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"'Dog Days' is a raw, compassionate and musical ode to the rejecting, adoring, loathing, soothing, humiliating, humiliated, dancing, fighting, relieving and ultimately vulnerable dying body. An ode that must be seen by everyone who has a body."
“Almost without dialogue, this awe-inspiring production unfolds in front of our eyes. Impressive, dangerous, unforgettable.” (NRC Handelsblad).
“Even now, immediately after the premiere, 'Dog Days'can be considered a milestone in her oeuvre.” (Volkskrant.nl)
“Hart rendering scenes and portrayals: the consistency with which this spectacle – in all its dark imagery – is captured; reveals a great artistic prowess.” (CPB)
"This nearly speechless performance gets under your skin and shows not only every corner of the stage, but also the corners of your imagination. Alize Zandwijk has tremendously succeded in her quest for silence." (toneel.blog.nl)
a dance theatre by Alize Zandwijk
based on the films of Ulrich Seidl
Inspired by the work of the Austrian film maker Ulrich Seidl, director Alize Zandwijk (Ro Theater) and dramaturge Hildegard De Vuyst (KVS, Les Ballets C. de la B.) present Hondsdagen; a wordless performance at the edge of dance, music and theatre about vulnerability, humiliation and fraternization.
In a world where religion is divisive and a deep economic crisis is alienating people from each other, Zandwijk uses Dog Days to ask: where the human bankruptcy will end and when human dignity begin to recover?
Humiliation is the central theme in Dog Days; a production that director Alize Zandwijk is making with five actors from the Ro Theater, together with two dancers and two musicians. It is a production of few words, drawing on the eloquence of music and movement.
For Alize Zandwijk, the apex of humiliation is when, in your declining years, you have to be cared for by someone who adds insult to injury by speaking to you as if you are an idiot. Every aspect of humiliation is implicit in this nightmare image: the loss of autonomy and neither seen nor recognised as an individual. Even if you were a theatre director in a previous life, your history does not count for anything when you body begins to decline and you are just an old bag, a hostage of ‘care’.
What, for you, would be the worst form of humiliation? We can all imagine ways of being humiliated. In one way or another, those experiences mark our identity, as if we gain satisfaction from remembering being slapped in the face. Whilst the humiliation we dealt out to others seems to recede into a dark corner somewhere.
The basic assumption might seem depressing but Alize Zandwijk and the team are earnestly in search of the restoration of human dignity. She is not interested in showing just gloom and doom. Just as in her previous production Scorched, in which love breaks the endless cycle of hate and revenge, she has chosen to go beyond a mere record of crisis and impending failure, offering the possibility of a new covenant with one another.
Together with dramaturge Hildegard De Vuyst (Alain Patel, Les Ballets C. de la B. and KVS) and composer/multi-instrumentalist Beppe Costa, Zandwijk combines the worlds of dance and theatre – and pulls them apart again. Exaggerated, emotional and avoiding rules, the dancers, actors and musicians try to reveal the most vulnerable in people. The performers look for each other in a bare room.
cast Angelina Deck, Goele Derick, Yahya Gaier, Charlotte Goesaert, Hannah van Lunteren, Gijs Naber and Bart Slegers
direction Alize Zandwijk
dramaturgy Hildegard De Vuyst
composition Beppe Costa
musicians Beppe Costa and Maartje Teussink
set design Thomas Rupert
costume design Inge Büscher
lighting Casper Leemhuis
coproduction Koninklijke Vlaamse