From over 600 entries, the theater set 'Terra' of artist duo Lachaert and Dhanis was nominated for the World Stage Design Award 2017, the only Belgians selected for this 4-year prestigious global award.
Dance piece 'Terra', an exploration of the Earth, is a contemporary dance production by Hubert Essakow for the ‘Print Room’. The Print Room is an experimental platform housed in a Victorian play and opera house in London’s Notting Hill. It has built a reputation by pursuing an eclectic, ambitious artistic policy, which never compromises on quality. Anda Winters, the owner and artistic director commissioned Sofie Lachaert and Luc Dhanis to create a concept and an environment for the piece.
“Terra’s symbolism is laden with earth metaphors” - solidity, rootedness, reliability, home - and then asked what happens when those certainties disappear. Migration, exile and refuge provided a thematic framework.
It seems that the six dancers survived some latter-day Pompeian eruption with everything covered with a layer of dust. They fled with suitcases, for a long journey, to their ultimate destination. Every single detail in the set design / scenography has a deeper meaning, multiple layers. A collection of seemingly mismatched furniture pile up, semi-buried in rubble; chairs in varying states of decrepitude, a wardrobe, a mirror, an old worn pendulum clock, … underlines the idea of memento mori and the fleeting existence of ourselves and ourbelongings.
Sofie Lachaert and Luc Dhanis created a theatrical, ephemeral landscape. It’s highly atmospheric, rich in imagery and suggestion. All looks fragile, liable to crumble at any time. They did not only design the set; they chose to execute the set themselves, ensuring that their vision and skill are reflected in every detail. It underlines the difference between 'a set designer’ and 'an artist designing a set’
By hand they sculpted the malleable strong metal-fabric* into a mysterious apocalyptic landscape – an astonishing natural stage-filling backdrop against which the story unfolds.
Hubert Essakow’schoreography was created within the quite literally staggering theatrical environment, which made Terra a truly collaborative process. The dancers interact constantly with the set by moving between and over, by disappearing in or behind the pieces of furniture.
* AluShape molding cloth – by the internationally renown Belgian company ShowTex
Press Praises for TERRA
“Atmospheric and intricately choreographed” The Stage
“Highly atmospheric, rich in imagery and suggestion. Essakow has a gift for crafting physical detail and for composing movement: it’s a rare quality, and worth seeing in action.” The Guardian