Vader (Father), directed by Franck Chartier, is the first part of a family trilogy. After a world premiere on 10 May 2014 in Theater im Pfalzbau (Ludwigshafen, DE), the production has been touring extensively throughout Europe and in Japan. Vader was followed in 2016 by Moeder (Mother), under the direction of Gabriela Carrizo. The trilogy will close in 2019 with Kind (Child).
Vader is set in the visiting area of an old-folks home whose towering walls accentuate the fact that the action takes place deep underground. At the centre of this netherworld, somewhere between the world of the living and the dead, stands the figure of the father, who seems to be distancing himself gradually from the human community. His fading is drawn, not from the story of one individual, but from the mythology of the father, and in scenes that explode into action, and just as suddenly stop, this figure appears at once as God-like and ridiculous, as possessed of a rich mental life, and as disconnected, decaying, empty. His past may harbour a deep secret, or maybe he is simply mad or delusional. The other residents and the staff wonder at him, regarding him with amusement and hatred, affection and indifference.
The piece plays on the widening gap between perception and reality, on the way time for the old appears to slow down so as to correspond to the lagging rhythm of their gestures, or articulate speech is received as static and music as noise, or the world itself seems to make sense only insofar as it is the embodiment of a memory. With poignancy and wit, Vader explores the moment when the memories (or are they fancies, hallucinations?) of an old man constantly threaten to tip the realities of daily life into fantasy.
"[Father is set] in the last house, in the last moments of one’s life. It’s a house in which you can’t have any contact with society anymore, and you just analyse your past. For us, it was nice to go deeper into the character of the father, to see where we come from and what we received from him. We go inside ourselves, what we live, what we feel. Of course, we amplify things and render them a bit more dramatic, but basically, everything comes from ourselves, and it is nice if we can touch the audience, it’s nice to see them cry and laugh."
Watch Franck Chartier's full conversation with Dutch TV NTR
Vader was elected Best Dance Performance of 2014 by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, and in the same year it was awarded a Premio de la Critica Barcelona (Barcelona Critics Award) in the category 'Best International Dance Production'. In 2015, Vader got selected for the Theaterfestival, gathering the most remarkable productions of the past season in Belgium and The Netherlands
The jury of the Theaterfestival 2015 stated:
"A soft blanket of alienation rests on the inventive and beautifully constructed scenes, diverging between the small tender gesture and the virtuoso group dynamics. That makes of Vader one of the most empathic, swirling and surprisingly shaped portraits of ageing in 2015".
Direction: Franck Chartier
Directorial assistance and dramaturgy: Gabriela Carrizo
Creation and performance: Leo De Beul / Jef Stevens, Marie Gyselbrecht / Tamara Gvozdenovic, Hun-Mok Jung, Maria Carolina Vieira, Simon Versnel, Brandon Lagaert & Yi-Chun Liu, , with the aid of Eurudike De Beul
Artistic assistance: Seoljin Kim, Camille De Bonhome
Sound composition and arrangements: Raphaëlle Latini, Ismaël Colombani, Eurudike De Beul, Renaud Crols
Sound mixing: Yannick Willox
Light design: Giacomo Gorini & Peeping Tom
Costume design: Peeping Tom & Camille De Bonhome
Set design: Peeping Tom & Amber Vandenhoeck
Set construction: KVS-atelier, Filip Timmerman, Amber Vandenhoeck
Technical direction: Filip Timmerman
Technicians: Hjorvar Rognvaldsson, Wout Rous & Amber Vandenhoeck
Production: Peeping Tom
Co-production: Theater im Pfalzbau (Ludwigshafen), KVS- Royal Flemish Theatre (Brussels), Festival GREC (Barcelona), HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Maison de la Culture (Bourges), La Rose des Vents (Villeneuve d’Ascq), Le Printemps des Comédiens (Montpellier), with the support of Sommerszene, Szene Salzburg (Salzburg).
Theater Im Pfalzbau (Ludwigshafen) and Taipei Performing Arts Center (Taipei) are acting as key partners in the creation of the trilogy 'Vader' - 'Moeder' - 'Kind'.
Sales: Frans Brood Productions
Peeping Tom wishes to thank: Héloïse da Costa, Blandine Chartier, Emiliano Battista, Diane Fourdrignier and Seniorencentrum Brussel vzw
"The physicality of the performers is simply extraordinary, mind-blowing; you never thought a body could do that."
