The surface may daunt you. The depths enfold you. The whole reveals itself, and then you may return to it like a talisman. Cold Blood by Michèle Anne De Mey, Jaco Van Dormael and the Kiss & Cry collective is one of those performances one would like to watch over and over again, just to be amazed and unsettled every time.


Greek Abstract

Η επιφάνεια της μπορεί να σας τρομάζει, αλλά τα βάθη της θα σας περιβάλλουν, το σύνολο θα αποκαλυφτεί, και τότε θα επιστρέψετε σε αυτή σαν να ήταν φυλαχτό. Η Cold Blood της Michèle Anne De Mey, του Jaco Van Dormael και της θιάσου Kiss & Cry είναι μία από τις παραστάσεις που θα θέλατε να παρακολουθείτε ξανά και ξανά, απλά να εκπλαγείτε και να αναστατώσετε κάθε φορά.

Italian Abstract

La superficie può intimidirvi. La sua profondità, però, vi avvilupperà, il tutto rivelerà se stesso e vi farete ritorno come se fosse un talismano. Cold Blood di Michèle Anne De Mey, Jaco Van Dormael e del collettivo Kiss & Cry è una di quelle performance che vorremmo rivedere in continuazione, se non altro per rimanere sbalorditi e turbati ogni volta.



The end is built into the beginning. As mortal beings, the concept of death is embedded in the very fabric of our existence from day one, and there is nothing we can do to change that. Sure, we can postpone the fatal meeting with the Grim Reaper time and again – and we’ve grown bloody good at it over the centuries – but we are still far from ruling it out once and for all, despite all the fuss about it. Philosophers have tried to find a way to come to terms with the unavoidable passing away of our earthly remains, focusing on what comes afterwards or on what really happens at the exact moment of death, while scientists have invested countless hours in an attempt to find a cure for the most natural conditions of all. And let’s not even get started on religion. All in all, it seems like life is nothing but a mere wait for the tastiest dish on the menu: its end.

«Is there life before death?», then, seems like a licit question. Cold Blood, a performance by Michèle Anne De Mey, Jaco Van Dormael, and the Kiss & Cry collective, plays with this idea, offering to its audience an oneiric subtleness of thoughts and actions revolving around the narration of seven pitiable and ridiculous deaths. The Astragales contemporary dance company gives us a new key to read the whole representation of life and its counterpart, setting up a multi-layered recounting of various deadly mishaps and dehumanizing them as thoroughly as possible in order to lay down that safe distance from the catastrophe introduced by Latin philosopher Lucretius, an irreplaceable tool for the observation and comprehension of the world around us.

Operating on a highly technical level, the Belgian cie presents its stunning creative effort on four different dimensions at the same time, stimulating the mind of its audience and leading it onto a sinuous path of self-discovery. The stage, with it wires, its cameras and its frantic but orderly performers, may very well represent the world as it is; a place of sweat, creation and sheer human physicality. On top of it, the silver screen – where the synecdoche of the narration takes all its parts and turns them into an aesthetically exquisite whole – gives life to the actual interpretation of reality we call existence. As if that were not enough, a further re-semantification takes place before our very eyes, and we witness the sublime personification of the most symbolic part of our bodies: our hands. Driving fingers, dancing fingers, flirting fingers, drowning fingers, swimming fingers, even ice-skating fingers fill the theatre in all their pliability of both form and content, taking one more step further in the direction of a physical desubstantiation of the self in the face of death. Last but not least, the enthralling voice off that hypnotizes and enchants with its mellifluous and fluctuating rhythm highlights once again the presence of an universality through an absence.

Everyone’s everyone, seems to scream the silence of a caress. We all live, love and die, and at the very last moment, all we can think of is that sweet touch we once felt on the tip of our fingers, that warm look in the middle of the winter, that mouth-watering taste on the back of the lips. The message is rather clear: we all die, why don’t we live until then? Death is a part of our lives, but it is not the whole of it. Cold Blood is an excellent example of that Heidegerrian maturity that allows us to fully understand that being-toward-death means being-toward-a-possibility, that is, to discern that the end is not a deterrent, but an incentive.

