PUSH+ LAB - FAILURE
PUSH+ is een samenwerkingsproject tussen Imaginate Schotland, The Ark Ierland, Aaben Dans Denemarken, Scenekunstbruket Noorwegen, International Children’s Theatre Festival Bangkok en CCHA/Krokusfestival. Het wordt gerealiseerd met de steun van Creative Europe. In totaal zijn er 3 artistieke labo’s van 8 dagen en 3 residenties om projecten verder uit te werken. Ook engageren de partners zich tot coproductie en presentatie op hun respectievelijke festivals. Daarnaast laten we ons op festivalbezoeken vergezellen door kunstenaars die daardoor extra kansen krijgen om ander werk te zien en te netwerken.
In januari 2019 vond in Edinburgh het HOME LAB plaats waar 15 kunstenaars het thema 'huis' in de kunsten voor jong publiek onderzochten. In september 2019 volgt het tweede LAB over het recht om te FALEN. In een dolgedraaide wereld waarin resultaten, targets, doelen ook op persoonlijk en intermenselijk vlak vertaald worden (een goede leraar, een goede ouder, een goede zoon/dochter, een goede leerling, een goede kunstenaar), en waar 'goed' meer en meer staat voor excellent, uitmuntend, stijgt de druk op alles en iedereen. Kunnen we ons nog een fout permitteren? Kunnen en willen we nog leren van falen? Hoeveel fouten zijn we toegestaan voordat er in gegrepen wordt? Is een 7/10 voldoende of een signaal voor dringende bijscholing?
Hieronder de projectomschrijving van het LAB in het Engels, meteen ook de voertaal van dit internationale laboratorium.
This Lab will bring together fifteen artists based in five different countries in Europe to explore ideas around FAILURE in theatre and dance for young audiences. Artists will work together from Saturday 14th till Saturday 21st of September 2019.
“Congratulations, you have failed!” Why does it sound strange to accept this? Why do we consider failure as inherently negative? When and why did society develop the ideal of complete and everlasting success as the norm of human achievement? And when and why did society impose that ideal on all human beings as the standard of life? The best student, the best son, the best daughter, the best father, the best mother, the best family, the best friends, the best teacher, the best director, the best artist, simply the best. The results are terrifying: in the Swiss rich and wealthy capital of Zurich 80% of primary school children are in therapy. Not because they are a country with more problems but because when parents see their children are not perfectly successful in maths, in French writing, in IT-applications, in sports, in arts, they cannot face this reality. These well-off parents then provide their sons and daughters with highly personalized therapeutic sessions.
There seems nothing wrong with talent nor with doing one's best, there is something wrong when perfectness becomes the standard. Clearly, not being allowed to fail puts unbelievable psychical and mental stress on individuals and social structures.
The FAILURE LAB will explore the notion of failure:
- what is a so-called failure & why is it perceived negatively
- what and who causes ‘failure’
- how does it have an impact on children & what’s the impact on teachers and parents - how and when is failure a negative notion in our own artistic field: how many ‘failures’ is an artist allowed to by the industry?
- how can Samuel Beckett ("Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.") be a source of creative inspiration to fail better?
- can we make a beautiful failure or turn a failure into a thing of beauty?
- how can we use the diverse aspects of the failure concept in performances TYA?
The LAB will enable a lot of input, a visit to a children’s home and a sports club, dialogue opportunities with professionals (sociologist/therapist/Flemish children’s rights commissionary), teachers as well as parents. We also plan a workshop opportunity with local children and teenagers. The LAB will be closed with an opportunity to present some material, also making use of one or more of the three ‘formats’ that are in the PUSH+ focus: participatory, site-specific and intergenerational. Through these formats we will play with the ways in which we create and present material, who performs it and how we engage with the audience. You can chose to think about one or more of them in your ideas around FAILURE or to select other forms of performance that interest you. Information about these formats can be found on the PUSH+ website.
The PUSH+ partners will join the LAB in the final stage. In addition to the LAB content, the schedule will include a welcome meal for all artists, a day off in Hasselt (or elsewhere as this is a small country: Brussels or Antwerp are 1 hour by train, Liège 45’, Maastricht 1.15h,…) and a final meal with artists, the Krokusfestival-team and PUSH+ project partners.
At this moment we are in full preparation of the LAB. Dramaturg Gerhard Verfaillie will facilitate the input/conversational parts of the LAB. As a dramaturg he worked with/for Leporello, fABULEUS, LAIKA, Joke Laureyns & Kwint Manshoven and tout petit. Emely Alders will take care of the production. The LAB will invite 4 experienced artists from different fields (dance, theatre, music), who have an outspoken connection with the theme, to join the group for one or more days. In that sense we are able to explore the FAILURE theme from the most diversed angles. Three of the artists are known already:
Joke Laureyns is a choreographer, with a background in philosophy. Together with a choreographer Kwint Manshoven, she forms kabinet k, a company that focuses on dance performances with both professional dancers and children on stage. Their dance starts from concrete daily actions and small gestures interwoven with game elements. The fact that the cast also consists of children makes their dance accessible to young and old. Each of their creations literally grows from the steps that the young dancers take. Just because organic and intuitive forms such an important aspect in their dance language, both choreographers enjoy working with children or older bodies that are not (or less) drawn by certain behavioral patterns or a dance technique. At this moment, kabinet k is touring with horses and invisible, and the rehearsals for as long as we are playing will start soon.
JEF VAN GESTEL
Jef Van gestel graduated in 2004 as a theater maker at the Maastricht Theater Academy. For his graduation performance Tuttefrut, he received the Ton Lutz Prize as the most promising directing talent. He also made and played performances at The House of Burgundy, fABULEUS, Hetveem theater, RO Theater, LAB Utrecht, tg MAX and Kopergietery. He is also one of the three artistic directors of Flemish TYA-company Tuning People. The show Leeghoofd that he made at Tuning People was selected for The Theater Festival 2014 and Voetbal op hoge hakken (Football on hig heels Kopergietery) won the VSCD mime prize 2015.
Seppe danced in productions by Kopergietery and kabinet k before he started his own practice as a choreographer. He immediately developed an interest in intergenerative collaborations between sexes, ages and backgrounds. His work found a place in the Ultima Vez house of Wim Vandekeybus. His first production, Tornar, was selected for the Flemish Theatre Festival. Later followed the much acclaimed Invited.