ghent BE 2012

ghent BE

studio ballet c de la b  /  june 2012

ghent 2012 studio ballet c de la b


guest artist

koen augustijnen

Since 1991, Koen Augustijnen has worked closely with les ballets C de la B, as a dancer in performances staged by Alain Platel, Hans Van den Broeck and Francisco Camacho.  He has been one of the dance company’s house choreographers as of 1997.  His first self-choreographed production was To Crush Time (1997), followed by Plage Tattoo (1999) co-directed with three musicians from Zita Swoon and with Tamayo Okano. His third major production was Ernesto (2000), a dance solo, co-directed with his brother Sven Augustijnen, which was followed by Just another landscape for some jukebox money (2002). bâche (2004) brought him international acclaim, followed by IMPORT/EXPORT (2006) and Ashes (2009). Koen studied history at the Ghent University (1986-1988) and participated in theatre workshops at the Antwerp Conservatory (1989) as well as workshops with Jan Decorte in Brussels (1990). He has also attended dance workshops by Wim Vandekeybus, Caro Lambert, Min Tanaka,  Suzanne Linke, Laurie Booth, Francisco Camacho, Frank van de Ven, Christine Quoiraud and David Zambrano among others, between 1990 and 1999. His primary training and work experience, however, has a strong foundation in his staged performances as a member of les ballets C de la B. Other creative endeavours include works as a choreographer, collaborating with dEUS as well as with Ivo Van Hove (Toneelgroep Amsterdam), Arne Sierens (compagnie Cecilia) and Stalker Theatre Company. In 2009 he created a mass choreography for the video Dance for the climate from Nic Balthazar. 2011 saw him create a performance collaboration with TG STAN entitled Oogst (Harvest).  Koen has worked in the past with dramaturge Guy Cools.



koen augustijnen
Table Sessions: Lin-Guy-Koen
session 1
Guy looks through a hole in the door/ Lin sitting on the chair. Guy walking around with the door on his back and talking about a turtle/ Lin writing at table. Guy goes with door to Lin/ Lin starts walking around in circles. Lin laying on the ground and talking in her Hal Hartley-style and Koen writing on the table, Koen reacting to her voice with his body. Guy goes to lay with door on the ground. Koen stands up and goes to write with his feet on the ground. Tells Cannibal story. Lin moving on door talking about insect. Koen moving to the table as an insect. Koen writing on the table, same words over and over again on the same place while looking somewhere else and gradually changing his position sinking to the ground while he is still writing. Lin plays with the curtain and tells her Cloud story. Guy starts a conversation with us talking about having a meal with Lin with curry and béchamel sauce. Lin goes into the rain dancing.
session 2
Koen standing up starts to caress the floor with the bottom of his feet. Paintings singing? Koen jumps onto the heating, makes sound of a bird, takes position of a martyr, following sounds, faces up, moves in circles backwards and dances close to the table and gets sucked under the table, then he goes and sits on the table with his knees and starts an Islam prayer and starts to make a print of his knees and hands on the paper of the table. Lin starts to give comments: What a strong little table!!!
Guy starts to shake and react on the sounds, comes close to Koen and turns around him while touching Koen with his arm, which is still sitting on the table. Koen stands up on the table and reaches out and gets off the table with broken movements. Guy sitting and writing while Lin lies sideways in the back against the wall. Lin starts to move and talk: Musical painting and Joni Mitchell in the clouds. What a strong little water bottle!! Guy telling a story about cannibalism while sitting on the table with his knees. The table is going to collapse any minute. Lin with a bottle on the ground and starting an interview with Guy about cannibalism and béchamel. Guy jumping on the heating/ I don’t want to be a martyr! Lin standing on the plastic bottle. Going under the table. Makes a trajectory with the table. Pulls the paper on the floor. Koen printing Lin on the paper like when somebody who was drawn on the ground after a murder or an accident. Blowing hair. Koen sitting on chair behind the table. Knocking on the table making the ballpoint jumps up like a fish jumping up from a dish. Guy reacts to this physically. Guy biting Koen while Koen is washing the back of Guy at the same time. Koen laying head on the table and writing on the table at the same time. Guy goes to lie under the paper.

writing session: choose 3 things to explore in the space and describe them. Choose one to write about.

The window in the ceiling. It looks like a big roentgen or x-ray scan of a giant lying body or of an ancient reptile who was sun-bathing on the roof. It fell asleep and never woke up again. Or it could be one of those visual art works of my father in-law who makes these big monochrome iron plates which become pieces of art by letting them oxidize in nature. Maybe he has put this big animal on the window ceiling and let the nature do his work. I can still see some remains of the head, the throat, heart, backbone, vertebras, the pelvis and the legs. Somehow it also reminded me of the prehistoric wall paintings in the caves of Lascaux in France.

