Troubleyn | Jan Fabre

Preparatio Mortis

Dance solo for Annabelle Chambon

"Thanks to Bernard Foccroulle, Jan Fabre has assumed an aura of sainthood." Such was the conclusion of the French newspaper Le Figaro's enthusiastic review of the (then 15 minute-long) dance solo Preparatio mortis, which Jan Fabre created for the Festival of Avignon in 2005.  Now Jan Fabre has further developed this first part and added a second, complementary part especially for the Italian première in the Teatro Palladium (Rome) — as part of the 25th anniversary of the Festival Romaeuropa — and for the 2010 edition of the Next Festival (Kortrijk, Lille).

Preparatio mortis is performed to organ music by composer and organist Bernard Foccroulle, former opera director at De Munt/La Monnaie (Brussels) and current director of the Aix-en-Provence opera festival.

Preparatio mortis is devoted to the human body, transformation and an utopian ideal. As can be expected, Fabre expresses this devotion in his own characteristic way by tackling the taboos of contemporary society: in this case, the taboo of death. Our society is quick to cover up death, banish it from view and condemn it to the cold, sterile surrounds of retirement homes and hospitals… In Preparatio mortis, however, Fabre assigns pride of place to life. For "it is precisely through death that we learn to look at life differently. Death forces a fuller, more intense vision of life upon us – I constantly strive for a post-mortem stadium of life," says Fabre.

In Preparatio mortis, a tomb is seen overgrown with a gigantic blanket of yellow, red, purple and white flowers. The colourful quilt appears to breath rhythmically as a hand, then an arm, a head and two bare feet appear. The dancer, Annabelle Chambon appears to rise from the dead. Every movement, breath and gaze become an intense event, a resurrection expressing a lust for life. Death becomes a positive energy field and a motor for new dreams and desires.

This life-giving breathing defines the rhythm of Preparatio mortis: the slow breathing of the blanket of flowers that comes to life, the breathing of the catlike dance and the breathing of the organ that pumps air in its production of sound.

Annabelle Chambon

French performer, dancer and actress Annabelle Chambon joined Troubleyn/Jan Fabre in 2000 with the performance As long as the world needs a warrior’s soul and since then has been an indispensable part of the company. She has performed in a specially created dance solo work Preparatio Mortis (2005) and is a senior teacher of the Jan Fabre Teaching Group. In 2021 Annabelle was on stage in Fabre's new creation The fluid force of love.





concept Jan Fabre
choreography Jan Fabre, Annabelle Chambon
performer Annabelle Chambon
composition Bernard Foccroulle "Toccata" (2001) performed by Bernard Foccroulle on the orgue of the Brussels Cathedral "Spiegel" (2005) performed by David Boos on the Renaissance orgue of the Big Church in Alkmaar "Capriccio sopra Re-Fa-Mi-Sol" (1986) performed by Benoît Mernier on the choire orgue in Muri "Pulchra es" (2009) performed by Bernard Foccroulle on the Silbermann orgue in St Thomas, Strasbourg "Ornamented Flutes" (2007) performed by Bernard Foccroulle on the Thomas orgue in the Temple du Bouclier, Strasbourg "Fantasia sopra «Da pacem Domino»" (1999), performed by Bernard Foccroulle on the Renaissance orgue in St Jacques, Liège
production Troubleyn/Jan Fabre (Antwerp, BE)



21/03/2016 THEATRE DE LA BASTILLE, Paris
22/03/2016 THEATRE DE LA BASTILLE, Paris
23/03/2016 THEATRE DE LA BASTILLE, Paris
10/10/2018 TNBA, Bordeaux
11/10/2018 TNBA, Bordeaux
12/10/2018 TNBA, Bordeaux
St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg
11/03/2020 HIPPODROME, Douai
12/03/2020 HIPPODROME, Douai