The wonderful world of dance 03.02.2019
"Father is hugely funny, while also showing compassion for our human inadequacies." **** (4 stars)
The Observer 03.02.2019
"Echoes of Pina Bausch and Ballets C de la B are evident in the piece. […] Father is a wonderful show – taking its audience on a rollercoaster ride through the borderlands of fantasy and reality– such a delight to see so much skill teamed with such great artistic vision."
Total Theatre 03.02.2019
"This compelling work was both funny and poignant, highly physical, visually arresting, contrasting aspects of gentle, whimsical reflection with others, too uncomfortable to bear." **** (4 stars)
"The impact of the performance is intensified by the juxtaposition of authentic, overwhelming emotions and moments of sheer laughter." **** (4 stars)
"It’s every bit as astonishing as the company’s maternal counterpart Moeder,just as fraught with Freudian neuroses and deep-seated anguish."
The Stage 01.02.2019
"Layer upon layer of chaos builds a visual overload of weirdly strange and unsettling imagery. Watching Peeping Tom in full throttle is like waking from a nightmare in a semi-conscious state, horrified, yet fascinated to return back to sleep to discover what happens."
British Theatre Guide 01.02.2019
"[Vader is] a truly stunning piece of visual theatre, which mesmerises the audience. Peeping Tom is really one of the most exciting companies in Europe." **** (4 stars)
Plays to see 01.02.2019
"Father (Vader) is a delightful twist of comedy, melancholic drama and unnerving horror." ***** (5 stars)
A Younger Theatre 01.02.2019
"Full of ingenious effects, it’s one step ahead of you: hard to grasp, harder still to forget." **** (4 stars)
The Times 31.01.2019
"We’re reminded that older people are not a problem to be solved or pitied, but people with personalities, pasts and inner lives. [...] Father is confident in the creation of its world, distinctive in its voice and poignant in its subject matter." **** (4 stars)
The Guardian 31.01.2019
"This masterclass in physical theatre is a paternalistic examination of relationships and its various intricacies […]As abstract as the show can be it’s also intensely relevant." ***** (5 stars)
Theatre Bubble 31.01.2019
"Father is a touching and crazy take on life in old age. [...] It’s touching, confusing and even a tad exhilarating."
London Evening Standard 31.01.2019
"Absurdist total theatre. […] Full of wonder and funny."
Dagblad van het Noorden 16.05.2018 (in Dutch)
"With extreme delicacy, Vader combines the raw gaze with an immense compassion for the human, confronting each spectator with the tragic link between who stays and who leaves."
Publico 14.02.2018 (in Portuguese)
"Vader sends us from a dream being evoked to a dreamlike film."
"Humour and poetry comparable to the 7th art."
Culturebox/France TV 16.03.2016 (in French)
"It is difficult to remain indifferent after seeing this radical proposition that finds itself so closely related to the human condition. They really are astounding..."
L'Alsace 06.02.2016 (in French)
"‘Vader’, when the fathers' guilt falls back on the children."
Il Fatto Quotidiano 24.01.2016 (in Italian)
"Although you are laughing with tears, strokes of sadness and compassion bore through your heart. The last images send shivers down your spine."
Schamper 02.11.2015 (in Dutch)
"Peeping Tom loves to make you jump from the left tot the right cerebral hemisphere. From the start, Vader reveals a delicate humour and a sense of detail."
Cultureel Persbureau 10.09.2015 (in Dutch)
"Ultrasensitive material woven out of dreams which are strange and deeply human at the same time ... the irresistible charm of this show."
Libération 03.07.2015 (in French)
"A visually astounding and at times hilarious performance that constantly explores the boundaries of perception and reality."
8WEEKLY 02.12.2014 (in Dutch)
"Vader confirms once more [Peeping Tom's] talent and creativity which continues to surprise and amaze us with its direct humour."
Ma Culture 04.11.2014 (in French)
"The piece manages to throw you off-balance while being extremely funny."
Le Soir 31.10.2014 (in French)
"Phenomenal choreography and hilarious in its absurdity." ****
Cobra 27.10.2014 (in Dutch)
"What a difference a day makes'. Trust us, ultimately it all boils down to having seen 'Vader' or not." ****1/2
De Morgen 27.10.2014 (in Dutch)
"An old folks home where a brilliant form of craziness sets the tone."
