In 2007 Fabre was invited to make a performance for the renowned Felsenreitschule of the Salzburger Festspiele. He created Requiem fur eine Metamorfose and dedicated the performance to his deceased parents, Edmond Fabre and Helena Troubleyn. Requiem is a mass for the dead, a lively feast in honor of the dead.
Just like he had done earlier with the various bodily fluids, Fabre attempts to raise death from its taboo. By not giving death a measured presence in our lives, we deny ourselves one of the biggest mysteries of life. Just as the title says, Fabre sees death as a phase of transformation: a parting, but also an immediate new start.
Protagonist in the play is the butterfly. It recalls the dead of the secret of metamorphosis. To kill time he tells some jokes. The smile is, according to the butterfly, an ideal remedy against death. On the graveyard of Fabre’s Requiem, the corpses can’t stop laughing. Until it hurts. All other characters in the play are professionally bound to death. There’s the priest on his deathbed that suddenly remembers that he’s promised to give someone the holy unction. There’s the palliative caregiver who fully dedicates himself to the treatment of an AIDS-patient. There’s the makeup artist that gives death a friendly face. There’s the stone etcher, the florist, the carrier, the digger, the thanatopractor,… all characters that work on the thin line between life and death, specialists in the moment of metamorphosis.
text, direction, scenography, choreography Jan Fabre music Serge Verstockt assistant to the director Miet Martens sound design Maarten Buyl dramaturgy Luk Van den Dries, Miet Martens costume design Pol Engels, Katrien Strijbol, Andrea Kränzlin light design Jan Fabre, Harry Cole
props Elsemieke Scholte, Pascale Pollier dance assistance & ballet teacher Marina Kaptijn costume assistance Sofie Durnez, Jelle Spruyt, Puya Azizi, An Breugelmans dramaturgy assistance Daan Goor, Julie Pfleiderer sound technician Tom Buys (Image & Sound factory), Kevin Strauwen (Champ d’action) technicians Sven Van Kuijk, Milan Kovacevic, Sara Bundalo production manager Sophie Vanden Broeck
coach English language Tom Hannes coach Greek language Apostolia Papadamaki English translation Gregory Ball German translation Petra Serwe
performers Linda Adami, Lie Antonissen, Manon Avermaete, Christian Bakalov, Katarina Bistrovic-Darvas, Dieter Bossu, Dimitri Brusselmans, Maarten Buyl, Sylvia Camarda, Kristof Deneijs, Ann Eysermans, Marusa Geymayer-Oblak, Ivana Jozic, Marina Kaptijn, Tassos Karachalios, Beatrice Kessi, Kazutomi Kozuki, Marinko Les, Clarice Braga Barbosa Lima, Frano Maskovic, Yutaka Oya, Aleksander Pavlin, Elsemieke Scholte, Tom Tiest, Geert Vaes
production Troubleyn/Jan Fabre (Belgium), Salzburger Festpiele (Austria), RuhrTriennale (Germany), Vilnius European Capital of Culture 2009 (Lithuania)
in artistic collaboration/coproduction with Champ d'Action (Belgium), Mladinsko Theatre (Slovenia), Zagreb Youth Theatre (Croatia), Sirens Festival (Lithuania), Missdeluxedanceco (Luxemburg)
première 26.08.2007, Felsenreitschule, Salzburg Festival, Salzburg