What is left when one’s sight is gone? Groping in the dark, tasting one’s own fear. Specially for LOD, Patrick Corillon and Daan Janssens have adapted Maeterlinck’s fascinating one-act play Les Aveugles into a parable on all the various meanings of blindness.
In a dark autumnal wood, twelve blind people await the return of the priest. He will guide them back to the home they left that morning. They are alone and frightened. Language is no help to them: they do not reach each other with their words. Ominous sounds in the surroundings make their imagination run wild. The signals nature sends them herald with increasing emphasis the arrival of a sinister, unwelcome guest.
Patrick Corillon and Daan Janssens connected Maeterlinck’s fable to a question about the present day: to what is Western man blind; with what has he lost contact? With himself, it seems, with the nature around him, with the meaning of his own sensory perceptions. Together with the language of nature, man has also lost the awareness of his own mortality – he lives with his eyes shut.
In his music, the young Ghent composer Daan Janssens transposes into sound the sombre tragedy of Maeterlinck’s short and almost hypnotic play. The Liège artist and theatre-maker Patrick Corillon counters this with a bright, luminous stage setting. This sheds light on both sides of Maeterlinck’s world, a world where it is midday and midnight simultaneously, where disaster is close yet imaginary. Ultimately the solution is within our reach, if we want to see it.
Premiere 20 March 2012 le manège.mons