BABEL [words]World premiere 27 April 2010, Cirque Royal, La Monnaie | De Munt, Brussels
- 1 h 45, without interval
The new creation by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui – again in collaboration with the Belgian choreographer and music ethnologist Damien Jalet – presents a vision of the interplay between cultures. In numerous respects Babel [words] represents the culmination of the previous work of the Flemish-Moroccan choreographer: It is the final part of his internationally-acclaimed triptych, which began with Foi and continued with Myth. Secondly, it extends his successful collaboration with the Turner Prize-winning artist Antony Gormley.
Taking the story of the Tower of Babel as its starting point, Babel [Words] explores language and its relationship with nationhood, identity and religion. 13 performers and 5 musicians from a total of 13 countries demonstrate a desire for understanding in a tangle of languages, a battle for the common and prevailing means of communication. Babel, however, means more than many-tongued chaos, confusion and conflict – it can also represent interaction, mutual understanding and critical exchange. Language connects us, but it also makes strangers of us – yet in this we are all equal.
»›BABEL‹ is not only the most innovative, it is also one of the strongest pieces of dance theatre this year.«
Jochen Schmidt, DIE WELT, 4th May 2010
»... yet it's the music – a rhythmic, vocal fusion of east and west – that also gives the work its heartbreaking beauty and hopefulness. Even within the fractious world that Babel presents, the cast seem drawn to sing and dance with each other. And it's a tribute to the work's knife-edge precision that it contains optimism and despair in such brilliantly equal measure.«
Choreography Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet
Visual concept and design Antony Gormley
Costumes Alexandra Gilbert
Lighting design Adam Carrée
Dramaturgy Lou Cope
Created and interpreted by Navala Chaudhari, Francis Ducharme, Darryl E. Woods, Jon Filip Fahlstrom, Damien Fournier, Ben Fury, Paea Leach, Christine Leboutte, Ulrika Kinn Svensson, Kazutomi Kozuki, Sandra Delgadillo Porcel, James O’Hara, Helder Seabra
Music Patrizia Bovi / Miriam Andersen, Mahabub Khan, Sattar Khan, Gabriele Miracle, Shogo Yoshii [Kodo]
Musical advice traditional Turkish music Fahrettin Yarkin