Troubleyn | Jan Fabre

The Crying Body

Once again Fabre examines the body but this time his research focuses on the crying body and its various manifestations. He uses the bodies of his performers as a benchmark in his research into ‘the body’s tears’, the fluid which a body produces when it is happy, sad, fearful, when it makes an effort or during sex. They produce sweat, tears, saliva, sperm and urine. Here the body no longer contains a story or a character. Instead it is reduced to primal matter. It simultaneously is the subject and object.

Fabre pairs a few allegorical figures with the anonymous dancers who are physically and mentally exerting themselves, including the tear collector, the black widow or mourner. An important character is interpreted by Els Deceukelier. She is the poetic maiden who prods the clouds with a long stick until it rains. A third key figure is the old man, who is holding a bike and who becomes involved in the action, in fits and starts. The performance shifts to and fro from group scenes to individual actions and the emotions and actions are continuously transformed, a typical feature of all of Fabre’s productions. The Leitmotiv of this performance is the premise: “Why cry if crying does not help? Because it doesn’t help.’ A database of emotions, a life-size projection of Els Deceukelier whose expression hesitates between crying and laughing oversees the various scenes.

The performance was created as a preliminary study for Histoire des larmes, a production which Fabre created as curator of the Festival d’Avignon in 2005.


concept, direction, scenography and choreography Jan Fabre

performers Annabelle Chambon, Cédric Charron, Els Deceukelier, Paolo Dos Santos, Ivana Jozic, Marija Stamenkovic-Herranz, Coraline Lamaison, Geert Vaes, Helmut Van Den Meerschaut.

assistant and dramaturgy Miet Martens light design Harry Cole & Jan Fabre costumes Daphne Kitschen & Jan Fabre production manager Hilde Vanhoutte coordination technique Harry Cole stage Gaiska Torrealba

A production of Troubleyn/Jan Fabre (Antwerp, Belgium) in co-production with Théâtre de la Ville (Paris, France), deSingel (Antwerp, Belgium) and Tramway (Glasgow, Scotland)

première 08.10.2004, deSingel, Antwerp