Les spectateurs is a performative piece about the spectator who is at a distance and longs to disappear into the world that he or she is watching. The piece was created after a 4-month visit to Kinshasa, the capital of Congo, and was in part inspired by encounters with people of African origin who live in the Netherlands. It focuses on the recognition and the alienation you might feel towards a society that is unknown to you. Gripping images tell us about desire and fear of becoming a part of this unknown society that surrounds you.
Les spectators is about the way we look at ourselves, at he or she who stands before us and at each other. About glances that connect and remove us, before we speak. And about the position from which we look. Do you look from a safe distance with an observing eye or from inside with your eyes closed? Do you look together with others or alone? On the stage there are people who have the courage to expose themselves and there are people in the stands who have the courage to look. Watching is an action. The way you look changes that which you are looking at.
direction Lotte van den Berg / performance Floor van Leeuwen or Christina Flick, Nganji Mutiri, Pearlmira Vincent, Rachid Laachir, Ruud Panhuysen / singers Pearlmira Vincent / visuals Rachid Laachir / dramaturgy Anoek Nuyens / lightning design Vinny Jones / sound design Arthur Wagenaar / opname geluid Guido Kleene / technical production Elizabet van der Kooij / sound Wilco Alkema / technician Ruud Panhuysen / producer OMSK / co-producer Toneelhuis (Antwerpen), Festival Boulevard (Den Bosch), Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), De Internationale Keuze van de Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Steirischer herbst festival (Graz), Alkantara Festival (Lisbon)
The evening is a scenic translation of Van den Berg's Africa experience. (...) The performance is pleasantly distinguished from the efforts of many other European theater makers, who have "understood" Africa so well that they inevitably go wrong. Lotte van den Berg's approach is fairer, more modest, undoubtedly more promising. Her gaze on the strange is not omniscient, but searching. "I need the distance to get closer," she says. And that applies to all continents.