SAF 2005 - Ultima Vez


Singapore Arts Festival 2005


~ The Season of Brilliance ~


26 May – 26 June




PUUR (PURE) R(A) Ultima Vez (Belgium) World Premiere


 Date : 27 & 28 May 2005
 Time : 8 pm
 Venue : Victoria Theatre
 Tickets : $52, $42, $32, $21
 Duration : 150 minutes (no intermission)


Produced by Ultima Vez and KVS (Royal Flemish Theatre)


Co-produced by Singapore Arts Festival, Festival d’Avignon, 
PACT Zollverein/Choreographisches Zentrum NRW (Essen), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris) and Cankarjev Dom (Ljubljana)


“Vandekeybus pushes the performers to extremes of emotional and physical strength, creating a breathtaking theatrical experience of powerful and disturbing energy” – The Daily Telegraph, UK


Post-Show Dialogue with Wim Vandekeybus


The physical, intense and exuberant dance company Ultima Vez returns to Singapore with a brand-new production, developed over a two-week residency in Singapore at the invitation of the Singapore Arts Festival. The latest creation by one of Europe’s most established choreographers, Wim Vandekeybus, the new work Puur is a contemporary myth or fairy-tale, confronting dance, theatre and film. Ultima Vez first performed in Singapore at the 2001 Singapore Arts Festival with the successful In Spite of Wishing and Wanting.


Inspired by old myths and stories about the killing of innocents, Vandekeybus intends to create a timeless and universal story with Puur surrounding this theme of genocide, which till today, remains a reality. Together with his performers, he explores the underlying motives and emotions of the different characters in the story, which tells of a man who murders out of fear of losing his power; about living in isolation and the alienation of the outside world.


Vandekeybus further explores the integration of various different media in Puur. A choreographer and director of stage productions, Vandekeybus also creates films and videos to express his intense imagination and integrate with his productions. Since discovering the two medium with his first dance films (Roseland, 1989 and La Mentira, 1991), he has hardly made any performance without incorporating them. “The film images reinforce the energy of what is happening on stage; they give the performances a different rhythm and totally new dimension,” says Vandekeybus. He created a total osmosis of dance and film in his 2002 piece Blush, where the dancers seemed to jump in and out of a screen, reappearing as elusive underwater creatures. With Puur, by interweaving images from a previously edited film with developments seen on stage, he intends to create interaction between the performers and the characters in the film, integrating the real and the virtual.


The story of Puur starts after a catastrophe. In the game between reality and fiction, Vandekeybus and his performers question power, passion, violence, pain, culpability, innocence and betrayal. They search for remembrance, or maybe even an understanding, of what has happened. The performers, trembling with an intense energy, are endowed with a strange power: they pass through space and time and split from the stage onto the screen. While the reality is represented in film, what happens on stage takes place in the hereafter, in the memory. As in a dream, the deceased speak.


Vandekeybus notes, “One of the starting points for the creation of Puur was the exploration of ‘memory’ or ‘remembrance’. Our brains as well as our memory work in a very selective way; many of our memories are suppressed. It seems our life takes place only on a very limited space of an enormous surface. Freeing oneself of certain of these inhibitions can evoke very strong emotions.”


David Eugene Edwards (Woven Hand, 16 Horsepower) who formerly composed the music for Blush (2002) and Sonic Boom (2003) is also the creator of the music that will be featured in Puur. Next to his music, the soundscape also includes compositions by the Italian composer Fausto Romitelli, executed by the Brussels-based contemporary-music ensemble, Ictus. The Dutch author P.F. Thomése, who wrote Southland (1991) and Shadow Child (2003), also wrote the texts for Puur, based on the developments during rehearsals in the initial creative process that began in Belgium.


On stage, the performers confront movement, images, music and text in a symbiosis of dance, theatre and scenography which promises to be visually-arresting and thought-provoking.


Please refer to the attached annexes for more information:

Annexes - Profile of Ultima Vez
  - Profile of Wim Vendekeybus and Performers
  - Puur Production Credits