Out of Context – for Pina

les ballets C de la B, Ghent, Belgium, 2010
Author: Alain Platel
Directed by Alain Platel

about the production

The dancers enter the stage from the auditorium. They are shrouded in red blankets and gradually take off their clothes until to the underwear. Except a few microphones the stage is empty. We can hear sounds of nature – animals, rustle, cracking. And some electronic beats. The dancers stick their tongues, roll their eyes, tremble, shake, twist toes and fingers. Out of Context is starting.

The production of Out of Context – for Pina is exceptional not only in the context of Alain Platel’s work but also in the context of contemporary dance theatre. While earlier Platel created choreographies on great musical works, here he worked out a given (musical) context, with a dedication to Pina Bausch, one of the most inspiring and most important female choreographers of the second half of the past century.

The dancers are themselves, they do not present any characters, they physically present the mental and emotional world of man who perceives himself and the world around him with an extreme amount of sensibility. We may use words such as excess, hysteria, exaltation, abnormality, but there is always the questioning of the formativeness given by the prevailing political and social discourses.

The dancers move between animalism and sexuality in order to use their physical expression to express and mediate to the viewer the energy of unconscious and unprocessed conflicts. Intimacy, pleasure, pain, rejection, hopes, desire is not portrayed linearly or by the story, and they cannot be expressed by words – they are fragments of words, fragments of sounds and separate movements. Out of Context is a communication of bodies reaching the extreme; it is a physical therapy of the conflict between pain and joy.

The motion material of the choreography is based on dyskinesia (the voluntary movements disorder) and dystonia (involuntary movement with abnormal muscle tonus). The choreography is also a mixture of various minor movements such us movements of mouth, rattling of teeth, various grimaces, turning of the head, trembling of arms, unnatural twisting of legs or shaking. Such “abnormal” animal movements are set in the contrast with the modern dance choreography with persiflage of dance from pop-song clips and extracts of songs which terrorize us in radios and music TVs, forcing us the image of how love, sex and intimacy should look like. Originally orthopaedic therapist, Alain Platel is not only a genial choreographer who, together with dancers, examines, provokes and eventually creates a new movement dictionary and expression, but also a critic of society and a tireless defender of humanity and the “different” view on man. It disturbs the stereotypical thinking and perception, and it also places him among the most impressive contemporary art creators.
Martina Vanayová



concept & realisation: Alain Platel
danced and created by: Elie Tass, Emile Josse, Hyo Seung Ye, Kaori Ito, Mathieu Desseigne Ravel, Melanie Lomoff, Romeu Runa, Rosalba Torres Guerrero, Ross McCormack
dramaturgy: Hildegard De Vuyst
direction assistance: Sara Vanderieck
light design: Carlo Bourguignon
sound design & electronic music: Sam Serruys
costume design: Dorine Demuynck
sound engineer: Bart Uyttersprot
production management: Fien Ysebie
tour management: Sara Vanderieck
coproduction: Theatre de la Ville (Paris), Le Grand Theatre de Luxembourg, TorinoDanza, Sadler’s Wells (London), Stadsschouwburg Groningen, Tanzkongress 2009/ Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Kaaitheater (Brussels), Wiener Festwochen


Alain Platel (1956) started his career as an orthopaedic therapist for children. In 1984 he and some of his friends and relatives founded an ensemble which gave performances for small audiences in Platel’s attic. The ensemble named itself Les Ballets Contemporains de Belgique (today known as les ballets C de la B) and the productions Bonjour Madame (1993), La Tristeza Complice (1995) and lets op Bach (1998) made Platel and his ensemble one of the top groups on the international level. Similarly, successful was his work in the Victoria, the ensemble of young in Gent, with the production of Moeder en Kind (1995), Bernadetje (1996) and Allemaal Indiaan (1999). He has been permanently co-operating with young and talented dancers and choreographers (one of them being Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui – Divadelná Nitra 2009, Origine). The turning point in his career was dance and theatrical production entitled Vsprs (2006), based on Monteverdi’s spiritual masterpiece Vespro della Beata Vergina, radically reshaped by composer Fabrizio Cassol who became one of Platel’s closest collaborators. Platel’s working method is the free form, and it has influenced dancers and choreographers around the world: the production is the result of improvising with dancers when dancing, singing and reciting texts in rehearsals unlimited in time. Platel was awarded many international prizes, including the prestigious Prix Europe Nouvelles Réalités Théâtrales presented to him by the European Union in 2001.