La Libre Belgique 27.10.2014 (in French)
"This is theatre of the imagination: it proposes new visions on an ancient theme and simultaneously is not shy to confront the spectator with the ugly and at times cruel sides of old age."
Etcetera 15.10.2014 (in Dutch)
"Peeping Tom sketches the world of the worn out brain with tenderness and subtle humor. [..] 'Vader' is a magnificent piece of work." ****
NRC Handelsblad 03.10.2014 (in Dutch)
"It’s terrifically deft theatre and at the same time rock-hard reality." *****
Het Parool 02.10.2014 (in Dutch)
"Peeping Tom's surrealism and its enigmatic visual style fascinate from beginning to end." ****
Theaterkrant 02.10.2014 (in Dutch)
"Breathtaking, cruel, beautiful... unforgettable."
El País 18.07.2014 (in Spanish)
"Fine atrocities as magnificent dance theatre."
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 14.07.2014 (in German)
"'Vader' deploys an extremely fine trap in which everyone can get caught."
Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten 23.06.2014 (in German)
"As surreal, cruel, tender and profound as what Peeping Tom brings on stage, is hard to come by in the field of contemporary dance."
Tanznetz.de 13.05.2014 (in German)
"Tanzcafé im Altenheim."
Die Rheinpflaz 12.05.2014 (in German)
ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS
Interview with Franck Chartier in Love Theatre (Bulgaria)
Lovetheatre.bg 08.05.2018 (in Bulgarian)
"Dancing the regret, or how the Peeping Tom redefined psychotherapy"
Público 08.02.2018 (in Portuguese)
"Tusen år av erfarenheter."
Dagens Nyheter 18.02.2016 (in Swedish)
"De l'autre côté du miroir."
LM Magazine 01.12.2014 (in French)
"Peeping Tom : one foot in the grave."
Agenda 17.10.2014 (in Dutch)
'Vader' on SVT / Swedish TV
SVT Kulturnyheterna 03.03.2016 (in Swedish)
'Vader' on TV Øst / Danish TV (05:59 until 08:37)
TV Øst 23.08.2015 (in Danish)
'Vader' on TV3 / Catalan TV
TV3 17.07.2014 (in Catalan)
'Vader' on ORF / Austrian TV
ORF 26.06.2014 (in German)
Interview with Franck Chartier in 'Label Antenne' (from 29:45)
Radio Phenix Caen 16.01.2018 (in French)
Interview with supporting actress Monica Sonesson on P1 Kultur / Kulturnytt (Swedish national radio)
SR / Sveriges Radio 03.03.2016 (in Swedish)
Interview with Franck Chartier in 'Turn The Light On'
Radio Grenouille 05.03.2015 (in French)
Interview with Simon Versnel in 'De Zoo van Brussel'.
FM Brussel 22.10.2014 (in Dutch)
Review on 'Avant-Scène' (Swiss national radio)
RTS 06.09.2014 (in French)
|10-11 May 2014||Theater Im Pfalzbau Ludwigshafen (DE)|
|03-04 Jun 2014||Printemps des Comédiens Montpellier (FR)|
|20-21 Jun 2014||Hellerau - European Center for the Arts Dresden Dresden (DE)|
|25-26 Jun 2014||Sommerszene, SZENE Salzburg Salzburg (AU)|
|11-12 Jul 2014||Theaterhaus Gessnerallee Zürich (CH)|
|16-18 Jul 2014||GREC Festival de Barcelona Barcelona (ES)|
|02-03 Sep 2014||La Bâtie Genève (CH)|
|21-22 Sep 2014||Zagreb World Theatre Festival Zagreb (HR)|
|01-02 Oct 2014||Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam Amsterdam (NL)|
|10-11 Oct 2014||Teatro Ariosto Reggio Emilia (IT)|
|23-25 Oct 2014||Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg - KVS Brussels (BE)|
|29-31 Oct 2014||Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg - KVS Brussels (BE)|
|06-08 Nov 2014||Dansens Hus Oslo Oslo (NO)|
