Geert Belpaeme

agenda

  • 13.06.2021 at 18:00 THE ANIMALS Almost Summer * festival Buda, Kortrijk Order tickets
  • 01.10.2021 at 20:30 THE ANIMALS CC Gildhof, Tielt Order tickets
  • 02.10.2021 at 20:30 THE ANIMALS Nona, Mechelen Order tickets
  • 01.06.2022 at 19:00 PLEASE (DON'T) LET ME BE (MIS)UNDERSTOOD **** work-in-progress De Grote Post, Ostend

Be a Bear – Podcast

ZOO Antwerpen - plattegrond

In October 2020, The Animals premiered, a performance that takes you to the zoo, a place where people watch animals. After the premiere, the performance went into forced hibernation. But a performance is a living organism that continues to grow, even when it is not played or seen. Be a Bear is the fever dream of a performance in hibernation.


Be a Bear is a Podcast by Geert Belpaeme and Esther Venrooy.

living on the imbalance

What is playing and how does it relate to our authenticity as human beings? Playing supposes that you play a certain ‘role’ within a set of rules. Playing theatre even takes it a step further because there is the glance of a viewer that enters the situation and unbalances it, thus creating a new ‘language’.

Using as a working title Living on the Imbalance Geert Belpaeme is writing an essay that departs from his pedagogical practice at the drama department of KASK / School of Arts in Ghent. There he teaches drama students in there first Bachelor year within a series of abstract improvisation exercises how they can design their presence on a stage. They examine how their presence in a space can in different ways elicit content, meaning or communication. In Living on the Imbalance Geert approaches playing from the perspective of movement. This way he can examine an essence of the performing arts, before there is a text, a character, a choreography, a concept or an idea. Or as Peter Brook describes it at the begining of The empty space: “I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.”

Living on the Imbalance is financed by the research fund of KASK / School of Arts in Ghent.

The Animals

(c) Michiel Devijver
(c) Benne Dousselaere

The Animals is a playful requiem for a dying ecosystem and a failing image of humanity. The performance takes you to the zoo, a performative space where animals are forced to perform their otherness so that humankind can confirm itself – by watching. Zoos engage visitors in an historic ritual of a Western ordering of the world, teaching them to “gaze” at creatures made to be exotic through our imagining wild and faraway places. But in this zoo the boundaries are blurred between who is human and who is animal. In this zoo it is unclear who should perform (for) whom.

“Animals are always the observed. The fact that they can observe us has lost all significance.” (John Berger, Why look at Animals?)

director: Geert Belpaeme / dramaturge: Bauke Lievens / performers: Greet Jacobs & Sophia Bauer / lighting design & scenography: Geert Vanoorlé / sound design: Esther Venrooy / masks: Viktor Leestmans / costume: Valerie Le Roy / technical support: Geeraard Respeel / artistic advice: Mats Van Herreweghe

production: l’hommmm / coproduction: Vooruit

Supported by the Flemish Government, Culture Ghent, Buda, De Grote Post & KAAP

Please (don’t) let me be (mis)under-stood

(c) Leontien Allemeersch

With Please (don’t) let me be (mis)understood Geert Belpaeme questions the figure of the clown. Contemporary clowning is often reduced to a game with petrified forms and figures with a matching psychology. A typical example is the tragedy of the crying clown, as a melancholy celebration of the failing man. However, clowning, just like theatre, is a performative practice with a potential to question existing relationships.

In Please (don’t) let me be (mis)understood, Geert Belpaeme wants to return to the core of clowning. It will be a choreographic deconstruction of the figure of the clown in order to explore this rich potential once again. He uses clowning to explore new definitions of what it means to be human: how can we take a less aggressive position in the midst of other organisms, living systems, ecosystems and objects?

But how do you explore that in the theatre, a place defined precisely by the human gaze? How can you perform non-human relationships with a human body? Geert Belpaeme believes that the clowning practice, with its inherent openness to spaces, objects, relationships… offers an opening for just that.

Please (don’t) let me be misunderstood will premiere in early 2023. The first public presentation will be on the 11th of June 2022 during KIEM festival in De Grote Post in Ostend.

as performer

  • All Inclusive – Julian Hetzel

    In All Inclusive, Julian Hetzel questions the aestheticization of violence and the explosive force of image wars. Exploring the principle of “creation through destruction”, Hetzel imported several kilos of debris from a conflict zone in Syria to central Europe. These remnants of the war have now been transformed into art. 

    All Inclusive juxtaposes art and war, tourists and refugees, reality and imagination in a journey through a temporary exhibition space. You are invited to watch a visit through a museum where reality strikes back. What if we could capitalize empathy by making people watch people?


    director: Julian Hetzel / performers: Kristien De Proost, Edoardo Ripani, Geert Belpaeme & lokale figuranten / dramaturg: Miguel Angel Melgares / artistic advice: Sodja Lotker / costumes: Anne-Catherine Kunz / technical: Korneel Coessens & Piet Depoortere / production assistant: Sabine Mangeleer 

    production: CAMPO i.s.m. Stichting Ism&Heit Utrecht

    coproduction: Frascati Producties, Schauspiel Leipzig, Münchner Kammerspiele & SPIELART Festival

  • (c) Pieter Dumoulin
    (c) Pieter Dumoulin
    (c) Pieter Dumoulin
    (c) Pieter Dumoulin
    (c) Pieter Dumoulin

    Matisklo – Bosse Provoost

    In Matisklo Bosse Provoost and five other theatre makers look for the limits of what can be enounced and represented, guided by the poetry of Paul Celan, costumes that engulf a human being and heaps of animate material.

    On the stage some ambiguous and introvert 'figures' pass by. Which spread jumps in meaning and imagination emerge when these figures and the poetry of Celan meet each other?

    As survivor of the Holocaust Paul Celan morally and linguistically searches for the limits. His poetry reaches for what is 'beyond' language: a world that far precedes or passes by human beings, an urge to speak from ones own being-dead. Every word is like a stone picked up and looked at from multiple directions.


    director: Bosse Provoost / performers: Joeri Happel, Benjamin Cools, Ezra Veldhuis & Geert Belpaeme / dramaturg: Geert Belpaeme / sound design: Benjamin cools / costume design: Max Pairon / scenography & lighting design: Ezra Veldhuis / text: Paul Celan / Dutch translation: Ton Naaijkens

    production: Toneelhuis & Kraagsteen / coproduction: Vooruit, Jonge Harten Theaterfestival

  • (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst

    My life with the tree – Alexia Leysen

    ‘My Life with the Tree’ is een visuele trip die de sluizen van je verbeelding wagenwijd openzet. Het is een ode aan het mooiste en tegelijk meest tragische mechanisme in de mens: het verlangen. Want iets willen: dat is wat het leven voedt en vooruit stuwt. Het laat je steeds opnieuw je horizonten verruimen. Maar hoeveel mag er sneuvelen om je droom te bereiken? En wat als je dan hebt wat je dacht te willen?

