dance-school directed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker) she choreographed a solo, a duo and a group-piece. With her first 14 minute solo Benenbreken (1997), critics and professionals noticed her as a promising talent who might signal a new post-De Keersmaeker, post-Vandekeybus-generation.
Dressed in white underwear she sits on a table, while her legs, feet and toes perform, as if moving independently from the torso and head. Meanwhile her voice tells us that "Toes can be funny too", "White legs are not sexy" or that "legs can break".
Vanden Eynde’s creations are playful as well as sombre.
For her latest full-length piece she has teamed up with PARTS graduate and ex-Damaged Goods performer Ugo Dehaes. Lijfstof is a performance “of and about bodies”. It is the result of an intensive research period in which the two artists confront their bodies with objects in order to say something about its place in its surrounding world. “People are – just like objects – merely a part of the world. A part in which their place is determined by social patterns. (…) People are invisible in their packaging, in their disguise. But simultaneously they are this packaging. This contradiction amazes us.”  Two persons absorbing in their own form and then reappearing.
premiered on September 12th at the Kaaitheater in Brussels.

Benenbreken (Lomljenje nog)
Choreography and dance: Charlotte Vanden Eynde; light design: Charlotte Vanden Eynde, Arne Lievens; production: kwaad bloed vzw; coproduction: P.A.R.T.S., Kaaitheater (Brussel); supported by: WERKHUIS/producties (Brussel); 1997.

Lijfstof (Telesna tvarina)
Choreography, dance and light: Charlotte Vanden Eynde, Ugo Dehaes; technique and lights: Marc Dewit; costume assistant: Beatrijs Lauwaert, Karlien De Smet, Maria Weckx; production: kwaad bloed vzw; coproduction: Kaaitheater, WERKHUIS/producties (Brussel); cofinanced by the European CoDaCo Fund ( curated by: Susanne Linke); supported by: Stuc/ Klapstuk (Leuven), Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie van het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest; 2000.

Organised by Mesto žensk/ City of Women
In cooperation with  Plesni Teater Ljubljana

Date and time of event: 
Oct 13th 21:00
Place of event: 
Plesni teater Ljubljana