|14-15 Nov 2014||Teatro Central Sevilla (ES)|
|19 Nov 2014||Teatro Alhambra Granada (ES)|
|27-29 Nov 2014||deSingel Antwerp (BE)|
|09-10 Dec 2014||Bühnen Köln Köln (DE)|
|13 Dec 2014||Cultuurcentrum C-mine Genk (BE)|
|16-18 Dec 2014||Le Maillon Strasbourg (FR)|
|17-18 Feb 2015||Maison de la Culture de Bourges Bourges (FR)|
|24 Feb 2015||Stadsschouwburg Utrecht Utrecht (NL)|
|13 Mar 2015||Schouwburg Arnhem Arnhem (NL)|
|18-21 Mar 2015||Le Merlan Marseille (FR)|
|25-27 Mar 2015||La Rose des Vents Villeneuve d'Ascq (FR)|
|01-02 Apr 2015||Théâtre Royal de Namur Namur (BE)|
|21 Apr 2015||Cultuurcentrum Brugge Bruges (BE)|
|06-07 May 2015||Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg Luxembourg (LU)|
|12-13 May 2015||30CC - Stadsschouwburg Leuven (BE)|
|16-17 May 2015||München Dance 2015 München (DE)|
|27-29 May 2015||Théâtre national de Bordeaux en Aquitaine Bordeaux (FR)|
|02-04 Jun 2015||Théâtre National de Toulouse Toulouse (FR)|
|07-11 Jul 2015||Théâtre de la Ville Paris (FR)|
|22-23 Aug 2015||Waves Festival Vordingborg (DK)|
|03 Sep 2015||Tanztheater International 2015 Hannover (DE)|
|09 Sep 2015||Het Theaterfestival - Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam (NL)|
|11-12 Sep 2015||Het Theaterfestival - Kaaitheater Brussel (BE)|
|22-24 Oct 2015||NTGent Ghent (BE)|
|17-18 Nov 2015||Espace Malraux - Scène nationale de Chambéry Chambéry (FR)|
|08-11 Dec 2015||Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg - KVS Brussels (BE)|
|14-15 Jan 2016||L'apostrophe, Scène nationale Cergy-Pontoise Cergy-Pontoise (FR)|
|19-20 Jan 2016||Le grand R - Scène nationale La Roche-sur-Yon (FR)|
|28 Jan 2016||Le Bateau Feu - Scène nationale Dunkerque Dunkerque (FR)|
|30 Jan 2016||Schouwburg Kortrijk Kortrijk (BE)|
|03 Feb 2016||La Filature, Scène nationale Mulhouse (FR)|
|09-11 Feb 2016||Danse Emoi - Biennale 2016 Limoges (FR)|
|13 Feb 2016||Les Treize Arches, Scène conventionnée de Brive Brive (FR)|
|03-04 Mar 2016||Dansens Hus Stockholm Stockholm (SE)|
|09-11 Mar 2016||Théâtre Olympia Tours (FR)|
|15-17 Mar 2016||Maison de la Danse Lyon (FR)|
|22-23 Mar 2016||La Rampe Echirolles (FR)|
|28-29 May 2016||KONTAKT - International Theatre Festival Toruń (PL)|
|27 Feb - 01 Mar 2017||Setagaya Public Theatre Tokyo (JP)|
|05 Mar 2017||Matsumoto Performing Arts Centre Matsumoto (JP)|
|12 Mar 2017||Toyohashi Arts Theatre Plat Toyohashi (JP)|
|15 Mar 2017||Hyogo Performing Arts Centre Hyogo (JP)|
|18 Mar 2017||Biwako Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Shiga Biwako (JP)|
|21-22 Nov 2017||Le Manège Maubeuge (FR)|
|20-21 Dec 2017||La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand Clermont-Ferrand (FR)|
|16-17 Jan 2018||Théâtre de Caen Caen (FR)|
|03 Feb 2018||Opéra de Dijon Dijon (FR)|
|08 Feb 2018||Teatro Viriato Viseu (PT)|
|10 Feb 2018||Centro Cultural Vila Flor Guimarães (PT)|
|01-02 Apr 2018||Belgrade Dance Festival Belgrade (RS)|
|13-14 Apr 2018||Pavillon Noir Aix-en-Provence (FR)|
|14 May 2018||Stadsschouwburg Groningen (NL)|
|05-07 Oct 2018||National Performing Arts Center Taipei (TW)|
|26 Jan 2019||CC Sint-Niklaas Sint-Niklaas (BE)|
|30 Jan - 02 Feb 2019||London International Mime Festival London (UK)|
|05 Oct 2019||Torinodanza Torino (IT)|
|08-09 Oct 2019||Teatro Nazionale Genova (IT)|
|18-19 Dec 2019||Théâtre Le Liberté Toulon (FR)|