    Geïnspireerd op de condition humaine volgens Schopenhauer, creëert de jonge theatermaker Alexia Leysen met acteur Geert Belpaeme een eigenzinnige wereld die schommelt tussen fantasie en hyperrealisme. Laat je meevoeren in een beeldende reis, langs de omwegen van de fantasie en met de poëzie van het antispektakel.

Archive

  • (c) Tine Declerck
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch

    first (2017)

    First is a collaboration of Geert Belpaeme with pianist/composer Heleen Van Haegenborgh. They were inspired by Tik Tak (an iconic Belgian tv program for todlers), Barnett Newman and String theory to reflect on the linearity of our consciousness.

    First starts off from the idea that we, human beings, are ourselves the creators of the reality we live in. First is a pamphlet: an ode to beginning; a prelude danced by the first man, for the last man.

    First was rewarded with the Price Roel Verniers in 2016 and played at het TheaterFestival 2018 in Antwerp.


    Geert Belpaeme (text, creation & performance) / Heleen Van Haegenborgh (music & performance) / Mats Van Herreweghe (dramaturgy) / Ezra Veldhuis & Bosse Provoost (scenography) / Geert Vanoorlé (light design)


    a production by l’hommmm, with the support of KASK School of Arts Ghent, Vooruit, Pact Zollverein, wpZimmer, KAAP and the price Roel Verniers 2016 (TheaterFestival, t-heater & Circuit X)


    First was performed at KC Nona (Mechelen), Het TheaterFestival (Antwerpen), Vooruit (Gent), Festival Dansand (Oostende)

  • (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers

    the act of dying (2017)

    In The Act of Dying three performers try to die as cheerful non-human figures. They are looking for the ultimate freedom of the animation figure: to rise up again after a downright violent death. The performance is a reflection on the role of violence and death in our society. By approaching death from the light and playfull perspective of the animation figure, de polen try to reach a veritable tragic. The performers are assisted by a square and by the Third Symphony by Henryk Górecki.

    ‘They don’t know death, they don’t know sexuality, they don’t know suffering, you cut them into pieces, they’re reconstituted. There is no finitude, no mortality here. There is evil, but a kind of naieve, good evil. You’re just egotistic, you want to eat, you want to hit the other, but there is no guilt proper.’ (uit A Pervert’s Guide to Cinema van Slavoj Žižek)


    created and performed by: Bosse Provoost, Kobe Chielens, Lieselotte De Keyzer & Geert Belpaeme / scenography: Sibran Sampers & Ezra Veldhuis / dramaturgic advice: Mats Van Herreweghe / technical: Britt De Jonghe

    productie: de polen 

    co-productie: wpZimmer, Buda, Vooruit & Toneelhuis 

    met de steun van: de Vlaamse Overheid, TAZ, LOD & KAAP


    The Act of Dying was performed at Vooruit (Ghent), KAAP (Brugge), TAZ (Oostende), Festival Boulevard (‘s Hertogenbosch), Love at First Sight festival (Antwerpen), Jonge Harten Festival (Groningen)

  • (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers

    fünf leichte tanzspiele (2017)

    Fünf leichte tanzspiele tells the story of language. Not the language that we speak but a primordial language, a game, an imagination that preceeds understanding. Fünf leichte tanzspiele reveals how quickly language erupts, how easily we understand what we cannot apprehend.

    Language, maths, science are not attempts to apprehend reality, they are a game in which people try to order experience through self-invented rules. There is no logic, there is no truth, there are only plays and players, rules and the application of rules.

    Fünf leichte tanzspiele takes you back to the serieusness of being a child, where every form has to be discovered, where content is still abstract and abstraction is very normal.

    Created & performed by: Geert Belpaeme, Mats Van Herreweghe, Loes Carrette, Benjamin Cools & Seppe Decubber

    Light design: Timme Afschrift

  • (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst

    Herberg (2015)

    Hoe houdt een mens zich staande in een architectuur – een desolate vlakte onder een brug – die zich onverschillig opstelt tot de mens die zich erin begeeft en hem door haar afmetingen fijn drukt? Het sterkste teken dat een mens er kan geven is er zijn of er niet zijn. 1 en 0 zijn instrumenten om iets uit te drukken. Er zijn. Er niet zijn. En vervolgens leest de architectuur als een partituur van ongewone ontmoetingen.

    Herberg werd in 2015 gemaakt voor een zeer specifieke ruimte onder een viaduct in Ledeberg (Gent) om tijdens zonsondergang gespeeld te worden.
    Het uitgangspunt van de voorstelling is altijd geweest om naar de ruimte, meerbepaald een grote vlakte met pilaren en een ‘dak’, te luisteren en haar niet iets op te leggen, wat ons bracht tot het proberen hertalen van een architectuur tot partituur. Een ander belangrijk onderzoek in de voorstelling is het verkennen van de mogelijkheden van een speler/mens/lichaam om over grote afstanden of bij weinig licht iets te communiceren, en welke mogelijkheden de visuele barrière van een afstand of zonsondergang bieden voor wat je wil vertellen.

    In 2016 werden we uitgenodigd door Toneelhuis om Herberg te hertalen naar een locatie in de omgeving van Antwerpen. Omdat de voorstelling zo locatiespecifiek is, heeft de uitdagende hertaling naar het viaduct van Merksem ons tot een andere voorstelling geleid met inhoudelijke en vormelijke accenten eigen aan de locatie.


    created and performed by: Bosse Provoost, Kobe Chielens, Lieselotte De Keyzer, Britt Bakker, Midas De Saedeleir & Geert Belpaeme 

  • (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016

    sprachspiel (2015)

    Sprachspiel is a performance on the line between art and philosophical experiment. In Sprachspiel Geert Belpaeme and Mats Van Herreweghe want to show how communication emerges out of playing, not out of understanding.

    The performance was inspired by the idea of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein that language does not need clear-cut concepts or unambiguous signification. It is not necessary for you and me to share predetermined concepts and rules to be able to communicate. Language is use: Meaning arises only when an action is performed. In Sprachspiel Mats Van Herreweghe and Geert Belpaeme examine how such a playful, active language could emerge.


    Created & performed by Geert Belpaeme & Mats Van Herreweghe / coaching: Charlotte van den Eynde / light design: Timme Afschrift in collaboration with students KASKdrama


    Sprachspiel was performed at CC Ghybe (Poperinge), KC Nona (Mechelen), Flare Festival (Manchester, UK), CC hasselt, De werf (Brugge), Love at First Sight (Antwerpen), MSK (Gent), Pact Zollverein (Essen, D), Chambre d’O (Oostende), wpZimmer (Antwerpen), Les Ballets C de la B (Gent), Rataplan (Antwerpen)

  • it says nothing to me about my life (2013)

    In It says nothing to me about my life l’hommmm explores how man and his body is socialised when growing up. How we stand, walk, laugh or cry is shown to us from when we are little children. Family and friends are a huge influence, but also the world outside and the abundance of images and information we get fired at us. The way in which we move in this world is not natural, it tells the story of every encounter in a human being’s life.

