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Jan Lauwers

 
 

Jan Lauwers  drammaturgo, regista e artista visivo belga, dagli anni '80 ha introdotto cambiamenti radicali nella scena del teatro e danza fiammingo. Partito col Epigonenensemble ha  avuto risonanza internazionale, presentando un teatro diretto, concreto, fortemente visivo, che utilizza la musica e il linguaggio come elementi strutturali. Nel 1985 ha dato vita alla Needcompany, con cui ha sperimentato un linguaggio teatrale spurio, basato su una composizione frammentata anche attraverso la narrazione. Lauwers indaga il medium teatrale spingendo i suoi performers ad un approccio artistico individuale e critico, che interroga le convenzioni e il senso del teatro. Uno degli aspetti più rilevanti del suo lavoro registico è portare ad una 'recitazione 'trasparente' e pensante, che esplicita il paradosso tra finzione e realtà. Questo specifico approccio  è stato applicato sia a lavori classici (Shakespeare) che nuove opere tra cui il recente 'La chambre d'Isabelle' presentato al festival del teatro di Avignone.

www.needcompany.org

Jan Lauwers (Antwerp) is an artist who works in just about every medium. Over the last twenty years he has become best known for his pioneering work for the stage with Needcompany, which was founded in Brussels in 1986. Needcompany has been artist-in-residence at the Burgtheater in Vienna since 2009. Over the years he has also built up a substantial body of art work which was shown in an exhibition at BOZAR (Brussels) in 2007. Jan Lauwers is awarded with the ‘Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic Austria’ (2012). In 2014, he has been rewarded with the Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award at the Venice Biennale. He is the first Belgian to receive this prize in the theatre category. Jan Lauwers studied painting at the Academy of Art in Ghent. At the end of 1979 he gathers round him a number of people to form theEpigonenensemble. In 1981 this group is transformed into theEpigonentheater zlvcollective which takes the theatre-world by surprise with its six stage productions. In this way Jan Lauwers takes his place in the movement for radical change in Flanders in the early ‘80, and makes his international breakthrough. Epigonentheater zlvpresents direct, concrete, highly visual theatre that uses music and language as structuring elements. Their productions areAlready Hurt and not yet War (1981), dE demonstratie (1983), Bulletbird (1983), Background of a Story (1984) and Incident (1985). Jan Lauwers disbands this collective in 1985 and founds Needcompany. Jan Lauwers needs company. He founds Needcompany together with Grace Ellen Barkey. They together are responsible for Needcompany larger-scale productions. Since Needcompany was founded in 1986, both its work and its performers have been markedly international. Its first productions, Need to Know (1987) and ça va (1989) are still highly visual, but in subsequent productions the storyline and the main theme gain in importance, although the fragmentary composition remains. Lauwers’ training as a visual artist is decisive in his handling of the theatre medium and leads to a highly individual and in many ways pioneering theatrical idiom that examines the theatre and its meaning. One of its most important characteristics is a transparent, ‘thinking’ acting and the paradox between ‘acting’ and ‘performing’.