Through the Grapevine
Through the Grapevine is a quirky pas de deux between two men. Performers Alexander Vantournhout and Axel Guérin show their bodies, stripped of all frills.
They are trained but certainly not perfect. They do not try to convince with virtuous movements. Gradually, their athletic bodies collide with physical limitations and their movements guide them in the discovery of the strengths and weaknesses of their own specific physique. The choreography creates an interplay between these differences in proportions and physical strength. With great effort and concentration, the performers search for balance, equilibrium, and harmony without shying away from humour. They challenge one another and drive each other forward, alternately leading the dance. Through constant mutual physical contact, the synergy between touching and being touched unfolds as the base melody of the performance.
The seventh performance by Alexander Vantournhout, following La Rose en Céramique (2018) and Raphael (2017), is his first true duet and builds upon the thematic aspects of ANECKXANDER (2015) to a certain extent. The body is reintroduced in a highly pure form and the performance delves into the creative, kinetic potential of physical limitations, a theme that is reflected throughout his oeuvre. Following the on-scene performance of SCREWS (2019), Alexander dives back into the theatre, with partner in crime Axel Guérin, whom we previously saw as one of the performers in Red Haired Men (2018).
Coproduction: Arts Centre Vooruit, Gent (BE), PERPLX, Marke (BE), CENTQUATRE, Paris (FR), Cirque-théâtre Elbeuf (FR), Subsistances, Lyon (FR), Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg, Luxembourg (LU), MA scène Nationale – Pays de Montbéliard (FR), Les Hivernales Centre de Développement Chorégraphique National d’Avignon (FR), Malpertuis, Tielt (BE), Theater Freiburg (DE), Théâtre des Quatre Saisons, Gradignan (FR), Théâtre de l’Arsenal, Val-de-Reuil (FR)
- Genre: Dance / Circus
- World premiere: 3 October 2020 Festival Actoral Marseille
- Direction: Alexander Vantournhout
- Creation & performance: Created in collaboration with: Emmi Väisänen & Axel Guérin - Performers: Alexander Vantournhout & Axel Guérin
Het Theaterfestival 2021 (BE)
"This hour-long exercise in intimacy and trust melds circus acrobatics and dance with admirably concentrated ingenuity."
**** Donald Hutera, The Times and The Sunday Times
"𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘝𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘎𝘶é𝘳𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘶𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴 𝘯𝘦𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘴𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘥𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳 𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦. 𝘈𝘵 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘴."
**** The Reviews Hub
"In just a few years Vantournhout has developed a unique choreographic language that draws on dance techniques, martial arts, circus, yoga, anatomy and the animal world. Beneath that virtuosity, however, the piece also has a political dimension. The dynamics of power, inherent to a duet, disappear because the balance between the duo is constantly shifting and it's never clear who is leading the dance. 'Through the Grapevine' is a pas de deux between two bodies that trust each other without any doubt and keep each other in balance, but always remain rooted in themselves. Equivalence without equality. That's quite utopian to see."
**** De Standaard
”After his brilliant début show ANECKXANDER and his most recent success Screws, Vantournhout takes a next step towards an intriguing theatrical language that combines the gracefulness of dance with the boundlessness of circus and the tender intimacy of a narrative.”
“With Vantournhout, the body is always a special effect in itself. His research into the choreographic potential of physical (dis)proportions previously led to the acclaimed solo Aneckxander, a reference to his long neck. Through the Grapevine is also an ode to the uniqueness of the human body.”
**** De Standaard
“Vantournhout and Guérin highlight their differences in a witty, comical manner. For example, Guérin appears to have longer limbs, but Vantournhout is more flexible thanks to his outstretched torso. One thing is certain: this strange little thing we call 'body' is the start of an exciting game full of transformations and illusions that defy any physical logic.”
**** De Standaard
"Through the Grapevine is particularly harmonious and humorous and finishes with a well-deserved standing ovation.”
"Guérin and Vantournhout challenge each other, help each other or merge into one, hybrid body. Sometimes Guérin leads the dance, sometimes Vantournhout takes over, but each time they complement where the other, literally, 'falls short'. This pas de deux seems to be a tender attempt to come together, rather than a grim power play, as was already the case in previous performances such as Raphaël.”
“Delicate and delicious irony. To amaze, the choreographer does not need music or scenography. It does not need anything but bodies that touch, fit together, support each other and abandon each other, attract and repel each other. And it’s astonishing. It’s a deception of the senses and distortion of perception. If it were a painting it would be an Escher. Don’t miss this!”
"On a white trapezoid stage, Alexander Vantournhout and Axel Guérin, wearing only beige shorts, compare their measurements like two incredibly bored children. They are disproportionate, yet clamber into counterbalances as if they were carbon copies. Freaky four-legged creatures move and mutate with heads emerging from peculiar places. When things get complicated, it is like the magicians’ cups and balls trick, the source of a limb unclear in a shared ownership of bodies. Later, the extremity increases, though the deadpan, endearing disposition remains. Besides the clumsy smack of skin on skin, and the subsequent audience laughter, Through the Grapevine is a silent and spacious game of immutable trust, bodies reborn in the context of another".