    This performance is a search for sincerity in the multitude of information. How ever hard we try, we will never completely coincide with the images that we hold up to ourselves. And in that failing, a human being becomes his own, unique self.

    Directors: Geert Belpaeme & Mats Van Herreweghe – Cast: Seppe Cosyns & Loes Carrette

  • (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq

    freetimer — study #2 (2013)

    With Freetimer l’hommmm is making a series of theatrical studies about our performance-prone society: “You will be yourself, you will distinguish yourself because of what you do and wear.” We paint a picture in three studies of how modern man has to fit himself into an identity in which success and self accomplishment are the basis (you get what you deserve), an identity that is so rigid and narrowly defined that it turns us into compulsive and indigent people.

    Study #2 is a very minimalistic performance that, in its purity, tries to reach an essence. In this performance we focus on how our compulsive urge for self-realisation influences our relations. The performance confronts languages. While one of the performers tries to explain herself and fails in her attempts, another performer succeeds in really expressing himself with a purely physical language that is at first incomprehensible but throughout the performance manages to exceed understanding. When language fails and movement gets a clear direction, the possibility arises to really grow towards each other, not in signification but in physical recognition.

    Director: Mats Van herreweghe – Cast: Geert Belpaeme & Yinka Kuitenbrouwer

  • freetimer — study #1 (2012)

    With Freetimer l’hommmm is making a series of theatrical studies about our performance-prone society: “You will be yourself, you will distinguish yourself because of what you do and wear.” We paint a picture in three studies of how modern man has to fit himself into an identity in which success and self accomplishment are the basis (you get what you deserve), an identity that is so rigid and narrowly defined that it turns us into compulsive and indigent people.

    In Study #1 (2011) a man goes on a job interview. He has brought a large stick.

    By & with Mats Van Herreweghe & Geert Belpaeme

  • (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens

    gat (2011)

    In Gat l’hommmm is looking for its own little revolution. To attain that, we have to go back to the beginning: the big bang that put the void out of balance. The result: bodies in an empty space, people who start to relate to each other, who discover and scan each other. The possibility of a world that arises and at the same time the expectation that everything can become something, that everyone has to be someone.

    Director: Geert Belpaeme – Cast: Michaël Canto Minjauw, Seppe Cosyns, Lieselotte De Keyzer, Elien Hanselaer & Lize Pede – Dramaturg: Mats Van Herreweghe

  • (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer

    l’hommmm (2010)

    In the garden of Eden

    a cat jumped over the fence

    and everything changed.

    Three actors on a scène try to go back to the origin. They want to play. Without gravity, without embarrassment and without restraint they dance, move, play as little children. And, as when little chidren play, it does not matter that the game is shifting all the time.

    They are liberated form everything that ties them in this world: society, language, themselves. Unconcernedly they search for their own paradise. But still that one question lingers:

    Où est le chat?

    Director: Geert Belpaeme – Cast: Michael Canto Minjauw, Sanne Haenen & Seppe Cosyns – Dramaturg: Mats Van Herreweghe – Designer: Sarah Geirnaert – Coaching: Elsie de Brauw, Sam Bogaerts & Alain Platel.

bio

Geert Belpaeme is a Belgian performing artist. He graduated in 2010 at the drama department of KASK School of Arts in Ghent where he has ever since been involved as pedagogue and artistic researcher.

Between 2010 and 2020 he worked together with Mats Van Herreweghe and interchanging collaborators under the collective name l'hommmm, creating performances that balance on the boundary between theatre, dance and philoshical experiment. The work of l'hommmm is characterised by a playfulness and abstraction that starts from an uninhibited imagination. With every performance l'hommmm tried to create a new language, a new way of generating meaning and communicating with an audience.

From 2015 till 2018 Geert collaborated with Bosse Provoost, Kobe Chielens and Lieselotte De Keyzer under the collective name de polen to create the performances Herberg and The Act of Dying.

The materiality of the narration, the impulsive imagination of the performer and a search for non-linear and (more recently) posthuman dramaturgies, have been recurring themes in Geert's practice both as performer and as performance maker. His artistic language, reminiscent of an abstract and minimal form of clownery, combines playfulness with philosophical rigour in performances that want to challenge the prevailing narrative structures of our society.

bio

Geert Belpaeme is a Belgian performing artist. He graduated in 2010 at the drama department of KASK School of Arts in Ghent where he has ever since been involved as pedagogue and artistic researcher.

Between 2010 and 2020 he worked together with Mats Van Herreweghe and interchanging collaborators under the collective name l'hommmm, creating performances that balance on the boundary between theatre, dance and philoshical experiment. The work of l'hommmm is characterised by a playfulness and abstraction that starts from an uninhibited imagination. With every performance l'hommmm tried to create a new language, a new way of generating meaning and communicating with an audience.

From 2015 till 2018 Geert collaborated with Bosse Provoost, Kobe Chielens and Lieselotte De Keyzer under the collective name de polen to create the performances Herberg and The Act of Dying.

The materiality of the narration, the impulsive imagination of the performer and a search for non-linear and (more recently) posthuman dramaturgies, have been recurring themes in Geert's practice both as performer and as performance maker. His artistic language, reminiscent of an abstract and minimal form of clownery, combines playfulness with philosophical rigour in performances that want to challenge the prevailing narrative structures of our society.

as performer

  • All Inclusive – Julian Hetzel

    In All Inclusive, Julian Hetzel questions the aestheticization of violence and the explosive force of image wars. Exploring the principle of “creation through destruction”, Hetzel imported several kilos of debris from a conflict zone in Syria to central Europe. These remnants of the war have now been transformed into art. 

    All Inclusive juxtaposes art and war, tourists and refugees, reality and imagination in a journey through a temporary exhibition space. You are invited to watch a visit through a museum where reality strikes back. What if we could capitalize empathy by making people watch people?


    director: Julian Hetzel / performers: Kristien De Proost, Edoardo Ripani, Geert Belpaeme & lokale figuranten / dramaturg: Miguel Angel Melgares / artistic advice: Sodja Lotker / costumes: Anne-Catherine Kunz / technical: Korneel Coessens & Piet Depoortere / production assistant: Sabine Mangeleer 

    production: CAMPO i.s.m. Stichting Ism&Heit Utrecht

    coproduction: Frascati Producties, Schauspiel Leipzig, Münchner Kammerspiele & SPIELART Festival

  • (c) Pieter Dumoulin
    (c) Pieter Dumoulin
    (c) Pieter Dumoulin
    (c) Pieter Dumoulin
    (c) Pieter Dumoulin

    Matisklo – Bosse Provoost

    In Matisklo Bosse Provoost and five other theatre makers look for the limits of what can be enounced and represented, guided by the poetry of Paul Celan, costumes that engulf a human being and heaps of animate material.

