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THE DEER HOUSE NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW
Opening Night: October 5, 2010
Did He Like It?*
Part of the 2010 New Wave Festival
The death of a Needcompany member's brother, journalist Kerem L., who was killed while covering the war in Kosovo, is the factual seed from which springs this wildly imaginative performance work. The third installment of Sad Face/Happy Face, visionary Belgian-Flemish director Jan Lauwers' trilogy on human nature (the first, Isabella's Room, played in the 2004 Next Wave Festival; the second is The Lobster Shop), centers around a group of international performers and artists increasingly faced with the harsh reality of the world they travel with their productions.
Settings shift between the modern (a spare rehearsal space in which company members prepare for a performance) and the primeval (a fairy tale-like dwelling where a family of Kosovan deer breeders make a living selling antlers), while the plot incorporates both fact (the company member's personal tragedy) and fiction (the family in the deer house experiences a similar violent death). Throughout, and despite its myriad theatrical embellishments--which include copious nudity, outlandish costumes, and an interdisciplinary approach that combines music, dance, and drama--The Deer House remains rooted in an emotional authenticity, woven together by themes of grief and renewal.
In French and English with English titles
Grazing in Dark Woods of the Human Soul
*By CHARLES ISHERWOOD
Published: October 7, 2010
"Death and grief and spiritual renewal, the brutality of war and the moral responsibility of those who bear witness to it: mighty themes are chewed over exhaustively in “The Deer House,” a dance-theater work from Jan Lauwers and the Brussels-based Needcompany. The piece is making its American premiere as part of the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music."
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