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Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

Vanishing Points

The wars on Europe’s doorstep, in Ukraine as in the Middle East, in Gaza, Sudan and eastern Congo, threaten to lock us into a hateful ‘among ourselves’.

Fascism always finds a way to resurface, to insinuate itself into the nooks and crannies of the city. Little or nothing seems to stop it. At a time when almost 4.1 billion people around the world are being called on to vote in sixty-eight countries. At the very moment when more than 1 million young Belgians will be voting for the first time.

How can we rediscover ‘the river-fabric of life’ in all its invigorating richness, its love, its cosmopolitanism? How can we work towards the authentic recognition of each and every individual in their collective relations?

The culture of the living. We keep coming back to it. We are aware of its regenerative force, which insists and stands firm before us. It guides us, shelters us, transforms us and heals us. In our eyes, it is also the hand that traces the horizon, that affectionately clasps the hand of a friend, that holds us, that grasps the branch and raises its fist high. It is a hand that gives you confidence, a hand whose gentleness is soothing. It is this becoming-meeting that Maak & Transmettre – Espace de création textile / Alice Emery, Mathilde Pecqueur, Salomé Corvalan and their craftswomen used to tuft this season’s curtain.

And so it is at the Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles. In any case, that is what we aspire to, right where we find ourselves. Crossing the threshold of the Théâtre National means reconnecting with the immensity of what is near and far. Instead of freezing identity, it gives us a taste of countless indefinite forms, accompanying us as we discover them – standing firm among us, with us, in spite of us.

An artefact of the living, cross-border, playful, peaceful and unsettled, the 2024·2025 season will continue to metamorphose between September and May, immersed in relationships of all kinds, far and wide – rooted in the power of variations, colours and genres, green areas and urban areas that coexist in a multiplicity of emotions. 

Following on from previous seasons, the 2024·2025 season will reveal new vanishing points, turning landscapes upside down and rendering them more habitable, more breathable. It will continue to bring about priceless encounters, between a theatre and its audiences, between artists, between audiences and artists, and between partners. And many other encounters too, indescribably free, such as the highlights created to bring people together and unite them, like so many precious moments, including the eagerly awaited Jours de fête, which showcase the circus arts with Latitude 50 – Pôle des arts du cirque & de la rue in Marchin in the Province of Liège to open the season in Wallonia. Or the unmissable Scènes nouvelles festival, with its focus on emerging French-speaking Belgian productions, at once prolific and eclectic. Or the audacious MàD / Mots à Défendre festival, custom-designed with associate authors Caroline Lamarche and Joëlle Sambi. Or the singular À la scène comme à la ville and the inauguration of the Art Centre in the Nursing Home, in the heart of Brussels, with Mohamed El Khatib. 

Who better than an artist to usher in the changing of the season, to bring out the buds from the loose ground?

Claude Schmitz, Yousra Dahry and Mohamed Ouachen, Magrit Coulon, Marion Duval and Zora Snake create with everything that surrounds them, driven by a burning passion. Hendrickx Ntela (artiste associée), Juliette Cavalier – Cie La Drache and the artists of Cirque Exalté / UP – Circus & Performing Arts transform the atmosphere, bringing freshness and a sense of festivity. Eszter Salamon plays with retro-futuristic and hypnotic forms as she suspends time. Chela De Ferrari / Teatro de la Plaza de Lima and Christophe Sermet engage in the present in a dialogue with Shakespeare in mythical aesthetic-temporal alliances, as do Carme Portaceli and Michael De Cock around the work of Gustave Flaubert, sublimated by the La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Emilienne Flagothier, Simon Thomas and Cie Renards/Effet Mer communicate through laughter and resistance. Jorge León with Claron McFadden, Simone Aughterlony and Rokia Bamba exchange harmoniously with Lucy. Ivo van Hove makes ample room for the Bergman legend.

When the weather is very cold or very hot, we are told not to fall asleep so as not to get hurt.

Here, the horizon takes root. The day is going to dawn, tomorrow and always. 

Pierre Thys, General and artistic director
& the team of the Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

Le Rideau de saison, Maak & Transmettre · photos : Lucile Dizier, 2024