    On the stage some ambiguous and introvert 'figures' pass by. Which spread jumps in meaning and imagination emerge when these figures and the poetry of Celan meet each other?

    As survivor of the Holocaust Paul Celan morally and linguistically searches for the limits. His poetry reaches for what is 'beyond' language: a world that far precedes or passes by human beings, an urge to speak from ones own being-dead. Every word is like a stone picked up and looked at from multiple directions.


    director: Bosse Provoost / performers: Joeri Happel, Benjamin Cools, Ezra Veldhuis & Geert Belpaeme / dramaturg: Geert Belpaeme / sound design: Benjamin cools / costume design: Max Pairon / scenography & lighting design: Ezra Veldhuis / text: Paul Celan / Dutch translation: Ton Naaijkens

    production: Toneelhuis & Kraagsteen / coproduction: Vooruit, Jonge Harten Theaterfestival

  • (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst

    My life with the tree – Alexia Leysen

    ‘My Life with the Tree’ is een visuele trip die de sluizen van je verbeelding wagenwijd openzet. Het is een ode aan het mooiste en tegelijk meest tragische mechanisme in de mens: het verlangen. Want iets willen: dat is wat het leven voedt en vooruit stuwt. Het laat je steeds opnieuw je horizonten verruimen. Maar hoeveel mag er sneuvelen om je droom te bereiken? En wat als je dan hebt wat je dacht te willen?

    Geïnspireerd op de condition humaine volgens Schopenhauer, creëert de jonge theatermaker Alexia Leysen met acteur Geert Belpaeme een eigenzinnige wereld die schommelt tussen fantasie en hyperrealisme. Laat je meevoeren in een beeldende reis, langs de omwegen van de fantasie en met de poëzie van het antispektakel.

living on the imbalance

What is playing and how does it relate to our authenticity as human beings? Playing supposes that you play a certain ‘role’ within a set of rules. Playing theatre even takes it a step further because there is the glance of a viewer that enters the situation and unbalances it, thus creating a new ‘language’.

Using as a working title Living on the Imbalance Geert Belpaeme is writing an essay that departs from his pedagogical practice at the drama department of KASK / School of Arts in Ghent. There he teaches drama students in there first Bachelor year within a series of abstract improvisation exercises how they can design their presence on a stage. They examine how their presence in a space can in different ways elicit content, meaning or communication. In Living on the Imbalance Geert approaches playing from the perspective of movement. This way he can examine an essence of the performing arts, before there is a text, a character, a choreography, a concept or an idea. Or as Peter Brook describes it at the begining of The empty space: “I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.”

Living on the Imbalance is financed by the research fund of KASK / School of Arts in Ghent.

Please (don’t) let me be (mis)under-stood

(c) Leontien Allemeersch

With Please (don’t) let me be (mis)understood Geert Belpaeme questions the figure of the clown. Contemporary clowning is often reduced to a game with petrified forms and figures with a matching psychology. A typical example is the tragedy of the crying clown, as a melancholy celebration of the failing man. However, clowning, just like theatre, is a performative practice with a potential to question existing relationships.

In Please (don’t) let me be (mis)understood, Geert Belpaeme wants to return to the core of clowning. It will be a choreographic deconstruction of the figure of the clown in order to explore this rich potential once again. He uses clowning to explore new definitions of what it means to be human: how can we take a less aggressive position in the midst of other organisms, living systems, ecosystems and objects?

But how do you explore that in the theatre, a place defined precisely by the human gaze? How can you perform non-human relationships with a human body? Geert Belpaeme believes that the clowning practice, with its inherent openness to spaces, objects, relationships… offers an opening for just that.

Please (don’t) let me be misunderstood will premiere in early 2023. The first public presentation will be on the 11th of June 2022 during KIEM festival in De Grote Post in Ostend.

agenda

  • 13.06.2021 at 18:00 THE ANIMALS Almost Summer * festival Buda, Kortrijk Order tickets
  • 01.10.2021 at 20:30 THE ANIMALS CC Gildhof, Tielt Order tickets
  • 02.10.2021 at 20:30 THE ANIMALS Nona, Mechelen Order tickets
  • 01.06.2022 at 19:00 PLEASE (DON'T) LET ME BE (MIS)UNDERSTOOD **** work-in-progress De Grote Post, Ostend

Be a Bear – Podcast

ZOO Antwerpen - plattegrond

In October 2020, The Animals premiered, a performance that takes you to the zoo, a place where people watch animals. After the premiere, the performance went into forced hibernation. But a performance is a living organism that continues to grow, even when it is not played or seen. Be a Bear is the fever dream of a performance in hibernation.


Be a Bear is a Podcast by Geert Belpaeme and Esther Venrooy.

The Animals

(c) Michiel Devijver
(c) Benne Dousselaere

The Animals is a playful requiem for a dying ecosystem and a failing image of humanity. The performance takes you to the zoo, a performative space where animals are forced to perform their otherness so that humankind can confirm itself – by watching. Zoos engage visitors in an historic ritual of a Western ordering of the world, teaching them to “gaze” at creatures made to be exotic through our imagining wild and faraway places. But in this zoo the boundaries are blurred between who is human and who is animal. In this zoo it is unclear who should perform (for) whom.

“Animals are always the observed. The fact that they can observe us has lost all significance.” (John Berger, Why look at Animals?)

director: Geert Belpaeme / dramaturge: Bauke Lievens / performers: Greet Jacobs & Sophia Bauer / lighting design & scenography: Geert Vanoorlé / sound design: Esther Venrooy / masks: Viktor Leestmans / costume: Valerie Le Roy / technical support: Geeraard Respeel / artistic advice: Mats Van Herreweghe

production: l’hommmm / coproduction: Vooruit

Supported by the Flemish Government, Culture Ghent, Buda, De Grote Post & KAAP

Archive

  • (c) Tine Declerck
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch

    first (2017)

    First is a collaboration of Geert Belpaeme with pianist/composer Heleen Van Haegenborgh. They were inspired by Tik Tak (an iconic Belgian tv program for todlers), Barnett Newman and String theory to reflect on the linearity of our consciousness.

    First starts off from the idea that we, human beings, are ourselves the creators of the reality we live in. First is a pamphlet: an ode to beginning; a prelude danced by the first man, for the last man.

    First was rewarded with the Price Roel Verniers in 2016 and played at het TheaterFestival 2018 in Antwerp.


