To glorify the cult of tragedy, a 24-hour performance is a piece of history that comes to life in one day and one night.
It is the age of humanity, and of the birth of tragedy in its most fundamental form: mutilation, obscenity, purification. We recognize the outlines of stories and characters from Greek tragedy, close by yet far away. Fabre wrenches open the flaws in these characters until they are left in tatters, smashed by violence, Homeric laughter and ecstasy. Mount Olympus is not a modernization of Greek tragedy. It is an investigation of the impossibility of representing that which mutilates us and makes us pure again.
Alongside tragedy, time also plays a leading role. What is time in the theatre? What happens when time is stretched? Fabre intensifies the present moment, the eternal here and now of theatre, in a maelstrom of images that pull the audience into a different mode of temporal experience, a labyrinth
Fabre uses the four generations and 27 performers on stage to exhibit every dimension of his theatre work. The performers speak a language punctuated by hesitations, silences and death rattles, a language that is sometimes just a scream. They dance and move at the urging of a wordless inner force. They wake and sleep on stage. Fabre constructs his images out of their stolen dreams, 24 hours long, and the result is a tribute to the profound beauty of his performers.
Mount Olympus is a monumental project, a unique experience. Climb the mountain with us. It will be unforgettable.
LORE BORREMANS, KATRIEN BRUYNEEL, ANNABELLE CHAMBON, CÉDRIC CHARRON, RENÉE COPRAIJ, ANNY CZUPPER, ELS DECEUKELIER, BARBARA DE CONINCK, PIET DEFRANCQ, MÉLISSA GUÉRIN, STELLA HÖTTLER, SVEN JAKIR, IVANA JOZIC, MARINA KAPTIJN, GUSTAV KOENIGS, SARAH LUTZ, MORENO PERNA, GILLES POLET, PIETRO QUADRINO, ANTONY RIZZI, MATTEO SEDDA, MEREL SEVERS, KASPER VANDENBERGHE, LIES VANDEWEGE, ANDREW VAN OSTADE, MARC MOON VAN OVERMEIR, FABIENNE VEGT
Conceived and directed by JAN FABRE
Choreographed by JAN FABRE
Text JEROEN OLYSLAEGERS, JAN FABRE
Music DAG TAELDEMAN
Dramaturgy MIET MARTENS
Directing assistant FLORIA LOMME
Scent concept / olfactory artist PETER DE CUPERE
Screen photography PHIL GRIFFIN
Lighting design JAN FABRE, HELMUT VAN DEN MEERSSCHAUT
Costume design JAN FABRE, KASIA MIELCZAREK
Photography & webcontent SAM DE MOL
Guest dramaturges HANS-THIES LEHMANN, LUK VAN DEN DRIES, FREDDY DECREUS
Production manager ILKA DE WILDE
Artist in residence during rehearsals PHIL GRIFFIN
It’s an exceptional project, even for Jan Fabre with his great wealth of experience of crossing artistic frontiers: for 24 hours, 27 performers will dance, act, sweat, love, suffer, sleep and dream their way through the myths of ancient Greece. As it was in ancient Athens, the theatre will once again become an exceptional state, a political sphere, an almost spiritual time-travel for performers and audience alike. On a stream of images, Fabre will carry his spectators through a performance between waking and sleeping, between dream and reality. We will meet Medea, Antigone, Dionysus and other heroes in all their libidinosity and archaism.
Belgian visual artist, director and author Jan Fabre has been among the most important protagonists of the international art and theatre world for 30 years. Time and its excesses have often been his subject: His eight-hour show “This is theatre like it was to be expected and foreseen” brought real pain, real exhaustion onto the stage in 1982 and revolutionized the theatre. “Mount Olympus” will see its premiere at Foreign Affairs after a twelve-month rehearsal period and will unify all aspects of his work to date.
Production: Troubleyn / Jan Fabre
Co-production: Berliner Festspiele / Foreign Affairs, Concertgebouw Brugge, Julidans 2015 Amsterdam, Festival Internacional de Teatro de Buenos Aires, Romaeuropa.
With support of the city of Antwerp and Angelos, Antwerp.
Funded by the Capital Cultural Fund
In German, English, French and Dutch with German and English subtitles
Duration 24 hours
You can also explore the creative process behind this major project. Follow the rehearsals online on the website with testimonials, snapshots, videos, quotes and much more.