Impro session: Not knowing where to stay with your body.
Lin starts to displace the chair. She does not know where to put it and keeps searching were to put it. She does not know how to sit on it. Changing different positions. Finally sits still. Koen starts to move his shoulder like a wing; Lin sits at table and falls under table. Koen sees shadow of the table through the paper and draws the shadow on the paper and also the hand of Lin. Koen goes to the back and moves shoulder like a wing. Moves to the middle taking off his pullover like a skin and comes back again. Lies under scan window with reptile and scans his own body, lying and walking. Koen goes to the table and starts to move the paper, making a soundscape for Guy. Puts on the glasses of Guy and starts to caress the table with an arm dance. Guy reacts to it by moving. Koen puts on glasses and starts to draw eights on the paper with two hands and two ballpoints. He writes down “I am the passenger” by Iggy Pop and starts to sing it into the table. Guy is lying on the ground like an insect and talks about a beetle on his back. Guy starts scratching the floor with his nails. Lin comes in and makes, from her body, a plank and starts to talk about the Passenger song. She tries to remember the lyrics and reads out her own version while writing it down, and goes to lie on the floor while Guy moves.

Warm-up: session with hips/pony/torso/dust/caress movement qualities.

The warm-up seems to influence the impro. More dynamics and more movements appear. I think we also took 3 other parameters:

 sound on/off
 don’t know where to stay with my body.
I sit in different positions. Is it too fast? Or not fast enough? I don’t know where to stay with my body, neither with my mind. I start wrestling with my head against my hand. It becomes a long trip and Lin is involved, but I don’t remember it anymore.
Next thing I see is Lin sitting on the ground, with her head on the table, writing on the table. What a great image. I could look at it for long time. It is like an installation in a museum, a performance in itself. Writing and writing the same thing over again and again; golden hair lying on the table. Guy puts his finger in the hole of the door. That will inspire me for my “Wild at heart-porno–scene” later on. Guy takes the door and the paper again on his back and starts to walk like the turtle. Lin is moving through the space while talking and is trying to reconstruct things from before by speaking them out. That is a nice combination. Then there comes the story of the accident: Did he really, really die???? I find a way to connect with Lin by speaking with a certain intonation. Things from previous impros come back. Guy goes to the steel bar and walks back. Lin is writing. I come in with a plastic bottle, talking about circles and asking what it means. Lin gives a whole explanation, talking about hats, circus and the city of the 1000 circles. Lin and I running in circles, passing the bottle to each other. I look at the bar, Lin helps me to balance. Goes into seeing circles on the ceiling and painting on the ceiling. Into singing Iggy Pop. Koen moves arm and torso and makes turn, moves while Lin is making noise with writing on the table.

Impros on telling and finishing a story.


Guy walking and making his road, his catwalk. I was thinking of putting his road on fire. But that would cause some practical problems. Lin coming in and telling a story about her pullover and her grandmother who liked to see wrestling matches on TV. Later on Lin loses the pullover of her grandmother in the city of the 1000 circles and gets it back again. Lin is so happy that she can go to sleep now and rolls and wraps herself up in paper sheets.

Koen comes in starring as Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” and transforms into the grandmother watching TV.
Talking about stories I remember a “walkabout” with my brother in the Australian outback.
Lin suggests to me that I run zigzag when I have to run away from the crocodiles and we make sudden cuts to go into that. I go back to the table for the ballpoint dance. The song comes back a lot. La lalala la lalala. Iggy Pop in different versions. Lip-synching it (playback) deconstructing it, combining it with, for example, Guy and Lin balancing on each other.
I go back to the chair, not knowing where to stay with the chair while Lin tells about a new theory about maths. I wrap myself in paper and try to speak in a language from another planet.
Many things happen but they are gone in a stream of who knows what. We leave things behind.
Which direction do you go? I have no idea; so, I relate to my body and get a vague impulse to start dancing. By putting my hand on my other hand and pushing it into the floor, I push straight into my memory and land in Mexico on a beach trying to save somebody who is drowning.
Guy comes to lie next to me and I try desperately to wake him up. Giving air to his knees for example. How to put something against a story,which is told by someone else without becoming too literal and too vague. Guy tells the story of somebody who gave him a massage and wanted to end it with a happy-end. A blowjob. So, I do an attempt to put something into that and start giving a massage and blowjob to the table which brings me to another blowjob story in New Caledonia. Guy gives me a massage. Lin comes in and tells me that I will sleep better. So, I go and sleep on the table. After that, Lin’s story brings me into a laughing and crying state. When Lin starts her Asian dance I go and speak into the wall and practice my Chinese language, which turns into a Chinese song. No idea where this comes from. Lin seems to be influenced by what happened before and starts crying. Guy cheers her up with his laughing theory.
Lin drawing with water and talking about street patterns in Europe and Canada and about the crushed car of her grandmother while standing in the paper. It open like a box of sardines.
Guy, wading in the water and talking about Venice and the painter. Koen becomes his shadow. Then Koen goes with social movements into the paper again and Guy is following.
Koen, standing in the wind and Guy telling stories. Koen in the waves, wrestling with the paper till he is upside down standing on his head, and tells the story of the accident with a motorbike. Reconstructing the motorbike with Lin.

IMPRO : Play with expectation.

