Troubleyn | Jan Fabre

Parrots & Guinea Pigs

This theatre production for nine dancers, one parrot and its human look-alike (interpreted by Anny Czupper) reveals itself to be an anthropomorphic laboratory in which Fabre uses man as a subject and animals as an example. During the performance the dancers change from humans into animals and vice versa.
​Fabre has them run across the stage like gigantic plush animals: the harmless, ‘people-friendly’ and instinct-free version of the real animal. Fabre tries to re-invent this confrontation between the human body and the animal in a sensory manner: touch, sight, smell, taste, hearing as well as instinct and intuition force us to look at our bodies in a different way.

In most of his works Fabre introduces animals as allies of man. In Parrots and Guinea Pigs Fabre equates animals to man, based on the conviction that man, animal and vegetation are all ‘animate’. He establishes a comparison between the ‘parliament of instincts’ of the animals and the ‘circus of emotions’ of man. Guilt, morals and human superiority are examined in a different light and questioned. As a result Fabre searches for the animal in man and the performance becomes a benchmark for new relations between mankind and animals.


direction, scenography, choreography Jan Fabre assistant and dramaturgy Renée Copraij

dancers, actors Anny Czupper, Els Deceukelier, Palle Dyrvall, Geneviève Lagravière, Heike Langsdorf, Lara Martelli, Anna Rispoli, Geert Vaes, Kurt Vandendriessche, Helmut Van den Meersschaut

light design Jan Fabre, Jan Dekeyser costume design Daphne Kitschen assistant costumes Marga Weimans animal costumes Denise Castermans execution animal costumes Gaiska Torrealba, Sven Van Kuijk video images Kris Van Aert assistance scenography and choreography Antonio Paiva de Souza (trainee) assistance choreography and dramaturgy Malin Elgan (trainee) production controller Hilde Vanhoutte technical coordination Muriel Derden

​Talk to the Animals (1971) composition Leslie Bricusse chant Sammy Davis Jr

Let's all swing like the birdies swing (1961) composition R. Hargreaves, S.J. Damerell & P. Ivans chant Buddy Greco

I wanna be like you (1976) composition George Brums & Buddy Baker chant Louis Prima

Talk to the animals remix par Maarten Van Cauwenberghe (2002)

production Troubleyn (Antwerp, Belgium) in co production with Salamanca 2002, Cultural Capital (Spain), Bruges 2002, Culturele Hoofdstad (België), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris, France), deSingel (Antwerp, Belgium), Le-Maillon (Strasbourg, France), Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt/Main, Germany), Le Cargo, Maison de la Culture (Grenoble, France).

première 17.10.2002, Teatro Liceo, Salamanca