LOD / Kris Defoort
- Dirk Roofthooft (Belgium)
The Brodsky Concerts
The festival presents a new premiere of a performance inspired by the poetry of the Russian Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky. The performers Kris Defoort and Dirk Roofthooft set themselves the goal of capturing the essence of Brodsky’s poetry, which requires evoking those subtle feelings that the poet described as ‘the sensation of the eye upon beholding beauty’, ‘the tremor in the fingertips at the touch of a loved one’, and ‘the sudden flood of happiness from the scent of frozen seaweed’. The performers’ improvisations derive from the metaphysical beauty of language that gets meaning from music which cannot be expressed in words by modelling their sound and rhythm. This homage to the great poet, who read his verse like orthodox liturgical songs, is the work of outstanding artists and promises an exceptional experience.
Dirk Roofthooft (1959) graduates from the Theatre Faculty in Antwerp in 1981. As an actor he has worked with important theatre directors, choreographers, and musicians, such as Jan Fabre, Jan Lauwers/Needcompany, Luke Perceval, Ivo van Hoven, Peter Vermeersch, Wim Vandekeybus, and the opera director Peter Sellars. He has performed on stages around the world, not just in Dutch, but also in French, Spanish, German, and English. During his career he has won several film and theatre awards in Belgium and abroad.
Kris Defoort (1959) studied flute and early music at the musical conservatory in Antwerp, and jazz piano, musical composition, and improvisation at the conservatory in Liège. In 1987–1990 he studied on a master’s programme in New York, but there he mainly performed as a jazz pianist (he played for instance with the Lionel Hampton Big Band). Since 1998 he has been working with LOD (Ghent), which is a theatre for the presentation of contemporary music. Together with Fata Traoré he created the dance piece Passages (2001), which was performed at several important European festivals (e.g. Festival d’Avignon, Salzburg, Charleroi Danse). At the end of 2001 Kris Defoort was commissioned by LOD, RO Theater, deSingel, La Monnaie and others to compose the opera The Woman Who Walked into Doors based on the theme of the book of the same name by Roddy Doyle. The opera, directed by Guy Cassiers, was received enthusiastically be critics and the wider public. Kris Defoort continues to perform/improvise as a pianist in various groups, teaches composition, arrangement, and improvisation at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels.
In English with Czech subtitles
Within the project Flemish Performing Arts Focus - Flemish Art in Prague.
(festival BUS 20:50 Divadlo Archa › La Fabrika)