It’s all a matter of perspectives. After all, the world is but a stage, and we are mere actors upon it. It’s all a play. The play is real.


The show was played at
Thessaloniki Concert Hall
25 Martiou Street & seafront – Thessaloniki
Thursday 18 October 2018

the 53rd Dimitria Festival presents
Cold Blood
a performance by Michèle Anne De Mey, Jaco Van Dormael, and the ‘Kiss & Cry’ collective

texts Thomas Gunzig
collaborators Grégory Grosjean,Thomas Gunzig, Julien Lambert, Sylvie Olivé, Nicolas Olivier, de Thomas Beni, Gladys Brookfield-Hampson, Boris Cekevda, Gabriella Iacono, Aurélie Leporcq, Bruno Olivier, Stefano Serra
directed by Jaco Van Dormael and Michèle Anne De Mey
written by Thomas Gunzig, Jaco Van Dormael, Michèle Anne De Mey
cinematography Jaco Van Dormael and Julien Lambert
choreography Michèle Anne De Mey and Grégory Grosjean
dancers Michèle Anne De Mey, Grégory Grosjean, Gabriella Iacono, Nora Alberdi, Manuela Rastaldi, Denis Robert
camera Julien Lambert, Aurélie Leporcq (assistant) Juliette Van Dormael and Pierre de Wurstemberger (assistants)
sets Sylvie Olivé with the collaboration of François Roux, Juliette Fassin, Théodore Brisset, Brigitte Baudet, Daniella Zorrozua
construction Jean-François Pierlot, Walter Gonzales
costumes Béa Pendesini, Sarah Duvert
lighting Nicolas Olivier, Bruno Olivier (assistant)
lighting technicians Giacinto Caponio, Nicolas Olivier (assistant)
technicians Stefano Serra, Ivan Fox
sound technicians Boris Cekevda, Benjamin Dandoy, Nora Alberdi, Harry Cleven, Giacinto Caponio, Michèle Anne De Mey, Ivan Fox, Grégory Grosjean, Gabriella Iacono, Julien Lambert, Aurélie Leporcq, Denis Robert, Manuela Rastaldi, Stefano Serra, Jaco Van Dormael, Juliette Van Dormael, Pierre de Wurstemberger
photographer Julien Lambert
technical director Thomas Dobruszkès
produced by Hélène Dubois/Astragale asbl
tour manager MoDul cie

performance Jaco Van Dormael, Manuela Rastaldi, Grégory Grosjean, Gabriella Iacono, Juliette Van Dormael, Charlotte Marchal, Ivan Fox, Stefano Serra, Yann Hoogstoel
sound technician Boris Cekevda
technical director Thomas Dobruszkès
tour manager Thomas Van Cottom MoDul cie
narration Jaco Van Dormael (FR), Valentijn Dhaenens (NDLS), Toby Regbo (EN), Francesco Mormino (IT), Makis Papadimitriou (GR), Oleg Zhukov (D), Ivan Fox (ESP, Catalan)
translation Michael De Cock (NDLS), Gladys Brookfield (EN) Olmo Missaglia (IT) Xénia Engel (D) Ivan Fox (Esp/catalan)
production Astragales asbl (BE)
production partners Mars, Mons Arts de la Scène (BE), Théâtre de Namur (BE)
coproduction Charleroi Danses (BE), la Fondation Mons 2015, KVS (BE), Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg (LUX), le Printemps des comédiens (FR), Torino Danza (IT), Canadian Stage (CA) Théâtre de Carouge-Atelier de Genève (CH), Théâtre des Célestins (FR) Avec le soutien de la Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles – Service de Danse

Collaboration TCH


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