The dernier cri is located at the edges of body and sculpture, space and movement, dance, music and visual arts. As a proverbial saying, “The dernier cri” is closely associated with the world of fashion, where it implies the fancy life and living in the moment. In that world, the body is celebrated and crosses our minds, stylized to an object of desire, as a projection surface of our ideals and wishes. We command it, groom and abuse it, modify and present it. In it, we create and revise identities. In the literal translation “The dernier cri “ turns into the complete opposite: The end, death, the last outcry before the silence in which the body reveals, to a certain extent, the secret of its twofold nature between presence and ephemerality, between life and death. The body now appears as a flaw. It revolts against our perceptions. It is vulnerable and finite.
The human body therefore is at the center of this work. It appears in the theater as the focus of art and reality and serves as an instrument for the dancer on stage. The dernier cri not only strains the boundaries of form, but also creates a memento mori full of “complacent idyll, benign cheerfulness and sublime feeling”. A dernier cri as a memory of beauty and artificiality, of prime and decay. An afterimage which lingers on the retina as after an extreme glare.
Direction, Choreography: Ben J. Riepe
With: Lenah Flaig, Simon Hartmann, Jbid Hatschaduryan, Rosabel Huguet, Sudeep Kumar Puthiyaparambath, Daniel Ernesto Müller Torres, Kathrina Wilke, Danilo Tesi, Fritzi Peeter Cermann, Lorenz Maria Jungbluth
Composition: Timo Kreuser
Costumes: Anna Kleihues
Stage: Mithu Sen
Musical advice/assistant: Carolin Schweitzer
Technical direction: Arne Schmitt
Administration: Izaskun Abrego
Production management: Sabina Stücker
Photos: Ursula Kaufmann, Roger Rossell
The dernier cri is a production of Ben J. Riepe on the occasion of the 25 year anniversary of Kunststiftung NRW, co-produced by PACT Zollverein Essen, in cooperation with Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus. Funded by Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Kunststiftung NRW, Kulturamt der Landeshaupstadt Düsseldorf and Kunst- und Kulturstiftung der Sparkasse Düsseldorf. Supported by Goethe-Institute/Max Mueller Bhavan.