Theater Rotterdam, Rotterdam
April 1, 2022


In Flemish Primitives, Action Zoo Humain shines a new light on flashy talent shows and the malleability of success. Togehter with 6 young performers, director Chokri Ben Chikha examines the relationship between the urge to excel and the spectacularization of difference.

At the 35th World Exhibition in Dubai, a group of artists is realizing a project on Flemish Mastership — from ‘Flemish Primitive’ Jan Van Eyck to choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, from Brueghel and Rubens to Platel and Van Noten, from craft to high-tech. Their stay in the Arab Emirates brings them to apparently conclusive insights about the feasibility of success.

Back on fertile Flemish soil, they are put to the test. The central question: “Who will be the Flemish Master of tomorrow?”. Under the watchful eye of the public, 6 young hopefuls, who only share their drive for success and their migration background, undergo a series of experiments. Who will withdraw from the rat race? Who perpetuates the belief in the survival of the fittest?

Choreography: Chokri Ben Chikha and Laura Neyskens
Text: Erik-Ward Geerlings and Erwin Jans together with Izah Hankammer, Pjotr Nuyts, Hellen Boyko, Vivien Piti, Papus Keita, Moussa Ndiaye.
Presentation: Francesca Vanthielen
Music: Osama Abdulrasol
Dramaturgy: Raphaël Vandeweyer
Costumes: Robin Verslegers and Marij De Brandere
Scenography: Fish Eye VIDEO Pascal Poissonier, Messervideo
Technical Coordination: Francis Gahide
Technology: Eva Dermul, Niels Verougstraete
Thanks to: Sietske De Vries, Aymon Antoine, Astrid Vansteenkiste, Dr. Alain van Hiel, Dr. Hettie Helsmoortel, Dr. Dirk De Wachter
Image: Nick Hannes
Production: Action Zoo Humain
Coproduction: Perpodium
In cooperation with NTGEnt CO-LABO Les Ballets C de la B
Partner: Stad Gent, KASK, Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Support of: de Taxshelter of the Belgium Federal Government via Cronos Invest.

More on Theater Rotterdam’s website.