In his new show Shelly Shonk Fiffit, Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe taps into a theme that is as unfathomable as the title: the cosmic. As always, Meirhaeghe does not begin with a text or clear-cut clear concept, but instead takes certain fascinations and a dynamic group of performers as his starting point.
On 25 December 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope was launched. This infrared telescope is the largest and most sophisticated space telescope ever, allowing us to look far and deep into the universe, but also into the past. Among other things, Webb will search for the ‘cosmic dawn’: the light of the very first stars that formed shortly after the birth of the universe.
“Through space the universe grasps me and swallows me up like a speck; through thought I grasp it.” (Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 1670)
The infinity of the universe swallows us up, science searches but our imagination is absolute. What fascinates Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe even more than the discovery of this telescope is the capacity of human beings to rise above themselves and the universe in their thoughts. Their capacity for invention. In this show, Meirhaeghe links the high tech of a telescope to the primitiveness of handcraft and manual techniques.
Our travel companion on this trip beyond the boundaries of the body and time is the music of the Italian composer Caterina Barbieri. Barbieri makes electronic music that is potentially transformative and mind-expanding. To the sounds of the hypnotic Fantas (from the magisterial 2019 album Ecstatic Computation), the performers, singers and dancers give themselves over to the inexplicable and indescribable.
Shelly Shonk Fiffit promises to be an intense and ecstatic visual and musical trip through our inner world and the remote corners of the cosmos. Fiffit!
Meirhaeghe is looking for a ‘different’ sort of theatre than the kind of drama that heads straight for a conclusion. A search for a subversive visual poetry, but with the great resources and all the possibilities (dance, acting, mime) of the large stage.
"There are many beautiful things in the universe. Some are majestic and grand, making us think outwards, others are humbling and small, drawing us inwards. In his new show, Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe is combining both, once again bridging different genres, ideas and themes."
Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe
Bart Van Merode
Louise Van den Eede
Jori(k) Amit Galama
by and with
Bully Fae Collins
Eurudike De Beul
Faust De Winne
Sietske Van Aerde
Tandem Scène nationale Douai
with the support of
de Tax Shelter van de Belgische federale overheid
internationale spreiding i.s.m.
Wednesday 20 March 2024 — HNT/Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag
Thursday 21 March 2024 — 20h15 — HNT/Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag
Monday 25 March 2024 — 9h00 — Tandem/Hippodrome, Douai
Tuesday 26 March 2024 — 19h30 — Tandem/Hippodrome, Douai
Wednesday 27 March 2024 — 20h30 — Tandem/Hippodrome, Douai