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Josse De Pauw ir Kris Defoort. AN OLD MONK

3 and 4 October, 7 pm.
Arts printing house, Black hall

LOD Music Theatre (Belgium) & Théâtre Vidy Lausanne (Switzerland)
Text: Josse De Pauw
Composer: Kris Defoort, inspired by Thelonious Monk
Music performed by Kris Defoort Trio (Kris Defoort - keyboard, Nicolas Thys - electric bass guitar, Lander Gyselinck - percussion)
Dramatic concert “An Old Monk” has toured more than forty cities worldwide including Festival d'Avignon, where it appeared last year. This year the production by Josse De Pauw, Kris Defoort and his Trio will be presented to the Lithuanian audiences. According to one of the authors, Josse de Pauw, the play is about the body and the mind and how impossible it is for them to be in tune with one another. Except perhaps during a little dance. “An Old Monk” is that dance. An an old man’s dance about the desire to live at any cost, accompanied by live music, inspired by Jazz legend Thelonious Monk
Although the authors of the performance use Thelonious Monk’s music as a guide in the creative path, the play is not about the life of the great musician. His melancholic but not melodramatic music encompasses both sadness and self-irony. The title not only relates to Monk’s name, but also speak of a longing to live in a monastery. As De Pauw says, “There are quite a few people who at a certain moment would like to spend some time in a monastery. An Old Monk is also about those usually futile attempts to become a monk. But that doesn’t necessarily exclude dancing..”
An old Monk is dancing. While the band is warming up, he leaves the piano, flexes his stiff limbs and starts dancing. Dance becomes his only self-sustaining aim, expressing his joy and loneliness. “An Old Monk” is a dance of De Pauw and Kriss Defoort Trio, which turns into a suite, a long ode to “raise the bones higher than expected” and an attempt to dance one’s life once again.
“The performance covers three stages: youth, adulthood and old age. When you are young you dance. At that stage, dancing means being on the prowl, looking for the right body. The perfect body, the one that fits you like a glove. Then comes a time when you don’t dance anymore. Well, that’s what I see in a lot of men. A period dominated by the feeling that all sorts of things are expected of you, and that you are imprisoned in the shackles of adulthood. That’s when life becomes dull. Until, finally, the moment comes when you say ‘that’s it’, and start feeling like dancing again. Not from any childlike sense, but because you fancy it. You just feel like a dance. And then the dance stands for more than just the dance itself. It represents the pleasure of living, the resistance to conformism, living outside and beyond the norm“ – says Josse De Pauw.
Josse de Pauw is a multifaceted Belgian theatre and cinema artist, actor, and writer who has been awarded numerous prizes, Océ Podium in 2000 being one of them. De Pauw writes for theatre and plays in critically acclaimed performances. He devised “An Old Monk” together with a composer well known on the European jazz stage, master of piano and improvisation, Kris Defoort. Defoort’s musical language embarks on an original quest to find new forms of musical expression, his music can be characterised as an ecounter between classical music and jazz, written music and improvisation.
The performance is produced by LOD Music Theatre in Gent and Théâtre Vidy, the stage on which such celebrities as Thomas Ostermeier, Krystian Lupa, James Thiérrée, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Luc Bondy and Heineris Goebbelsas create.

“*****The words and music merge perfectly into one another. The performance is a true dialogue between the narrator and the various musicians. De Pauw draws a lot of energy from the music, which at first prompts him to do a ‘dance’. At a later stage he enters into conversation either with the whole trio or with its individual members. The whole evening rides along on improvisation and freedom.“ - Johan Thielemans,
“It seems Josse De Pauw has forgotten how to fail.. Hovering between concert and stage monologue, between iconoclasm and intimate dance, between touching tragedy and provocative humour, he talks about everything that makes a human human.“ - Griet Op de Beeck, “De Morgen“
“De Pauw and the music dance together in a real duet. Kris Defoort, bassist Nic Thys and drummer Lander Gyselinck improvise and, through their own music, enter into that of Thelonious Monk. <...> An Old Monk is characterised by lightness, melancholy and a healthy obstinacy. Thelonious Monk would undoubtedly have done a dance.“ - Karel Van Keymeulen, De Standaard
“A wonderfully successful and jazzy ode to life.“ - Els Van Steenberghe, Knack