SYNCOPE I (2009)
"So perhaps the best resource is to meet everything passively, to make yourself an inert mass, and, if you feel that you are being carried away, not to let yourself be lured into taking a single unnecessary step, to stare at others with the eyes of an animal, to feel no compunction, in short, with your own hand to throttle down whatever ghostly life remains in you, that is, to enlarge the final peace of the graveyard and let nothing survive save that. A characteristic movement in such a condition is to run your little finger along your eyebrows."
From: 'Resolutions' by Franz Kafka
SYNCOPE II (2010)
"How these nobodies jostle each other, all these lifted arms linked together, these numberless feet treading so close. Of course they are all in dress suits. We go so gaily, the wind blows through us and the gaps in our company. Our throats swell and are free in the mountains! It's a wonder that we don't burst into song."
From: 'Excursion into the Mountains' by Franz Kafka
'Syncope' is the medical term for fainting, a sudden, usually temporary, loss of consciousness generally caused by insufficient oxygen in the brain either through cerebral hypoxia or through hypotension, but possibly for other reasons. Typical symptoms progress through dizziness, clamminess of the skin, a dimming of vision or greyout, possibly tinnitus, complete loss of vision, weakness of limbs to physical collapse. These symptoms falling short of complete collapse, or a fall down, may be referred to as a syncoptic episode. (source: Wikipedia)
SYNCOPE I (2009)
The public is guided into a room. In the middle of this room stands a big tub with high walls, but it is open at the upper side. The audience stands alongside the walls and can look into the tub. They see a sort of pond, a surface of water onto which is projected the image of a man. The man literally floats in the water. He is much bigger than a normal man, he wears a neat suit and holds his briefcase tightly in his arms. The briefcase keeps him floating. He waits. Submissive and hardly surprised about the situation in which he finds himself, he floats calmly in the water, smokes a cigarette, turns in the water…
SYNCOPE II (2010)
On the surface of the water in the tub we now see 7 people projected, both men and women. They are all dressed very neatly: they are businessmen and – women, managers, consultants, CEO's,... They all have a briefcase on which they hold on very tightly. Some of them, having accepted the situation they are in, explore the tub by going from one corner to the next, eat a banana, smoke a cigarette,... Who are these creatures? And even more: how did they get here?
SYNCOPE is also part of the 'circuit performance' K, a Society (2010).
Concept & direction: Kris Verdonck
Dramaturgy: Marianne Van Kerkhoven (Kaaitheater)
With: Hendrik De Smedt (SYNCOPE I)
Hendrik De Smedt, Tawny Andersen, Manah De Pauw, Alix Eynaudi, Joeri Smet, Sylvain Spinoit, Kris Verdonck and Mieke Versyp (SYNOCPE II)
Camera and editing: Vincent Pinckaers
Sound design: Thomas Turine, Chris Segers & Stef van Alsenoy
Light design: Luc Schaltin (Kaaitheater)
Costumes: Schauspiel Essen, Sofie Durnez
Technical direction: Colin Legras / Luc Schaltin (Kaaitheater)
Construction: Sylvain Spinoit & Steven Blum
Multimedia programmation: Félix Luque
Image processing: Massimiliano Simbula
Production manager: Hendrik De Smedt
Administrator: Han De Meulemeester
Coproduction: Theater der Welt 2010 (DE), Transdigital (Interreg), Kunstencentrum Vooruit (BE), Productiehuis Rotterdam / Rotterdamse Schouwburg (NL), Kaaitheater (BE)
In partnership with: Schauspiel Essen (DE), Le manège.mons (BE) and Technocité (BE) in the frame of Transdigital
With the support of: the Flemish Authorities, the Flemish Community Commission (VGC), the Brussels Capital Region