Michael’s presence with his camera seems to influence me. I tend to make more images and stills and freezes when he is around. This time the light rays of the sun give me a first impulse. I am blinded by the paper and I bring my head down. I start off with an image I did before. In this session a lot comes back from the previous sessions. For example writing on the table, but in a slightly other form. Writing always on the same place on the paper over and over again: IF I HAD ONLY WORDS. Then I descend and sit on the ground while writing, but then something new happens. While writing and sitting on the ground I start moving the table and after a while I notice that I moved the table in a circular pattern. Hey! What do you want! This is the city of 100 circles. Guy comes to me and I start moving the table by its feet. After a while I continue and walk back on my knees and elbows pretending that I am still pulling the table. It transforms into drawing with my arms on the floor; it transforms into playing with water and then becoming a man in the sea, into the washing machine drowning. Guy tells his story of the man in the sea.

Then Lin takes over and becomes the woman in the sea. She starts at a certain moment to wrap herself in the sea paper. Koen goes to the table and tells the story of the journey on the ferryboat with Flash Gordon and the owl in the sea, and a friend almost falling off the ferry into the sea. Many stories come and go. I am the man! Can I ask you a question? Rubens and his clouds. I am crushed by a table after a table fighting. Lin, singing beautifully weird Irish folksy things in the corner. Koen becomes the preaching-passenger-Iggy Pop. Lin becomes an installation through Guy with the paper under the window scan. I help, and sit on the table. Lin becomes a Greek goddess and I blow her into the storm.
It seems like we have more eye contact and speak more directly to each other.
Guy plays with expectation. And when I forget he would do something with the glass of water in his hand, he pours it over his head. Teardrops are falling from his head.
What a strong little table on this boat!!
What a trip!
Koen Augustijnen


lin snelling

June 11, 2012

rewriting distance
day one
Guy begins and goes to a wooden cover for the windows here …
it is shaped like this … 
He peers through a small hole in it …
then writes something down, then goes back to where he was standing in front of the door,
He continues to make sound with this piece of wood.  It becomes a musical
instrument, as it wobbles and then it becomes something he is able to pick up
and put on his back …
I am watching and he looks like a turtle; eventually I enter and talk with him under the shell of wood;
he puts it down; I am writing and here I am getting lost …
as I am writing Guy is speaking about  his pet turtle named Jerome;
I am underneathsomething at this point;
the next thing I remember is seeing Koen standing against the white wall;
he is still and then,
Koen is talking about cannibalism;
he is now against the wood shaped like this ….
it is on the floor and he is moving like an insect;
I am stepping around him and then we have a conversation
about what he would like to be served with,
curry sauce, béchamel sauce,
rice, potatoes, …
he was at some point inscribing on the wood with his foot;
an invisible/visible writing system;
he now begins to write at the table
and his arm is moving and he is not looking at what he is writing,
over and over again he writes the same thing,
I go to the fallen wood shaped like this …
and pick it up and
it continues to make sounds,
Guy, I now remember,
was talking about carrying things on his head ;
he is moving things, and I remember writing down the phrase he spoke out loud
“between a pillar and a person”; this in reference to
 speaking about navigating in a large crowd while carrying
things on his head.
we stop 



guy cools
rewriting distance
With Koen Augustijnen – Gent – Belgium
The new challenge: how to fix the flow; how to keep fixations flowing.
Writing down my memories of one journey:
Koen going in. Cleaning the floor with his big toes. The cleaning becomes writing. And then he becomes a bull that charges against the wall. To transform again into a triptique. The martyr in the middle between two anonymous patrons.
The sound brings lightness. The martyr becomes an old neighbour calling after his pigeons.
The sound triggers new movements away from the wall towards the table. Again an object to climb on, with his naked feet inviting me to join him. I decide to go in, my eyes closed, only using the sounds he makes as guidance, to find him, to connect.
When I do, it is not his feet I find, but his spinal column, higher up behind the third chakra. It inspires me into a circular dance, trying to run around the table without losing the contact.
All this time, Lin is witnessing the fragility, the precariousness, the unbalance. Will the table be strong enough to support the energy of our common risk taking?
I end up sitting in a corner. I get a soothing wash which supports my back bending and a primitive cry.
Later I am at the table, watching Lin lying on the floor, writing down the images from before: the martyr calling his pigeons.
The roll of paper becomes a white sheet on which Lin rests underneath the table, with Koen lingering above.
I have to go in to save a pair of glasses. I go in again to put everything back in place. Which is what rituals do, at least according to Lin.
Cannibalism is a ritual to restore the natural order: man on top of the food chain and simultaneously at the bottom of it.
Lin is asking questions with the bottle as a mike.
So many images later. Me covered by the sheet. The paper only revealing my naked feet and Koen at the table again. The memory of him making the pen jump on the table.
Me coming off the painting, doing a strange cannibal dance, guided by his percussion, biting his neck. A vampire’s bite. Returning him the favour of a soothing wash.
So which part do you want me to repeat, to fixate, to remember exactly the same or totally different?
A possible score:
Pigeon Song
Finding a spot
Creating a circle
A balancing act
The sound of the scribe scribbling. Oh, krinkelende, winkelende waterding.
Lin: What a strong, little table, this is.
drawing: lin snelling 2012