Mal di Madre

The joining link between Vader and Kind, Moeder is the latest and as of yet cruellest play by Belgian dance company Peeping Tom. Set in a violently intimate cabinet of curiosities, this disquieting mixture of theatre and dance ponders on the monstrosity of being mother in this «very sad day» that is our today, where dust is the only sane element and absurdity is the norm. The second and last appointment of the Dimitria Festival with the Sixth Art brings laughter and angst to the audience, filling its mouth with something that is definitely not the local’s regular cup of tea.



Anello di collegamento tra Vader e Kind, Moeder rappresenta l’ultima e per il momento la più spietata fatica della compagnia belga Peeping Tom. Ambientata in una wunderkammer intima e violenta, questa inquietante commistione di danza e teatro si interroga sulla mostruosità dell’essere madre in questo «giorno molto triste» che è l’oggi, dove solo la polvere sa essere sana e dove l’assurdità detta la norma. Il secondo e ultimo appuntamento del Festival Dimitria con la sesta arte porta risa e angoscia tra il pubblico, riempiendone gli occhi con una pièce che non è certo nelle sue corde.




Ο σύνδεσμος μεταξύ Vader και Kind, Moeder είναι το τελευταίο και προς το παρόν το πιο βάναυσο έργο της βελγικής χορευτικής ομάδας Peeping Tom. Διαδραματισμένο σε μια βίαια προσωπική πληγή, αυτό το ενοχλητικό θεάτρου και χορού επεξεργάζεται την τερατούργημα να είναι κανείς μητέρα σε αυτή τη «πολύ θλιβερή μέρα» που είναι το σήμερα μας, όπου η σκόνη είναι το μόνο λογικό στοιχείο και ο παράλογος είναι ο κανόνας. Ο δεύτερος και τελευταίος διορισμός του Φεστιβάλ Δημητρίων με την Έκτη Τέχνη φέρνει το γέλιο και το άγχος στο κοινό, γεμίζοντας το μάτι του με κάτι που σίγουρα δεν βλέπει καθημερινή βάση.



Radical, as in extreme. In Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist, when the mother has been hospitalized after her latest nervous breakdown following the death of her young child, we are shown with a deeply contrasting and apparently out-of-context scene: the camera zooms in on the flowers that her husband has left next to her bed, but does not focus on the beauty of it. On the contrary – just like David Lynch’s does in his works in which visual aesthetics are not a mere tool, but the message itself – Von Trier decides to plunge and fade-out in the dirty, grimy waters of the vase, where roots rejoice in death to create life in a world they will never see. In Gabriela Carrizo’s Moeder, we are presented with visual aesthetics much alike those of both Von Trier and Lynch. Here, in an improbable family-run, family-theme museum, the death of a mother rips apart the veil of time, which, once unshackled by our linear perception, indulges in its circularity, letting stories stem out of every nook and cranny of the highly elaborate set design. The Mother is thus alive and kicking now, foreboding painful labours to her daughter-in-law, who shall give birth to a child she will never hold in her arms, but who she will forever miss, locked away in a protective and privative incubator. Life is portrayed in all its terrible and majestic naturalness, with its blood, its sickness, its death-giving water, its ruthlessness and its relentlessness.

Radical, as in human. In the Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, Marx describes the word radical as to grab something by the root of the matter, adding that «for man, the root is man itself». In Moeder, the absurd and the unintelligible open up a crack in the daily fiction to show humanity in its vivid, visceral plainness. The brilliant interpreters are shaken to their cores by pain, jumping backwards, drowning in concrete floors and getting sucked up by walls. Nobody escapes the unbearable fragility of existence; not the mother who lives a happy and fulfilling life, not the mother who loses her child and is thus forever unable to stand on her own two feet, not the mother who helps delivering countless babies without never really creating one of her own, and most definitely not us, involved, glued, drifting in an endless, perturbing movement. Is there no ending to the sufferings brought about by the responsibility of being a parent? Must the mother hold her granddaughter for the circle to be complete, and for the play to end? How many lives will be lost in this social Styx that we call family, forever running between the past and present, pulling back down all those who try get out of it?

Radical, as in Peeping Tom.


The show was played in
Thessaloniki Concert Hall
25 Martiou & Paralia – Thessaloniki
Tuesday 17 October 2017

The Dimitria Festival presents
by Peeping Tom

direction Gabriela Carrizo
directorial assistance and dramaturgy Franck Chartier
creation and performance Eurudike De Beul, Maria Carolina Vieira, Marie Gyselbrecht, Brandon Lagaert, Hun-Mok Jung / Quan Bui Ngoc, Yi-Chun Liu, Simon Versnel, Charlotte Clamens
artistic assistance Diane Fourdrignier
sound composition and arrangements Raphaëlle Latini, Renaud Crols, Glenn Vervliet, Peeping Tom
sound mixing Yannick Willox, Peeping Tom
light design Giacomo Gorini, Amber Vandenhoeck
costume design Diane Fourdrignier, Kristof Van Hoorde (intern), Peeping Tom
set design Amber Vandenhoeck, Peeping Tom
construction set KVS-atelier, Peeping Tom
technical direction Filip Timmerman
light engineer Amber Vandenhoeck
sound engineer Hjorvar Rognvaldsson
foley coach Elias Vervecken
production Coordinator Anastasia Tchernokondratenko
video rehearsals Sulok Swablamban (intern), Gaspard Rozenwajn

production Peeping Tom
co-production Theater im Pfalzbau (Ludwigshafen), Taipei Performing Arts Center (Taipei), KVS – Royal Flemish Theatre (Brussels), Grec Festival de Barcelona / Mercat de les Flors (Barcelona), HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Maison de la Culture de Bourges / Scène Nationale, La Rose des Vents (Villeneuve d’Ascq), Festival Aperto/Fondazione I Teatri (Reggio Emilia), La Bâtie Festival de Genève.

Moeder is supported by Theater im Pfalzbau (Ludwigshafen) and Taipei Performing Arts Center (Taipei), key partners in the Vader, Moeder, Kind trilogy.

sales Frans Brood Productions
Peeping Tom wishes to thank: Alexandre Obolensky, Jean-Philippe Altenloh, Romy Beni, Heidi Ehrhart, Ina Peeters, Elias Vervecken, François Heuse, Theater Froe Froe.


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