Art Happens

Ode to a Love Lost

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© Fred Debrock

The work of Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe challenges the classical repertoire, asking dancers to become singers and singers to become dancers. Meirhaeghe calls for unashamed access to big emotions, while offering pleasure to the semi-skilled, looking for a different kind of virtuosity. In his first production as a resident Toneelhuis artist, he himself performs as a dancer. With Ode to a Love Lost he ventures into a unique dance performance; with a lost love as motor and a nostalgic desire, he moves towards a liberating future.

Ode to a Love Lost takes place deep in the crater of a heart. Its starting point is Meirhaeghe’s own personal love story. Back in 2018, he made the production The Ballet together with his then lover and muse. That mythologized relationship still inspires Meirhaeghe. Like the love stories between Diaghilev and Nijinsky, Wilde and Bosie, Warhol and Basquiat and all the passionate but unrequited loves that did not withstand the aesthetic struggle.

As a dancer on stage himself, Meirhaeghe engages in an intimate artistic dialogue with a number of young choreographers. The focus is on his own body, influenced by Western standards and ideals of beauty that can be seen in art and advertising, among other places. Driven by the lost love, a deep crater as landscape and a dual relation to the norm, Meirhaeghe literally moves toward liberation.

He is accompanied live by Berlin-based singer/songwriter Finn Ronsdorf on soul and blues piano and joined by performers Jelle Haen and Désirée Cériocien.

Concept, direction, performance: Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe
Performers: Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe, Finn Ronsdorf, Jelle Haen, Désirée Cerocién
Scenography, light: Bart Van Merode, Zaza Dupont
Research: Louise Van den Eede
Choreography coaching: Hanako Hayakawa
Vocal coaching: Wouter Deltour
Body coaching: Sten Dielen
Video: Charles Dhondt
Costume design: Oumar Dicko
Production: Toneelhuis
Diffusion: ART HAPPENS and Toneelhuis collaborate on the diffusion of Ode to a Love Lost

DatePerformanceCity CountryOrganisation/Venue
08.03.2023Ode to a Love LostThe Hague (nl)Het Nationale Theater/Koninklijke Schouwburg
23.02.2023Ode to a Love LostOstend (be)CC De Grote Post
15.02.2023Ode to a Love LostRotterdam (nl)Theater Rotterdam
07.02.2023Ode to a Love LostAmsterdam (nl)Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam
06.02.2023Ode to a Love LostAmsterdam (nl)Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam
03.02.2023Ode to a Love LostZaventem (be)CC De Factorij
29.01.2023Ode to a Love LostAntwerp (be)Toneelhuis
28.01.2023Ode to a Love LostAntwerp (be)Toneelhuis
27.01.2023Ode to a Love LostAntwerp (be)Toneelhuis
26.01.2023Ode to a Love LostAntwerp (be)Toneelhuis
25.01.2023Ode to a Love LostAntwerp (be)Toneelhuis
21.01.2023Ode to a Love LostAntwerp (be)Toneelhuis
20.01.2023Ode to a Love LostAntwerp (be)Toneelhuis
19.01.2023Ode to a Love Lost  (premiere)Antwerp (be)Toneelhuis