atelier lachaert dhanis
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 our belongings.
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
The Sunday Times: Best of What’s On this week
The Guardian Guide: Dance Pick of the week