The performance began with the question; can you place yourself in the culture of another, or do you remain forever a spectator? This question was framed by the group’s experience working in Kinshasa, but also directed towards the relationship between the audience and a work of theatre. The light design was a response to this question. I worked with the idea of reflected light as a physical metaphor for seeing yourself through the eyes of another. I made a simple hanging screen to reflect different light sources to different areas of both the stage and the tribune. When the audience entered the space the screen reflected light onto the tribune. The audience experienced for themselves the glare of the light that was then turned towards the performers.
The performance began with the screen moving the light from the audience, across the floor and coming to rest on one of the performers, watching from the back of the stage. To conclude the performance the audience were invited to join the performers onstage, the screen creating an intimate space for them to share. I wanted to set apart moments of ‘looking at’ with moments of ‘being in’. To play with the idea of inclusion and exclusion in the interaction between the performers, and in their relationship with the audience.
"It feels like a trance. The images invoke a flood of associations, but also ask questions by looking. Les Spectateurs with its simple, slow but powerful imagery evokes interesting and layered questions about the act of looking." Robbert van Heuven, Trouw.
Director: Lotte van den Berg
Dramaturg: Anoek Nuyens
Image maker: Rachid Laachir
Sound design: Arthur Wagenaar
Light design: Vinny Jones
Photography: Kris Dewitte, Willem Weemhoff en Vinny Jones
Premier 14 April, 2011. Created and performed on location in the former powerhouse, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. Subsequent performances Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussel, Theaterfestival Boulevard s'Hertogenbosch, Zürcher Theaterspektakel Zürich and the International Choice of the Rotterdam Schouwburg.