Justus-Liebig-Universität GießenInstitut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft

The metamorphosis of a text

Kris Verdonck's creations are positioned in the transit zone between visual arts and theatre, between installation and performance, between dance and architecture. As a theatre maker and visual artist, he can look back over a wide variety of projects.

Most of his oeuvre, installations, performances, theatre- and dance pieces are produced through the same methodological approach. This “method” was developed by Marianne Van Kerkhoven and Kris Verdonck. The goal is to use text as a starting point, transform it, so the result can be anything: visual arts, dance, theatre, film. The text serves as a point of reference, dramaturgical content is developed, and a work is produced. In the final result the text is often completely vanished.

During 3 weeks all the participants are invited to work on their own project,with this “method” as a guiding principle.

First the participants are asked to choose a text they like, this can be anything: proza, poetry, song texts... This text is analysed in a classical dramaturgical way: who, what, where. It is practical dramaturgy, all conversations serve an artistic goal, it is no intellectual or philosophical exercise. The next step is to choose a medium that connects to the produced content. Often participants discover a new medium and its consequences. The next and final stage is the invention of one idea that is loyal to the dramaturgy and the medium. This idea is the framework for the production. The result is exhibited the final day of the workshop. Due to the short working period the result is not the most important, the research is.

Potentially the produced idea is a framework for a “real” artwork. An important aspect of the workshop is the production aspect: how can an idea be a tool to communicate to a whole team: performers, director, technicians, producers?