ONE SONG: Histoire(s) du Théâtre IV
What is your history as a theatre maker? At the invitation of the Belgian city theatre NTGent, Miet Warlop formulates an answer as only she can. In the long running series Histoire(s) du Théâtre she is the fourth director to accept the challenge of a creation in which present, past and future meet each other in an inspiring way – after Milo Rau, Faustin Linyekula and Angélica Liddell. ONE SONG – Histoire(s) du Théâtre IV is set in the unique universe of Warlop.
A group of performers enters the arena for a mesmerizing ritual about farewell, life and death, hope and resurrection. Together they go through extremes: through sung text, images and objects, oxygen and sweat, they evoke our ‘condition humaine’. Again and again, someone stands up to push their boundaries. They defy time and give expression to a deep human need: the moment when we can transcend our thinking body.
Through the metaphor of a live competition/concert, including a commentator and a cheerleader, Miet Warlop invites us in ONE SONG to form a community and lift each other up, as in a celebration. The temporary thus becomes the universal, and the personal becomes something of the collective. That is the subtext of ONE SONG: how one song can give meaning to a whole society. Unity in diversity.
- Genre: Performance / theatre
- World premiere: 8 July 2022 (Festival d'Avignon)
- Direction: Miet Warlop
- Creation & performance: WITH Simon Beeckaert, Elisabeth Klinck, Willem Lenaerts/Gilles Vandecaveye-Pinoy, Milan Schudel, Melvin Slabbinck, Joppe Tanghe, Karin Tanghe, Wietse Tanghe AND Sid Djamel Besseghir, Max Colonne, Rint Dens †, Judith Engelen, Eva Kamanda, Marius Lefever, Luka Mariën, Flora Van Canneyt
- Music: Maarten Van Cauwenberghe together with everyone
- Coproduction: Festival d'Avignon, DE SINGEL (Antwerp), Tandem Scène Nationale (Arras-Douai), Théâtre Dijon Bourgogne Centre dramatique national, HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, La Comédie de Valence - Centre dramatique national Drôme - Ardèche, Teatre Lliure (Barcelona)
- With the support of: De Vlaamse Overheid, Stad Gent, Tax Shelter van de Belgische Federale Overheid
Syndicat professionnel de la Critique de Théâtre, Musique et Danse (FR)
one of the three best performances of 2022
New York Times
Mime/performance award 2022-2023
“The most exalted show of the opening days eliciting a massive ovation.”
"Loud, preposterous and extremely entertaining"
The New York Times
“The experience of listening to one song on repeat for an hour fiddles between tedious and ecstatic. However, if you disengage, the band does not. They consistently push through to something greater. In the end, all affect is worn off, as their shirts are soaked through with sweat. Planned self-expression crumbles away to something more raw, even quasi-religious. When it was all said and done, they received a near immediate and universal standing ovation, an uncommon occurrence in Avignon.”
"A fascinating artist who is finally getting more recognition"
"A rocking primal scream that bursts with zest for life, energy and humour"
“A miracle that awakened the festival with a comforting and deeply moving trance, thanks to the powero f the collective.”
"Miet Warlop's creation is a feat of endurance and an act of hope."
Dublin Theatre Festival 2023
"The metaphor of life's ebb and flow, building and dying back, is made flesh in Warlop's exhilarating and raucous meditation on grief, and life."
The Irish Times
“Tragedy, generosity and humour as well as beauty with the allure of the great dramas, and it is these that constitute the essence of the history of theatre.”
Toute La Culture
“A powerful but salutary knockout (…) Seventeen years after the performance Sportband, Warlop’s requiem for her brother Jasper, ONE SONG tells us that grief always stays with us, but also that grief - by carrying it together - is transformed, from the intimate to the universal, and allows us to go to the limits of what seems humanly possible.”