Troubleyn | Jan Fabre

Resurrexit Cassandra

Solo for Stella Hottler

The solo performance Resurrexit Cassandra revolves around the resurrection of a female redeemer, called Cassandra. A priestess, a shaman, a holy woman, an augur who sees the future. She could have saved the world so many times already. She could have protected the proud city of Troy from its slaughter, the oldest mythical city that perished in a sea of fire, to the screams and howls of the raped women and the men whose throats were slit. She had predicted her mother’s sad destiny, Odysseus’s long journey, the murder of Agamemnon, who had abducted her, as a slave and concubine, from Troy, her own death… Cassandra whispers, howls and shrieks, she repeats what she has known for so many years already, she tells us of the terrible things that she sees with her visionary eyes, but she is like a voice crying in the wilderness. Nobody listens to her, nobody believes her, she is regarded as the local madwoman, a hysterical halfwit, an ecstatic fool.

Cassandra is resurrected from Greek mythology and from Fabre’s own Mount Olympus. To glorify the cult of tragedy. She rises from her global grave, from nature in whose lap she has found succour for so many centuries, shrouding herself with the elements. She is the mist and the dew. She is the wind. She is the smoke and the fire. She is vapour. She is the rain. Her resurrection is the tale of a cyclical nature, of the wisps of mist that dampen the earth, of the wind that fans the flames and scorches the skin, of the vapour from the oceans that returns inland, attracted by the foliage and the forests. But the more Cassandra looks inward, her eyes veiled, so she can see in the distance, the more boggy soil resonates from her mouth, withered earth, infertile desert. Her gaze is black as night, all light has been snuffed out, she is all darkness. She is overwhelmed by what she sees. Too much water, and not enough foliage. Brackish water, polluted water and islands of waste. Gaping wounds in nature, that hurt the eyes and the skin. She sees that the cycle has gone awry, that nature has been disrupted and that everything is being turned inside out. The sewers are exposed, muck is washed down throats. People are blinded, she notices, they no longer heed words, they only listen to shrieks. Everything reeks of sulphur and rot. Cassandra tries to speak once more, her words cut through wood, melt iron, blow glass, sew leather… but her words fall on deaf ears, nobody listens, there is no complicity in people’s eyes, no last shred of belief.

Cassandra will speak five times. In five stations of mourning. In five elements. In five colours. Her resurrection from the earth that carried her, that kept her skin warm and her lips moist, is a Way of the Cross. She only has love to give, softness as a rhyme, warm breath, sultry air. She dances for us, she breaks open reason, is prepared to submit entirely to the point where the last thread of thought starts to unravel, where complete silence sets in, light and pure. To the ecstasy of being, and no longer being. To endlessness. To harmony. To the incarnation of divinity. Who is listening? Who looks on? Whose skin is still permeable?

The priestess carries a turtle in each hand, those mysterious creatures who seem older than time. They have survived all the world’s fires, every ecological disaster, all the plagues of Egypt. Their skin is a harness, it allows them to be weak and sensitive.

Fabre calls them oracle stones, because the shamans and seers relied on the patterns and lines of their carapaces to read the future. They belong with Cassandra, and Cassandra belongs with them. Cassandra is clumps of earth. Centuries-old sediments that have turned to skin. Her voice rises from the vapours and the moist soil. She is fiery desire and shimmer. She no longer waits to share her oracle. For the last time.

Resurrexit Cassandra is performed - in English, German or French - by Stella Hoettler, who already played important roles in Mount Olympus and Belgian rules/Belgium rules. She embodies Cassandra on the stage and on the five life-size screens with which she interacts. The text was written by the renowned Italian author Ruggero Cappuccio. The original music was composed by the young French composer Arthur Lavandier.


 

“An actress of the calibre Stella Höttler was fundamental to tell us about this unspeakable horror and fear, with an enthralling interpretation of great expressive maturity in which emotionality, sensuality and reason in their mutual reflection found a perfect balance. Not to be missed.” - Teresa Mori / Il Roma

"Ruggero Cappuccio signs, for the Napoli Teatro Festival 2020, a brilliant, provocative, visionary text: the direction of Jan Fabre and the powerful interpretation of Stella Höttler transform it into a masterpiece." - Valentina Siano / La Testata Magazine

"Cassandra, embodied by the physical and interpretative vigor of the German actress Stella Höttler, overwhelms, howls her pain enclosed in an eternally young body of a sensual woman..." - Emila Constantini / Corriera della sera
 



Stella Höttler

Stella Höttler studied classical ballet at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Mannheim, Germany, where she was granted with a scholarship by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. After her studies, she joined Troubleyn/Jan Fabre as a performer in Fabre's 24 hour performance Mount Olympus – To glorify the cult of tragedy (2015). Since then she has also performed in Belgian Rules/Belgium Rules (2017) and in the specially created solo work Resurrexit Cassandra (2019). She is also a Teacher for the Jan Fabre Teaching Group, training new generations of performers. In 2021 Stella was on stage in Fabre’s new creation The fluid force of love.
 

 

Credits
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Concept, direction Jan Fabre
Text Ruggero Cappuccio 
Original music Arthur Lavandier 
Flute-players Julie Brunet-Jailly, Alice Szymanski 
Performer Stella Höttler 
Male voice Gustav Koenigs 
Film “Schande übers ganze Erdenreich!” (2018), Jan Fabre/Angelos (Antwerp, BE) 
Additional music “Raymonda, Act III Variation IV”, Alexander Glazunov; Mariinsky Orchestra & Victor Fedotov ; “Enta Omri”, El Gamal, Wel Gammal & Hossam Ramzy (Songs do Médio Oriente); “Zorzal “, Chancha Via Circuitous & Wenceslada (Rodante); “Short Belly Dance Drum Solo”, Raquy & the Cavemen (Naked, 12 Middle Eastern Drum Solos )
Dramaturgy Mark Geurden
Light design Jan Fabre, Wout Janssens
Costumes Jan Fabre, Kasia Mielczarek 
Assistant to the director & rehearsal coach Lore Borremans 
Technicians Wout Janssens, Geert Van der Auwera 
Translation Italian-German Verena Schmeiser 
Translation Italian-English Claire Jenkins
Translation Italian-French Sarah Pinto

Production Troubleyn/Jan Fabre (Antwerp, BE) in coproduction with Fondazione Campania dei Festival - Napoli Teatro Festival Italia (Napels, IT),  TANDEM Scène nationale (Arras-Douai, FR),, Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre (St.-Petersburg, RU), Charleroi danse, Centre chorégraphique de Wallonie-Bruxelles (BE)

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