    Geert Belpaeme (text, creation & performance) / Heleen Van Haegenborgh (music & performance) / Mats Van Herreweghe (dramaturgy) / Ezra Veldhuis & Bosse Provoost (scenography) / Geert Vanoorlé (light design)


    a production by l’hommmm, with the support of KASK School of Arts Ghent, Vooruit, Pact Zollverein, wpZimmer, KAAP and the price Roel Verniers 2016 (TheaterFestival, t-heater & Circuit X)


    First was performed at KC Nona (Mechelen), Het TheaterFestival (Antwerpen), Vooruit (Gent), Festival Dansand (Oostende)

  • (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers

    the act of dying (2017)

    In The Act of Dying three performers try to die as cheerful non-human figures. They are looking for the ultimate freedom of the animation figure: to rise up again after a downright violent death. The performance is a reflection on the role of violence and death in our society. By approaching death from the light and playfull perspective of the animation figure, de polen try to reach a veritable tragic. The performers are assisted by a square and by the Third Symphony by Henryk Górecki.

    ‘They don’t know death, they don’t know sexuality, they don’t know suffering, you cut them into pieces, they’re reconstituted. There is no finitude, no mortality here. There is evil, but a kind of naieve, good evil. You’re just egotistic, you want to eat, you want to hit the other, but there is no guilt proper.’ (uit A Pervert’s Guide to Cinema van Slavoj Žižek)


    created and performed by: Bosse Provoost, Kobe Chielens, Lieselotte De Keyzer & Geert Belpaeme / scenography: Sibran Sampers & Ezra Veldhuis / dramaturgic advice: Mats Van Herreweghe / technical: Britt De Jonghe

    productie: de polen 

    co-productie: wpZimmer, Buda, Vooruit & Toneelhuis 

    met de steun van: de Vlaamse Overheid, TAZ, LOD & KAAP


    The Act of Dying was performed at Vooruit (Ghent), KAAP (Brugge), TAZ (Oostende), Festival Boulevard (‘s Hertogenbosch), Love at First Sight festival (Antwerpen), Jonge Harten Festival (Groningen)

  • (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers

    fünf leichte tanzspiele (2017)

    Fünf leichte tanzspiele tells the story of language. Not the language that we speak but a primordial language, a game, an imagination that preceeds understanding. Fünf leichte tanzspiele reveals how quickly language erupts, how easily we understand what we cannot apprehend.

    Language, maths, science are not attempts to apprehend reality, they are a game in which people try to order experience through self-invented rules. There is no logic, there is no truth, there are only plays and players, rules and the application of rules.

    Fünf leichte tanzspiele takes you back to the serieusness of being a child, where every form has to be discovered, where content is still abstract and abstraction is very normal.

    Created & performed by: Geert Belpaeme, Mats Van Herreweghe, Loes Carrette, Benjamin Cools & Seppe Decubber

    Light design: Timme Afschrift

  • (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst

    Herberg (2015)

    Hoe houdt een mens zich staande in een architectuur – een desolate vlakte onder een brug – die zich onverschillig opstelt tot de mens die zich erin begeeft en hem door haar afmetingen fijn drukt? Het sterkste teken dat een mens er kan geven is er zijn of er niet zijn. 1 en 0 zijn instrumenten om iets uit te drukken. Er zijn. Er niet zijn. En vervolgens leest de architectuur als een partituur van ongewone ontmoetingen.

    Herberg werd in 2015 gemaakt voor een zeer specifieke ruimte onder een viaduct in Ledeberg (Gent) om tijdens zonsondergang gespeeld te worden.
    Het uitgangspunt van de voorstelling is altijd geweest om naar de ruimte, meerbepaald een grote vlakte met pilaren en een ‘dak’, te luisteren en haar niet iets op te leggen, wat ons bracht tot het proberen hertalen van een architectuur tot partituur. Een ander belangrijk onderzoek in de voorstelling is het verkennen van de mogelijkheden van een speler/mens/lichaam om over grote afstanden of bij weinig licht iets te communiceren, en welke mogelijkheden de visuele barrière van een afstand of zonsondergang bieden voor wat je wil vertellen.

    In 2016 werden we uitgenodigd door Toneelhuis om Herberg te hertalen naar een locatie in de omgeving van Antwerpen. Omdat de voorstelling zo locatiespecifiek is, heeft de uitdagende hertaling naar het viaduct van Merksem ons tot een andere voorstelling geleid met inhoudelijke en vormelijke accenten eigen aan de locatie.


    created and performed by: Bosse Provoost, Kobe Chielens, Lieselotte De Keyzer, Britt Bakker, Midas De Saedeleir & Geert Belpaeme 

  • (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016

    sprachspiel (2015)

    Sprachspiel is a performance on the line between art and philosophical experiment. In Sprachspiel Geert Belpaeme and Mats Van Herreweghe want to show how communication emerges out of playing, not out of understanding.

    The performance was inspired by the idea of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein that language does not need clear-cut concepts or unambiguous signification. It is not necessary for you and me to share predetermined concepts and rules to be able to communicate. Language is use: Meaning arises only when an action is performed. In Sprachspiel Mats Van Herreweghe and Geert Belpaeme examine how such a playful, active language could emerge.


    Created & performed by Geert Belpaeme & Mats Van Herreweghe / coaching: Charlotte van den Eynde / light design: Timme Afschrift in collaboration with students KASKdrama


    Sprachspiel was performed at CC Ghybe (Poperinge), KC Nona (Mechelen), Flare Festival (Manchester, UK), CC hasselt, De werf (Brugge), Love at First Sight (Antwerpen), MSK (Gent), Pact Zollverein (Essen, D), Chambre d’O (Oostende), wpZimmer (Antwerpen), Les Ballets C de la B (Gent), Rataplan (Antwerpen)

  • it says nothing to me about my life (2013)

    In It says nothing to me about my life l’hommmm explores how man and his body is socialised when growing up. How we stand, walk, laugh or cry is shown to us from when we are little children. Family and friends are a huge influence, but also the world outside and the abundance of images and information we get fired at us. The way in which we move in this world is not natural, it tells the story of every encounter in a human being’s life.

    This performance is a search for sincerity in the multitude of information. How ever hard we try, we will never completely coincide with the images that we hold up to ourselves. And in that failing, a human being becomes his own, unique self.

    Directors: Geert Belpaeme & Mats Van Herreweghe – Cast: Seppe Cosyns & Loes Carrette

  • (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq

    freetimer — study #2 (2013)

    With Freetimer l’hommmm is making a series of theatrical studies about our performance-prone society: “You will be yourself, you will distinguish yourself because of what you do and wear.” We paint a picture in three studies of how modern man has to fit himself into an identity in which success and self accomplishment are the basis (you get what you deserve), an identity that is so rigid and narrowly defined that it turns us into compulsive and indigent people.

    Study #2 is a very minimalistic performance that, in its purity, tries to reach an essence. In this performance we focus on how our compulsive urge for self-realisation influences our relations. The performance confronts languages. While one of the performers tries to explain herself and fails in her attempts, another performer succeeds in really expressing himself with a purely physical language that is at first incomprehensible but throughout the performance manages to exceed understanding. When language fails and movement gets a clear direction, the possibility arises to really grow towards each other, not in signification but in physical recognition.

