Across the world there are more than 600 names for the wind. So many names for so many types: the wet monsoon that blows from the Indian Ocean across South Asia, the hot Sirocco that blows from the Sahara, whirling towards Europe, or the Chinook that chases the clouds across the Rocky Mountains and the prairies. According to Greek mythology the winds were born out of Eos, the goddess of dawn, and Aeolus, the custodian of the winds. Aeolus kept his sons imprisoned in a cave from where he would send them out all over the world. One of these sons is Boreas, the cruel and icy north wind.
Fascinated by wind in all its forms, the choreographer Karine Ponties, composer Dominique Pauwels and the artist Lawrence Malstaf have created a performance about invisible forces and their visible traces and the impact of elusive energy and endless movement.
The wind is a natural element, almost virtual, that can only manifest itself by affecting its environment. Everywhere it goes, it constantly rearranges and reorganises. As a dramatic character the wind brings with it great melancholy, is lonely in its virtual existence and restless in its quest without end.
It is this that inspired the composer Dominique Pauwels and writer Stefan Hertmans in their series of songs, entitled Boreas, that was performed at the 2006 Time Festival. The musical score, as elusive as the wind itself, was adapted for the stage production of Boreas. It is performed by the soprano Claron McFadden and the four-man tuba formation, Ensemble Impetuo. The live performance is given an extra dimension by a soundscape that circles above the audience through small loudspeakers.
To the accompaniment of Pauwel’s music, four dancers express the changing mood of the wind. In choreography by Karine Ponties they each reveal their own personal dynamism, which varies from the poetic refinement of a gentle breeze to the destructive energy of a storm.
Like the wind, they attempt to leave traces on their material environment. The installation artist Lawrence Malstaf challenges the dancers with a ‘constantly moving space’ a living stage set that constantly rearranges, disorders and eradicates their traces.
Première 2 October 2007 Vooruit Ghent