Listening to the echoing sound of movement as it flows through hollow bones, letting it rise up to the surface of the skin, to the hypersensitive outer layer...a certain way of being alive...while dancing the dance of death
Somebody once wrote : "If you spend too long looking at Serge Vandercam's paintings, you may well find you can't ever shake them off." I was initially inspired by Vandercam's paintings, then later by his ceramics and sculptures too, and the secret world within them soon had me in its spell.
Tollund is the slave of Odin or Woden, the cruel Germanic god who has insisted on Tollund's life being sacrificed so that he can assert his own power -or, we might perhaps say, so that he can confirm his own existence.
Tollund accepts his sacrificial role so that he can take on some of the god's characteristics -in death his face wears a mask of calm serenity. So what is this inner certainty? What is it rooted in?
Tollund moves forward in time as if to deny that there is any sort of gulf between life and death.
Does his serenity stem from his awareness that Odin can exist only through his, Tollund's sacrifice, and that one day he will re-emerge into the light of a new life, whereas Odin will have become a shadow that haunts the world of men no more? Does Tollund express the conviction that the life of men will outlast the life of the gods they 've invented?
I see his serenity as a shout of hope from beyond the grave, like a life impulse that is rooted in death.
Odin, a god riding his steed across the heavens, is an incredibly equivocal entity, a character who cannot be pinned down an described in any clear-cut way- he is, and at the same time he isn't, everything he is made of. This elusing being is a past master at metamorphosis, changing his colour, his shape, his appearance.
He is both poet and soothsayer, possessing the power to decide wether mortals shall live or die. As a poet, he is skilled with words, with speech that has the power to invent and confer immortality. This contradictory and polymorphous creature is mortal and weak - and thus eminently human. Indeed he is only too human, embodying the whole gamut of beings -from the basest to the most sublime.
From time immemorial men and women have always been the same - a mixture of beauty and barbarity, of love and cruelty, and so I see Odin as being a contemporary of ours; Beyond his death we can indentify with him and his alter ego, the Man of Tollund, our fellow creature.
Cast & credits
Choreography Michèle Noiret
Staging Michèle Noiret and Pascal Crochet
Interpretation Bud Blumenthal, Michèle Noiret
Original music Garrett List
Musicians Danielle Hickman, Vincent Jacquemin, Garrett List
Light design Xavier Lauwers
Stage design Serge Vandercam
Set construction « Factices »
Costumes Colette Huchard
Technical direction Florence Richard
Production Fabienne Verstraeten, Christophe Slagmuylder
Tour manager Laurence De Jonge
Production Cie Michèle Noiret/Tandem asbl
Coproduction Le Botanique, Centre culturel de la Communauté française de Belgique, Charleroi/Danses, Centre chorégraphique de la Communauté française de Belgique
With the support of La Communauté française de Belgique - Service de la Danse, and Commission Communautaire française (CoCof)