    Director: Mats Van herreweghe – Cast: Geert Belpaeme & Yinka Kuitenbrouwer

  • freetimer — study #1 (2012)

    With Freetimer l’hommmm is making a series of theatrical studies about our performance-prone society: “You will be yourself, you will distinguish yourself because of what you do and wear.” We paint a picture in three studies of how modern man has to fit himself into an identity in which success and self accomplishment are the basis (you get what you deserve), an identity that is so rigid and narrowly defined that it turns us into compulsive and indigent people.

    In Study #1 (2011) a man goes on a job interview. He has brought a large stick.

    By & with Mats Van Herreweghe & Geert Belpaeme

  • (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens

    gat (2011)

    In Gat l’hommmm is looking for its own little revolution. To attain that, we have to go back to the beginning: the big bang that put the void out of balance. The result: bodies in an empty space, people who start to relate to each other, who discover and scan each other. The possibility of a world that arises and at the same time the expectation that everything can become something, that everyone has to be someone.

    Director: Geert Belpaeme – Cast: Michaël Canto Minjauw, Seppe Cosyns, Lieselotte De Keyzer, Elien Hanselaer & Lize Pede – Dramaturg: Mats Van Herreweghe

  • (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer

    l’hommmm (2010)

    In the garden of Eden

    a cat jumped over the fence

    and everything changed.

    Three actors on a scène try to go back to the origin. They want to play. Without gravity, without embarrassment and without restraint they dance, move, play as little children. And, as when little chidren play, it does not matter that the game is shifting all the time.

    They are liberated form everything that ties them in this world: society, language, themselves. Unconcernedly they search for their own paradise. But still that one question lingers:

    Où est le chat?

    Director: Geert Belpaeme – Cast: Michael Canto Minjauw, Sanne Haenen & Seppe Cosyns – Dramaturg: Mats Van Herreweghe – Designer: Sarah Geirnaert – Coaching: Elsie de Brauw, Sam Bogaerts & Alain Platel.

The Animals

(c) Michiel Devijver
(c) Benne Dousselaere

The Animals is a playful requiem for a dying ecosystem and a failing image of humanity. The performance takes you to the zoo, a performative space where animals are forced to perform their otherness so that humankind can confirm itself – by watching. Zoos engage visitors in an historic ritual of a Western ordering of the world, teaching them to “gaze” at creatures made to be exotic through our imagining wild and faraway places. But in this zoo the boundaries are blurred between who is human and who is animal. In this zoo it is unclear who should perform (for) whom.

“Animals are always the observed. The fact that they can observe us has lost all significance.” (John Berger, Why look at Animals?)

director: Geert Belpaeme / dramaturge: Bauke Lievens / performers: Greet Jacobs & Sophia Bauer / lighting design & scenography: Geert Vanoorlé / sound design: Esther Venrooy / masks: Viktor Leestmans / costume: Valerie Le Roy / technical support: Geeraard Respeel / artistic advice: Mats Van Herreweghe

production: l’hommmm / coproduction: Vooruit

Supported by the Flemish Government, Culture Ghent, Buda, De Grote Post & KAAP

as performer

  • All Inclusive – Julian Hetzel

    In All Inclusive, Julian Hetzel questions the aestheticization of violence and the explosive force of image wars. Exploring the principle of “creation through destruction”, Hetzel imported several kilos of debris from a conflict zone in Syria to central Europe. These remnants of the war have now been transformed into art. 

    All Inclusive juxtaposes art and war, tourists and refugees, reality and imagination in a journey through a temporary exhibition space. You are invited to watch a visit through a museum where reality strikes back. What if we could capitalize empathy by making people watch people?


    director: Julian Hetzel / performers: Kristien De Proost, Edoardo Ripani, Geert Belpaeme & lokale figuranten / dramaturg: Miguel Angel Melgares / artistic advice: Sodja Lotker / costumes: Anne-Catherine Kunz / technical: Korneel Coessens & Piet Depoortere / production assistant: Sabine Mangeleer 

    production: CAMPO i.s.m. Stichting Ism&Heit Utrecht

    coproduction: Frascati Producties, Schauspiel Leipzig, Münchner Kammerspiele & SPIELART Festival

  • (c) Pieter Dumoulin
    (c) Pieter Dumoulin
    (c) Pieter Dumoulin
    (c) Pieter Dumoulin
    (c) Pieter Dumoulin

    Matisklo – Bosse Provoost

    In Matisklo Bosse Provoost and five other theatre makers look for the limits of what can be enounced and represented, guided by the poetry of Paul Celan, costumes that engulf a human being and heaps of animate material.

    On the stage some ambiguous and introvert 'figures' pass by. Which spread jumps in meaning and imagination emerge when these figures and the poetry of Celan meet each other?

    As survivor of the Holocaust Paul Celan morally and linguistically searches for the limits. His poetry reaches for what is 'beyond' language: a world that far precedes or passes by human beings, an urge to speak from ones own being-dead. Every word is like a stone picked up and looked at from multiple directions.


    director: Bosse Provoost / performers: Joeri Happel, Benjamin Cools, Ezra Veldhuis & Geert Belpaeme / dramaturg: Geert Belpaeme / sound design: Benjamin cools / costume design: Max Pairon / scenography & lighting design: Ezra Veldhuis / text: Paul Celan / Dutch translation: Ton Naaijkens

    production: Toneelhuis & Kraagsteen / coproduction: Vooruit, Jonge Harten Theaterfestival

  • (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst

    My life with the tree – Alexia Leysen

    ‘My Life with the Tree’ is een visuele trip die de sluizen van je verbeelding wagenwijd openzet. Het is een ode aan het mooiste en tegelijk meest tragische mechanisme in de mens: het verlangen. Want iets willen: dat is wat het leven voedt en vooruit stuwt. Het laat je steeds opnieuw je horizonten verruimen. Maar hoeveel mag er sneuvelen om je droom te bereiken? En wat als je dan hebt wat je dacht te willen?

    Geïnspireerd op de condition humaine volgens Schopenhauer, creëert de jonge theatermaker Alexia Leysen met acteur Geert Belpaeme een eigenzinnige wereld die schommelt tussen fantasie en hyperrealisme. Laat je meevoeren in een beeldende reis, langs de omwegen van de fantasie en met de poëzie van het antispektakel.

Please (don’t) let me be (mis)under-stood

(c) Leontien Allemeersch

With Please (don’t) let me be (mis)understood Geert Belpaeme questions the figure of the clown. Contemporary clowning is often reduced to a game with petrified forms and figures with a matching psychology. A typical example is the tragedy of the crying clown, as a melancholy celebration of the failing man. However, clowning, just like theatre, is a performative practice with a potential to question existing relationships.

