In (B), a large-scale dance-theatre production, the artistic choreographic duo of Koen Augustijnen and Rosalba Torres Guerrero draws the audience with them deep into their fascination for both Ars Pugilistica - the art of boxing - and the art of dance in all its contemporary multiformity.
For this dance creation they have invited 3 boxers and 7 dancers onto the stage. 1 composer, 1 video artist and 1 set designer are creating an auditory, visual and tactile space. Together with this team, the choreographers want to find a way to transform and transcend the reality of boxing as an ‘arena’ sport into the fiction of the stage. How can these two worlds influence each other. When does boxing become dancing? And vice versa? Augustijnen and Torres are intrigued by the contrast between the public image and the human figure that hides behind the facade. Instead of only staging the public image, they want to research the hidden and more intimate side. They want to reveal their vulnerability. Boxers and dancers are both in their own way “stage animals”, each with their own strategies, but aiming for a different goal.
When does boxing become dancing? And vice versa?
Hyper-individuality, exhibitionism, theatricality, vitality, solitude, vulnerability and public persona versus a more intimate, hidden side, plus the choreographic transformation of the movements of boxing and contemporary dance, these are the fundamental elements of this creation.
Augustijnen en Torres Guerrero’s choice of dance theatre is motivated by the belief in the vitality of dance and the expressive possibilities of its rough and physical energy. The cross-over between dance and theatre, with a focus on non-verbal communication, provides them with the space to create meaning in a dramatic and poetic way. It leaves the audience the opportunity to experience and interpret the performance in their own imagination.
The choreographers are starting out from the individuality of the boxers and dancers with whom they are working. They question the boxers/dancers continuously and guide them through the creation process, in which they discover and develop movement qualities based on the questions that were asked.
This new work celebrates the diversity of movement and dance languages and shows how they can respectfully stand next to each other or be transformed and mixed. The duo deliberately uses hybridity, cultural mixing and eclectism to generate new meanings out of inter-disciplinary cross-overs.
The dance theatre production (B) is the powerful heavyweight clash between three boxers and seven dancers. From a variety of backgrounds, they all throw everything they have into the dance ring. In dazzling group choreographies and intimate duets, their interior worlds debate with the unrelenting outside world. Frenetic soundscapes and old arias, together with live and recorded video footage, enhance the performers in a set designed to recall boxing arenas.
Rhythm is everything in boxing.
Every move you make starts with your heart,
and that's in rhythm or you're in trouble.
Sugar Ray Robinson
15-16 march > Clermont - Ferrand (FR)
21 march > Maubeuge (FR)
23 march > Véilizy-Villacoublay (FR)
27 march > Linz (AU)
Posthof Linz- Festival Tanztage
30 march > Mainz (A)
3-4 april > Rouen (FR)
Centre Dramatique National
11 april > Evry (FR)
SN / Théâtre de l'Agora
14 april > Utrecht (NL)
30 april > Diest (B)
3-4 may> Antwerpen (B)
10 may > Nûrenberg (A)
Tafelhalle / KunstKulturQuartier
14 may > Auch (FR)
21-22 may > Bologna (IT)
Arena del Sole / Theatro delle molino
31 may > 1 june Johannesburg/Soweto (SA)
7-8 june Capetown (SA)
Charleroi > 26, 27 jan - Charleroi Danses / Les Écuries (B)
Luxemburg > 6, 7 fev
Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg (LUX)
Mons > 9 fev
Mons Arts de la scène (B)
Ghent > 1, 2, 3 march
Kunstencentrum Vooruit (B)
Dilbeek > 7 march
CC Westrand (B)
Bornem > 9 march
CC Ter Dilft (B)
Paris> 29, 30, 31 march
Parc et Grande Halle de la Villette (F)
Tours > 18, 19 april
Centre Chorégraphique National de Tours (F)
Turnhout > 26 april
De Warande (B)
Villeneuve d’Ascq > 15, 16, 17 may
La Rose des Vents (F)
Châlon-en Champagne > 24 may
La Comète (F)
Den Bosch > 2-3-4 august
Festival Boulevard, (NL)
Dusseldorf > 1 september
Tanz Messe (D)
Hannover > 3 september
TANZtheater International (D)
Genève > 6 september
La Batie festival (CH)
Cast & Credits
Concept and choreography:
Koen Augustijnen & Rosalba Torres Guerrero
in collaboration with the dancers/boxers:
Arturo Franc Vargas, Giulia Piana, Tayeb Benamara, Sophia Rodriguez, Karim Kalonji, Mohammed Smahneh, Rosalba Torres Guerrero, Aubry Zabo and Bolaji Jabulani Oki
Also created by:
Yipoon Chiem, Alka Matewa, Samuel Koussedoh and Sinan Durmaz
The fight is won or lost
far away from witnesses -
behind the lines, in the gym
and out there on the road,
long before I dance
under those lights.
Light design and technical direction:
Lucas Racasse, assisted by Laurane Perche / MDB Prod
Sophia Rodriguez, karim Kalonji
Fabrication of accessories:
Sara Júdice de Menezes
Costumes, production assistant and tour manager:
Charleroi Danse, Kunstencentrum Vooruit, Victoria Deluxe, Action Zoo Humain, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, La Villette (Paris), Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione (Bologna), La Rose des Vents (Villeneuve d’Ascq), Le Manège (Maubeuge), CC De Grote Post (Ostende), La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand Scène Nationale
With the support of the Flemish Community, the City of Ghent, Action Zoo Humain, and the A.M. Qattan Foundation.
Frans Brood Productions
“Dance, when you're broken open.
Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance when you're perfectly free.”