Spanish premiere Country:Belgium Approx duration: 2hrs (no interval)
Fifteen dancers and five musicians from 13 countries across five continents work together in a project almost as ambitious, imaginative, resolute and brimming with talent as the construction of the Tower of Babel itself.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet join forces with British visual artist Antony Gormley to create Babel (words), a dance performance that explores language and its relationship with nationhood, identity and religion. Taking the tale of the Tower of Babel as their starting point, Antony Gormley's huge three-dimensional frames hint at a nameless intersection in a faceless future-city near the border of no-man's land. We watch as the action flows from private to public, intimate to extrovert, and individual to collective - while choices of faith, space and community are made - and we are reminded that while for some, the story of Babel represents the gateway to enlightenment, for others it represents chaos, confusion and conflict.
For Cherkaoui, this work, co-produced by the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (De Munt) - is the culmination of three distinct journeys: the final part of his FOI and Myth triptych, a reunion with Antony Gormley, following the success of Zero Degrees with Akram Khan and Sutra with the Shaolin monks. And finally, it honours a decade of collaboration with co-choreographer, Damien Jalet.
Eastman was formed in January 2010, although Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has been displaying his talent in the dance world for more than 10 years. His first experience as a choreographer was the musical, Anonymous Society, a tribute to Jacques Brel, directed by Andrew Wale. Cherkaoui also danced in this production which won various prizes including the Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival, the Barclay Theatre Award in London and the Total Theatre Award. His most recent works are Orbo Nuovo (Cedar Lake Dance Company), Origine and Faun, as well as the two earlier parts of the triptych completed by Babel (words). Rien de Rien was his first choreography as a member of Les Ballets C. de la B., in which he worked alongside the singer, choreographer and dancer, Damien Jalet, a major influence on his career. Together with the dancers of the Sasha Waltz Company, the pair produced D'avant for the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz im Berlín (2002). Cherkaoui's latest awards include the Ballet Tanz magazine's Choreographer of the Year 2008 and the Kairos European Cultural Prize awarded by the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung foundation in Germany (2009).