Lília Mestre

Moving You
There are only bodies and objects; bodies lending a voice to objects, objects leading bodies.
The performing area no longer is a place for reproducing movements or telling stories, but the place par excellence for giving existence to possible relations, for giving space to interpretations, for making the spectator an accomplice in an absurd, funny, dramatic emotional or critical experience.

Emotional bodies are places of constant negotiation with their own rhythms, stories, perceptions and contexts. Bodies in co-habitation, exchanging and producing meaning in their relationship with the outside. In this piece, theses emotional bodies are the engine for change. Moving you displays and plays with a range of possible relations one can have with “others” and “things”. These relations will express themselves in actions, conflicts, celebrations, interferences, exchanges and a myriad of emotional outbursts. In this sense Moving You is not a show that shows, but a show that incites experience: the performance space is not defined, but constantly on the move. The performers are not characters, the objects are not what they seem. In the gap between them an open space comes into existence. A space the audience can make their own. A space to be moved.
Concept & realization: Lilia Mestre
Created in collaboration with Julien Bruneau, David Elchardus, Jan Van Gijsel, Pierre Rubio, Michel Yang & Jonas Chéreau
Production: Mokum vzw
Coproduction: Beursschouwburg, Buda, Pianofabriek Werkplaats & Vooruit
Recordings by Els Viaene in the frame of the research project Sense Radio.
Made possible thanks to the personal investment of all the artists involved.
Program text
A boy pushes a metal frame across the playing surface and groans unfazed oeh — ah. A woman pulls the microphone wire on stage, extremely carefully, so as not to hurt him. On the playing floor lies the skin of a moose that the performers, one by one, prompting animalistic emanations.

Moving You is not a weekday performance. There are no characters. There is no story. There are only bodies and objects, bodies giving voices to objects, objects leading bodies. The playing surface no longer a place to reproduce movement or tell stories, but the place par excellence for possible connections to emerge, to give place to interpretations, to turn make the spectator the accomplice of an absurd, funny, dramatic, emotional or critical experience.

In this sense, Moving You is not a performance that shows, but a performance that incites to experience: the playing surface is not defined, but constantly in movement. The performers are not characters, the objects are not what they seem. In the space between the two, a clearing is created. A place you can own. Where you can make your own connections. Where in the rehearsal of the same actions, a new meaning can always emerge. Of something that be, but may not yet be. Of an emotion that has not yet crystallizes into an understanding. Of a possibility that stretches, pushing up, stretching, and releasing. One moment everything has to do with everything, the next there seems to be no logic at all.

In other words, this representation arises from the subjective experience of the spectator. From the interaction between what you want to see as a viewer and what is happening on stage. From the relationships you make between the play of the actors and your own history. From the personal references you relate to a particular object or a musical phrase. What do you see in those bodies on stage. What do you imagine in those sounds. How do you relate to those all too mundane objects that suddenly take on a voice and take on a life of their own.

What do you see when you see performers doing things with objects. Establish relationships. Looking, touching, keeping distance, being there or just not being there.

Objects that move, enter in other constellations, relate to each other. Or not. Moving You is an investigation into the basics of the theatrical. It explores a being together with the public, where in ‘that being together’, the public creates their own performance. Moving You exposes the impossibility of ‘abstract’ theater. Because even ‘abstract’ performance plays on your most intimate memories, your body, your capacity for imagination. What makes an image an experience, a movement phrase into something that draws you personally. Not only in your understanding, but also in your body, in the experience of what precedes you. In the codes you have taught yourself. In the codes your life has taught you. The people around. The rules outside. Your history within. In this sense, Moving You is a performance that simultaneously resides in the most “elementary particles” of the performance event, but which equally ventures far beyond the walls of the theater. Moving You is a performance that talks about the conditioning of our imagination, but which at the same time opens new possibilities in our dealing with the ordinariness that surrounds us every day.

And it is precisely in that everydayness that Moving is not everyday. For although it is true that every dance or theater performance generates its own interpretations for every viewer, it is rare that a performance allows you to create your own story. In that sense, Moving You is not a performance, not a performance that shows you what you need to see. Moving You is an invitation. An opening to an imagination, not just of the performance, but of the world. Which places you in your life as a producer of seeing, interpreting, contextualizing, and experiencing.

Program text by Elke van Campenhout