Reframing Mozart’s Requiem as an exuberant African dance/chorus
- Music Fabrizio Cassol, based on Mozart’s Requiem
- Directed by Alain Platel
For their unique and unusual Requiem, Alain Platel and Fabrizio Cassol take advantage of the fact that Mozart’s final work was left unfinished to construct a highly unconventional musical and cultural fusion. Blending Western and African influences, they orchestrate a vibrant dance/chorus, a theatrical ritual that celebrates death in all its brilliance.
A film projected above the stage shows L., an elderly woman, living out her final moments surrounded by her loved ones. On the stage itself, black blocks suggest gravestones, a memorial. Performed by 14 musicians and singers, this ode to the dead is transformed into a luminous ritual, profound and transcendent.
Foregrounding the links between counterpoint and African polyphony, Fabrizio Cassiol’s score merges lyrical singing, jazz and popular music. Performers from South Africa, Europe and Congo play and sing while staring death in the face. A prominent figure on the contemporary arts scene, Alain Platel—choreographer, director, and founder of les ballets C de la B, in Antwerp—takes a measured and sensitive approach to the theme of end of life, embracing mourning and hope with equal purpose.
Requiem for L., Cassol and Platel’s fifth collaborative creation, is the first Ballets C de la B production to be included in an NAC French Theatre season.
Performance is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission.