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06 Jul 2011

CREW presents Terra Nova. Radical confluence of immersion and theatre.

Stefan Dewickere



Performances in La Chartreuse, Villeneuve lez Avignon. From July 6 till 14 (not on 08/07). Everyday at 3 pm and 6:30 pm.
Reservations: La Chartreuse *33 490 15 24 45 /
Reservations: Festival d'Avignon *33 490 14 14 14 /

Hllde Teuchies
*32 477 35 40 88

Vandernootstraat 23
1080 Brussels

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TERRA NOVA, a remarkable mixture of theatre and state-of-the-art image technology, will have its premiere at the Rencontres d'été of La Chartreuse, organized in collaboration with the Festival of Avignon. TERRA NOVA is created by Eric Joris, Peter Verhelst, Stef De Paepe, Robby Cleiren and CREW. A performance and immersive adventure at once.

TERRA NOVA takes us back to R. F. Scott's dream to be the first man on the South Pole, in 1911. Beaten by only a month by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, the English explorer and his team perish dramatically on their way back. Unfolding the steps and thoughts of the commander, Peter Verhelst's text plunges the audience into the debacle of the expedition. But the adventure does not end there. During the performance, each spectator is immersed in other bewildering realities. His senses are stretched beyond limits, his emotions and concentration challenged. Scott's solitary disarray is echoed by the immersive and transitional experience of the audience, leaving them, in turn, in doubt. And so, the spectator's own remarkable voyage unveils a universe of the 'self', previously unknown to him: his own interior Terra Nova…

Brussels performance company CREW operates on the crossroads of art and science and is a pioneer in the staging of experimental productions with the latest immersive technologies In CREW's immersive performances a new approach to theatre writing emerges, in which narration is transmitted as much by sound, image and tactile sensations as it is by words. Using state-of-the art technology, perception is incorporated into the actual body of the audience. The spectator, finding himself to be at the centre of the device, becomes the protagonist of the performance. If theatre is the art of awareness, - no other art focalises with the same intensity on the here and now - then the immersive theatre of CREW is the art of immediacy, of extreme vigilance. The audience's uncanny experiences in TERRA NOVA conjure up questions that are also raised by neuroscience: What is the 'self'? What is reality if it is so simply manipulated? What is this reality of seeing, hearing, moving in space, if my body allows itself to be diverted so easily?
CREW does not solve these enigmas, but invites us to explore them by confronting us with real and disturbing sensations.

Immersive theatre is more than participatory theatre. Here, the senses are not caressed or provoked. They are diverted…Vision, sound and tactility are turned upside down and reality put slightly out of balance…

TERRA NOVA is part of a European project on the role of the spectator in contemporary performing arts. After the first series in Avignon, the performance will travel to Budapest, Graz, Kortrijk, Brussels, Paris, Rotterdam, Zagreb, Prato....