Cassiers: “Art must build bridges, connect points of view”

Antigone does not live in Thebes, but in Molenbeek, the district of Brussels that Donald Trump defined as “the hole of hell in Europe,” and the brother he is trying to bury is a suicidal terrorist from Isis. And Tiresias, the blind prophet, maintains his identity changing from man to woman in a montage that demands that we look less at ourselves and more at what the common good seeks.

Two classics brought to the present that coexist in a double of monologues in which it had to be one of the great spectacles of the international programming of High Season: Antigone in Molenbeek + Tiresias, the latest proposal from the prestigious Belgian creator Guy Cassiers, a regular at the festival. The mobility restrictions in his country prevented it from being premiered in Spain with a performance at the Teatre Municipal de Girona in October and it now arrives online in the virtual section of the festival, A Distància.

Cassiers poses a double program that rewrites two classical myths with a contemporary language and in an urban context: “they are two completely different stories, connected by form, the use of music and above all, two strong women who are isolated; they are outsiders, not because of taste, but because people have placed them there because of their way of thinking, and they have an enormous strength, that if people listened to them, they would help society a lot ».

“It’s important to keep telling these stories. Forced by the pandemic, we live more and more isolated from society, personal contact has been lost, but the two characters try to find solutions to see how we can help each other “, he explains about the two texts, by Stefan Hertmans and Kae Tempest.

“This is the basis of what a creator must always try, art must build bridges, connect different points of view. And this is what the two characters try and, although they fail, they show us a way that can help the public a lot, encourage them to take responsibility and make society a little more open, to listen to those who do not. they are in the center, ”explains Cassiers.

Thus, the production proposes to look “through the eyes of the protagonists at a society that is increasingly closed”. “They are alone in how they react and relate their ideas to the outside world, in how they look at their identities in society,” he explains.

“With technological resources on stage, music and the way the two actresses construct images, you enter an imaginary world. I don’t want them to tell you a story, I want you to enter a universe and look at it from their perspective, ”he continues.

Loyalty to the festival

Since 2010, Cassiers has come to Girona seven times. The eighth has been canceled due to the health crisis, but is confident that “our relationship with the festival is so deep that the connection will not be lost.”

“I would have liked to have shown the show to the Catalan public, because there are many issues that directly challenge them: the relationship of emotions and laws, the responsibilities we have as individuals …”, regrets Cassiers, who presents the piece in a recording that can be seen until November 26 on the festival’s website and was recorded on the penultimate day of the only three weeks that the work has been performed live in Antwerp .

“Creation is a physical thing, made to be experienced live; i work with a lot of cameras and visuals and it may sound contradictory, but i find it hard to show my shows to a viewer from a distance. However, it is a good recording and I am grateful that the public can see it, because virtuality is the only way to do things now to keep in touch with people, ”he sums up.

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