The successful system of collaborating with guest directors has once again borne fruit. In this case they are Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Nienke Reehorst. The choreographers find in the actors of Theater Stap, an authenticity and concentration that fascinates, an authenticity that invites for further exploration. Beauty they seek in the vulnerability of the human being, through the relativity of the dance.
For Ook they start from the specific angle of the disability and aesthetics of the Stap-players.
'Dancing ... that's hiphop, with your body ... and techno, the beat goes on' (Peter)
'Tango is this way ... and back ... and back ... and turn and hop!' (Kris)
'Dancing is music. Without music you can't dance.' (Heidi)
'Modern dance is like motion, everything moving, yes, much more like moving.' 'Rabbi, our teacher of dance, makes us do strange things on the ground. That's not dancing. I'm reminded of a movie.' (Cathérine)
The actors let their hair down in a stage setting of newspaper articles they selected themselves. Here lies one of the main themes. Everyday we are all confronted with a huge amount of information. How much of it is genuine or true? How should we interpret it for ourselves? The images informally projected onto the back drop during the performance need to be put into a context. We are constantly interpreting and assessing. We see a man holding a knife in his hand; is he a murderer or simply cutting the cake? How do we interpret an action or an image? When are we sure that our interpretation is correct? When everyone agrees. Who is everyone? Introduce me to everyone….
Ook is a movement performance based on the personal dreams of the 10 actors on stage. Dreams which can sometimes be realised. Sometimes not.
Driving a car... becoming a doctor. Being a singer in a boys’ band. Death. Travelling around by bike. The tower is collapsing. Mother, why am I not allowed to have a child ? Getting a new face. Sometimes I am unhappy. I was in love with him, but not any more. Now I love him. Fickle emotions. I often smile when I want to cry. If I really have to laugh, I cry. Without restraints I get to my feelings more quickly...
O, ok, ‘OOK’ ...? O, ‘OOK’, ok ?
OOK is sometimes having power over others, sometimes caring for someone too, manipulating or being manipulated. OOK is a world with an excess of information and no clear way of interpreting it. How then does one relate the personal to the global? A constantly shrinking world as opposed to an entity that is constantly growing. Everyone, them, we, you or me; what is more important? Or is it unimportant? OOK is a few answers and a lot of questions. Questions which make up each individual’s path and therefore do not always need an answer. Sometimes rain, sometimes sun ...
OOK played for the first time in March 2002. It was one of the most succesful plays performed by Theater Stap.
We played the opening night in Turnhout with 11 shows, then we played in 21 places in Flanders and concluded with 3 plays in Turnhout. In the fall of 2002, OOK crossed the border and went to Utrecht, Amsterdam and Genève. The years after that, the succes continued. In 2003, we played 13 times in France, Croatia, Austria, The Netherlands and Flanders. In 2004, we were expected in Germany, France, Antwerp and Liège. In 2005 we proceeded with 15 performances in Brussels, Turnhout, France and Germany. In 2006, we played in Rouen and Berlin. In 2007, there were 10 plays in France, Switzerland, Flanders and Germany. In 2008 things calmed down.
In 2009, we shutted down the play in 'De Warande' in Turnhout. After the last time, we went to Paris for one last serie of performances. There, we played the 99th time for (among others) the 19.266st viewer!
Directors: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Nienke Reehorst
Scenery: Joris Martens
Costumes: Isabelle Lhoas
Sound: Charo Calvo
Photography: Kurt Van Der Elst.
Nadine Van Miert
Els Van Gils
Peter Van Lommel
Kris Hufkens/Peter Janssens
Volledig fragment OOK:
De Morgen March 2002 2002
It's striking, the way the Stap players are able to shift registers and to change, in one moment, the mood of a scene to its complete opposite. Long, hysterical laughter is suddenly interrupted by a judo catch or a subdued movement leads to a sudden 'Publikumsbeschimpfung'. Expectations and habitual role patterns are constantly broken.
De Standaard March 2002 2002
At the end of OOK ten disabled actors in a row, confront the audience by making funny faces. You have to laugh with their ability to put things in perspective. But at the same time it's a very penetrating scene. Brel's music is played, the song about how difficult it is to see one's friends cry. Theater Stap dances: concentrated, infinitely happy, autonomous. It results in one curtain call after another. Most beautiful are the stolen moments. Without much ado, just arms writing sentences in the air. Or a girl tapdancing. That's all. But she radiates happiness. A kind of dance you rarely see.