In Please (don’t) let me be (mis)understood, Geert Belpaeme wants to return to the core of clowning. It will be a choreographic deconstruction of the figure of the clown in order to explore this rich potential once again. He uses clowning to explore new definitions of what it means to be human: how can we take a less aggressive position in the midst of other organisms, living systems, ecosystems and objects?

But how do you explore that in the theatre, a place defined precisely by the human gaze? How can you perform non-human relationships with a human body? Geert Belpaeme believes that the clowning practice, with its inherent openness to spaces, objects, relationships… offers an opening for just that.

Please (don’t) let me be misunderstood will premiere in early 2023. The first public presentation will be on the 11th of June 2022 during KIEM festival in De Grote Post in Ostend.

living on the imbalance

What is playing and how does it relate to our authenticity as human beings? Playing supposes that you play a certain ‘role’ within a set of rules. Playing theatre even takes it a step further because there is the glance of a viewer that enters the situation and unbalances it, thus creating a new ‘language’.

Using as a working title Living on the Imbalance Geert Belpaeme is writing an essay that departs from his pedagogical practice at the drama department of KASK / School of Arts in Ghent. There he teaches drama students in there first Bachelor year within a series of abstract improvisation exercises how they can design their presence on a stage. They examine how their presence in a space can in different ways elicit content, meaning or communication. In Living on the Imbalance Geert approaches playing from the perspective of movement. This way he can examine an essence of the performing arts, before there is a text, a character, a choreography, a concept or an idea. Or as Peter Brook describes it at the begining of The empty space: “I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.”

Living on the Imbalance is financed by the research fund of KASK / School of Arts in Ghent.

bio

Geert Belpaeme is a Belgian performing artist. He graduated in 2010 at the drama department of KASK School of Arts in Ghent where he has ever since been involved as pedagogue and artistic researcher.

Between 2010 and 2020 he worked together with Mats Van Herreweghe and interchanging collaborators under the collective name l'hommmm, creating performances that balance on the boundary between theatre, dance and philoshical experiment. The work of l'hommmm is characterised by a playfulness and abstraction that starts from an uninhibited imagination. With every performance l'hommmm tried to create a new language, a new way of generating meaning and communicating with an audience.

From 2015 till 2018 Geert collaborated with Bosse Provoost, Kobe Chielens and Lieselotte De Keyzer under the collective name de polen to create the performances Herberg and The Act of Dying.

The materiality of the narration, the impulsive imagination of the performer and a search for non-linear and (more recently) posthuman dramaturgies, have been recurring themes in Geert's practice both as performer and as performance maker. His artistic language, reminiscent of an abstract and minimal form of clownery, combines playfulness with philosophical rigour in performances that want to challenge the prevailing narrative structures of our society.

agenda

  • 13.06.2021 at 18:00 THE ANIMALS Almost Summer * festival Buda, Kortrijk Order tickets
  • 01.10.2021 at 20:30 THE ANIMALS CC Gildhof, Tielt Order tickets
  • 02.10.2021 at 20:30 THE ANIMALS Nona, Mechelen Order tickets
  • 01.06.2022 at 19:00 PLEASE (DON'T) LET ME BE (MIS)UNDERSTOOD **** work-in-progress De Grote Post, Ostend

Be a Bear – Podcast

ZOO Antwerpen - plattegrond

In October 2020, The Animals premiered, a performance that takes you to the zoo, a place where people watch animals. After the premiere, the performance went into forced hibernation. But a performance is a living organism that continues to grow, even when it is not played or seen. Be a Bear is the fever dream of a performance in hibernation.


Be a Bear is a Podcast by Geert Belpaeme and Esther Venrooy.

Archive

  • (c) Tine Declerck
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch
    (c) Leontien Allemeersch

    first (2017)

    First is a collaboration of Geert Belpaeme with pianist/composer Heleen Van Haegenborgh. They were inspired by Tik Tak (an iconic Belgian tv program for todlers), Barnett Newman and String theory to reflect on the linearity of our consciousness.

    First starts off from the idea that we, human beings, are ourselves the creators of the reality we live in. First is a pamphlet: an ode to beginning; a prelude danced by the first man, for the last man.

    First was rewarded with the Price Roel Verniers in 2016 and played at het TheaterFestival 2018 in Antwerp.


    Geert Belpaeme (text, creation & performance) / Heleen Van Haegenborgh (music & performance) / Mats Van Herreweghe (dramaturgy) / Ezra Veldhuis & Bosse Provoost (scenography) / Geert Vanoorlé (light design)


    a production by l’hommmm, with the support of KASK School of Arts Ghent, Vooruit, Pact Zollverein, wpZimmer, KAAP and the price Roel Verniers 2016 (TheaterFestival, t-heater & Circuit X)


    First was performed at KC Nona (Mechelen), Het TheaterFestival (Antwerpen), Vooruit (Gent), Festival Dansand (Oostende)

  • (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers

    the act of dying (2017)

    In The Act of Dying three performers try to die as cheerful non-human figures. They are looking for the ultimate freedom of the animation figure: to rise up again after a downright violent death. The performance is a reflection on the role of violence and death in our society. By approaching death from the light and playfull perspective of the animation figure, de polen try to reach a veritable tragic. The performers are assisted by a square and by the Third Symphony by Henryk Górecki.

    ‘They don’t know death, they don’t know sexuality, they don’t know suffering, you cut them into pieces, they’re reconstituted. There is no finitude, no mortality here. There is evil, but a kind of naieve, good evil. You’re just egotistic, you want to eat, you want to hit the other, but there is no guilt proper.’ (uit A Pervert’s Guide to Cinema van Slavoj Žižek)


    created and performed by: Bosse Provoost, Kobe Chielens, Lieselotte De Keyzer & Geert Belpaeme / scenography: Sibran Sampers & Ezra Veldhuis / dramaturgic advice: Mats Van Herreweghe / technical: Britt De Jonghe

    productie: de polen 

    co-productie: wpZimmer, Buda, Vooruit & Toneelhuis 

    met de steun van: de Vlaamse Overheid, TAZ, LOD & KAAP


    The Act of Dying was performed at Vooruit (Ghent), KAAP (Brugge), TAZ (Oostende), Festival Boulevard (‘s Hertogenbosch), Love at First Sight festival (Antwerpen), Jonge Harten Festival (Groningen)

  • (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers

    fünf leichte tanzspiele (2017)

    Fünf leichte tanzspiele tells the story of language. Not the language that we speak but a primordial language, a game, an imagination that preceeds understanding. Fünf leichte tanzspiele reveals how quickly language erupts, how easily we understand what we cannot apprehend.

    Language, maths, science are not attempts to apprehend reality, they are a game in which people try to order experience through self-invented rules. There is no logic, there is no truth, there are only plays and players, rules and the application of rules.

