The Covid-19 crisis turned out to be the signal for AB to step out of its musical comfort zone and to co-produce some new shows at the intersection of opera, contemporary dance and theatre. AB is proud to present productions by Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe and Laurens Mariën, David Poltrock & Adriaan de Roover, Dance of the Seven Veils and Voetvolk in the new 2021-2022 concert season.
We first discovered Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe here during the last edition of The Sound of the Belgian Underground. When this countertenor, performer and opera director mentioned that he was working on a brand-new production in collaboration with Laurens Marien, AB got involved right away. De Standaard lavished his previous show, A Revue with **** stars and wrote: ‘A sublime and spectacular event with a long-lasting afterglow’ and ‘This medieval jester of the opera world is a director with swagger and guts.’ In Spectacles he has created a show on the cutting edge of performance and music. AB stalwarts Lander Gyselinck (STUFF.), Mattias De Craene (Nordmann/MDCIII) and David Numwami provide the musical backing.
Friend of the house David Poltrock and former artist-in-residence Adriaan de Roover (Oaktree) spent a week at AB during the pandemic. VACUUM has evolved into a show - with quadraphonic sound, dance and video - that submerges the audience in an immersive experience.
The interdisciplinary opera Dance of the Seven Veils brings together soprano Astrid Stockman, Colin H. van Eeckhout (Amenra), double bassist Pieter-Jan Vanassche (Innerwoud), dancer Germán Jauregui and visual artist Rui Barros.
Colin has been a regular guest at AB with Amenra for over a decade, and Astrid Stockman and Pieter-Jan Vanassche visited in 2017 with their opera Medeamaterial. During the pandemic, Dance of the Seven Veils was handed the keys to AB for a few days to prepare the performance. The utterly fascinating result will be presented in December.
Both VACUUM and Dance of the Seven Veils form the start of a longer, intense partnership between AB, OESTER and its artistic director Aïda Gabriels, who directs both performances.
For years, AB has dreamed of giving Voetvolk a spot on the AB schedules with Lisbeth Gruwez dances Bob Dylan. Once the plans were actually on the table, everything fell apart due to circumstances – Covid, anyone? When this contemporary dance troupe sought a venue where they could interact with ‘traditional’ concertgoers for their brand-new production, AB couldn’t wait to answer the call. Into the Open was immediately jotted down on the AB calendar. This show is still in production, but it promises to be a dazzling spectacle driven by repetitive Krautrock.
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