DANCE — In their new creation, Lamenta, choreographers Koen Augustijnen and Rosalba Torres Guerrero (Siamese Cie) continue their shared artistic journey, exploring how our basic, emotional experiences as humans are always embodied and how they can be articulated in physical theatre and dance.
Lamenta will focus on the different emotional states which we experience when we grief our losses. In all cultures, rituals of mourning used to exist in which song and dance were used to express these emotions. We need to perform these emotions and share them collectively in order to let them go. In our contemporary society a lot of these rituals have been lost, but they still survive in specific regions and cultures, such as Epirus in the North of Greece.
Main source of inspiration for Lamenta, are the miroloi from Epirus, Greek songs of mourning that are not only used at funerals but also when somebody leaves the family to marry or to migrate. Augustijnen and Guerrero haven been travelling and working in Greece since several years where they discovered these powerful rituals.
In Epirus they met talented musicians such as Xanthoula Dakovanou, the artistic director of the Kerasovo festival and the reputed clarinet player Nikos Fillipides, who keep the tradition of the miroloi alive. Together with them they made new recordings of the Greek laments, which will be the emotional backbone of the performance. The musical dramaturgy will start with rendering the miroloi in their original form while allowing other influences to come in, re-actualizing them for the present.
Torres Guerrero and Augustijnen bring together a group of nine contemporary, Greek dancers, all highly skilled in a diversity of dance techniques. Together they will explore how the energetic - both earthy and transcendental - qualities of the Greek music and dances can unfold and nourish a contemporary creation. With the commitment to create a rite for today that frees oneself of the feelings of pain and loss to be able to continue life in a positive way.
As such Lamenta will be a continuation of the journey Augustijnen and Guerrero embarked upon with the highly acclaimed Badke (2013) in which they took the traditional Arabic ‘dabkeh’ dance as their starting point.