    Fünf leichte tanzspiele takes you back to the serieusness of being a child, where every form has to be discovered, where content is still abstract and abstraction is very normal.

    Created & performed by: Geert Belpaeme, Mats Van Herreweghe, Loes Carrette, Benjamin Cools & Seppe Decubber

    Light design: Timme Afschrift

  • (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst
    (c) Kurt Van der Elst

    Herberg (2015)

    Hoe houdt een mens zich staande in een architectuur – een desolate vlakte onder een brug – die zich onverschillig opstelt tot de mens die zich erin begeeft en hem door haar afmetingen fijn drukt? Het sterkste teken dat een mens er kan geven is er zijn of er niet zijn. 1 en 0 zijn instrumenten om iets uit te drukken. Er zijn. Er niet zijn. En vervolgens leest de architectuur als een partituur van ongewone ontmoetingen.

    Herberg werd in 2015 gemaakt voor een zeer specifieke ruimte onder een viaduct in Ledeberg (Gent) om tijdens zonsondergang gespeeld te worden.
    Het uitgangspunt van de voorstelling is altijd geweest om naar de ruimte, meerbepaald een grote vlakte met pilaren en een ‘dak’, te luisteren en haar niet iets op te leggen, wat ons bracht tot het proberen hertalen van een architectuur tot partituur. Een ander belangrijk onderzoek in de voorstelling is het verkennen van de mogelijkheden van een speler/mens/lichaam om over grote afstanden of bij weinig licht iets te communiceren, en welke mogelijkheden de visuele barrière van een afstand of zonsondergang bieden voor wat je wil vertellen.

    In 2016 werden we uitgenodigd door Toneelhuis om Herberg te hertalen naar een locatie in de omgeving van Antwerpen. Omdat de voorstelling zo locatiespecifiek is, heeft de uitdagende hertaling naar het viaduct van Merksem ons tot een andere voorstelling geleid met inhoudelijke en vormelijke accenten eigen aan de locatie.


    created and performed by: Bosse Provoost, Kobe Chielens, Lieselotte De Keyzer, Britt Bakker, Midas De Saedeleir & Geert Belpaeme 

  • (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    (c) Stine Sampers
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016
    Sprachspiel @ MSK, Gent 18 juni 2016

    sprachspiel (2015)

    Sprachspiel is a performance on the line between art and philosophical experiment. In Sprachspiel Geert Belpaeme and Mats Van Herreweghe want to show how communication emerges out of playing, not out of understanding.

    The performance was inspired by the idea of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein that language does not need clear-cut concepts or unambiguous signification. It is not necessary for you and me to share predetermined concepts and rules to be able to communicate. Language is use: Meaning arises only when an action is performed. In Sprachspiel Mats Van Herreweghe and Geert Belpaeme examine how such a playful, active language could emerge.


    Created & performed by Geert Belpaeme & Mats Van Herreweghe / coaching: Charlotte van den Eynde / light design: Timme Afschrift in collaboration with students KASKdrama


    Sprachspiel was performed at CC Ghybe (Poperinge), KC Nona (Mechelen), Flare Festival (Manchester, UK), CC hasselt, De werf (Brugge), Love at First Sight (Antwerpen), MSK (Gent), Pact Zollverein (Essen, D), Chambre d’O (Oostende), wpZimmer (Antwerpen), Les Ballets C de la B (Gent), Rataplan (Antwerpen)

  • it says nothing to me about my life (2013)

    In It says nothing to me about my life l’hommmm explores how man and his body is socialised when growing up. How we stand, walk, laugh or cry is shown to us from when we are little children. Family and friends are a huge influence, but also the world outside and the abundance of images and information we get fired at us. The way in which we move in this world is not natural, it tells the story of every encounter in a human being’s life.

    This performance is a search for sincerity in the multitude of information. How ever hard we try, we will never completely coincide with the images that we hold up to ourselves. And in that failing, a human being becomes his own, unique self.

    Directors: Geert Belpaeme & Mats Van Herreweghe – Cast: Seppe Cosyns & Loes Carrette

  • (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq
    (c) Stefanie De Clercq

    freetimer — study #2 (2013)

    With Freetimer l’hommmm is making a series of theatrical studies about our performance-prone society: “You will be yourself, you will distinguish yourself because of what you do and wear.” We paint a picture in three studies of how modern man has to fit himself into an identity in which success and self accomplishment are the basis (you get what you deserve), an identity that is so rigid and narrowly defined that it turns us into compulsive and indigent people.

    Study #2 is a very minimalistic performance that, in its purity, tries to reach an essence. In this performance we focus on how our compulsive urge for self-realisation influences our relations. The performance confronts languages. While one of the performers tries to explain herself and fails in her attempts, another performer succeeds in really expressing himself with a purely physical language that is at first incomprehensible but throughout the performance manages to exceed understanding. When language fails and movement gets a clear direction, the possibility arises to really grow towards each other, not in signification but in physical recognition.

    Director: Mats Van herreweghe – Cast: Geert Belpaeme & Yinka Kuitenbrouwer

  • freetimer — study #1 (2012)

    With Freetimer l’hommmm is making a series of theatrical studies about our performance-prone society: “You will be yourself, you will distinguish yourself because of what you do and wear.” We paint a picture in three studies of how modern man has to fit himself into an identity in which success and self accomplishment are the basis (you get what you deserve), an identity that is so rigid and narrowly defined that it turns us into compulsive and indigent people.

    In Study #1 (2011) a man goes on a job interview. He has brought a large stick.

    By & with Mats Van Herreweghe & Geert Belpaeme

  • (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens
    (c) Thomas Dhanens

    gat (2011)

    In Gat l’hommmm is looking for its own little revolution. To attain that, we have to go back to the beginning: the big bang that put the void out of balance. The result: bodies in an empty space, people who start to relate to each other, who discover and scan each other. The possibility of a world that arises and at the same time the expectation that everything can become something, that everyone has to be someone.

    Director: Geert Belpaeme – Cast: Michaël Canto Minjauw, Seppe Cosyns, Lieselotte De Keyzer, Elien Hanselaer & Lize Pede – Dramaturg: Mats Van Herreweghe

  • (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer
    (c) Frank Bassleer

    l’hommmm (2010)

    In the garden of Eden

    a cat jumped over the fence

    and everything changed.

    Three actors on a scène try to go back to the origin. They want to play. Without gravity, without embarrassment and without restraint they dance, move, play as little children. And, as when little chidren play, it does not matter that the game is shifting all the time.

    They are liberated form everything that ties them in this world: society, language, themselves. Unconcernedly they search for their own paradise. But still that one question lingers:

    Où est le chat?

    Director: Geert Belpaeme – Cast: Michael Canto Minjauw, Sanne Haenen & Seppe Cosyns – Dramaturg: Mats Van Herreweghe – Designer: Sarah Geirnaert – Coaching: Elsie de Brauw, Sam Bogaerts & Alain Platel.

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