House of Art & Science at VUB
Brussels, Belgium


Tue 15 Mar 2022
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1986. About 90 towns and villages around Pripyat are evacuated. The failure of an atomic experiment causes a drastic change in the lives of the locals. They leave their houses never to return.

Zvizdal  is a cinematic portrait of two people living in a ghost town. A performance (part film, part installation) about loneliness and survival that you might look at with different eyes since the pandemic. Having only each other - and in a state of isolation - Pétro and Nadia lead their lives seemingly undisturbed. But when, once a year - on All Souls' Day - a caravan of cars passes by on the main road, they feel joyous. The social longing has never quite subsided.

Move to the nearby city, surrounded by anonymous souls, or stay? For Pétro and Nadia, the choice was quickly made at the time. Between 2011 and 2016, BERLIN follows Pétro and Nadia in an effort to portray the evolution of their story over the years. How does one bear seclusion of years, cut off not only from human contact but also from electricity, water and every form of modern comfort? 

Zvizdal draws a portrait of solitude, survival, poverty, hope and love between two elderly people in their eighties surrounded by colourless, odourless but omnipresent radiation.
 'A remarkable portrait, offering no simple answer' ★★★★ The Irish Times

'By far one of the most impressive theatre experiences of my life. Each of the one hundred and eighty people who shared it with me have learned something about what our lives are essentially all about.' – Cultureel Persbureau


'Armed with cameras, interview techniques, editing tables and actors, BERLIN portrays reality like a painter used to do: with a bit more color, lively angles of incidence and a brush setting that betrays a critical undertone.' [Knack Focus]

The starting point of each performance of BERLIN is located in a city or a region somewhere on the planet. Characteristic is its documentary and interdisciplinary work methods. Focusing on a specific research question, it engages different media depending on the content of the project. Their unique approach is acknowledged by the Flemish Government which in 2015 awards BERLIN with the Culture Prize for the Performing Arts. Bart Baele and Yves Degryse set up BERLIN in 2003, together with Caroline Rochlitz. They start a series called Holocene [the geological era] with the performance Jerusalem, followed by Iqaluit, Bonanza, Moscow and Zvizdal. A few years later BERLIN kicks off a a new cycle Horror Vacui [the fear of emptiness] of which Tagfish, Land’s End, Perhaps All The Dragons, Remember The Dragons and True Copy are the first five episodes. A couple of shows were awarded prizes. Bonanza won a Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Festival, in the category ‘Innovation, Experimentation and Playing with Form.’ Land's End and True Copy got selected for the Flemish TheaterFestival, whereas Zvizdal made it to the selection of the Dutch TheaterFestival. The premiere of The making of Berlin, initially programmed at 3 June 2021, has been pushed back to the 21/22 season. The creation that was actually planned for the 21/22 season – Ramble Song – was in its turn brought forward as a replacement and had its premiere in June 2021. BERLIN is creative associate at deSingel and artiste associé internationalat le CENTQUATRE-PARIS [FR] BERLIN is currently working on the final instalment in the Holocene-series, The making of Berlin. The production has its premiere in May 2022 at DE SINGEL [Antwerp, BE].


With Nadia & Pétro Opanassovitch Lubenoc Concept Bart Baele, Yves Degryse, Cathy Blisson Interviews Yves Degryse, Cathy Blisson Photography & editing Bart Baele, Geert De Vleesschauwer Scenography Manu Siebens, Ina Peeters, BERLIN Sound recordings Toon Meuris, Bas de Caluwé, Manu Siebens, Karel Verstreken Interpreter Olga Mitronina Soundtrack & mixing  Peter Van Laerhoven Construction set Manu Siebens, Klaartje Vermeulen, Dirk Stevens,Kasper Siebens Scale model Ina Peeters, with the help of Puck Vonk, Rosa Fens, Thomas Dreezen Mechanics Joris Festjens, Dirk Lauwers Graphics Jelle Verryckt Communication & production Laura Fierens Business management Kurt Lannoye Administrative support Jane Seynaeve
Het Zuidelijk Toneel [Tilburg, NL], PACT Zollverein [Essen, DE], Dublin Theatre Festival [IE], CENTQUATRE [Paris, FR], Brighton Festival [UK], BIT Teatergarasjen - House On Fire  [Bergen, NO], Kunstenfestivaldesarts [Brussels, BE], Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main [DE], Theaterfestival Boulevard [Den Bosch, NL], Onassis Cultural Centre [Athens, GR] - In collaboration with deSingel [Antwerp, BE] - With support of the Flemish Government - BERLIN is associated artist to le CENTQUATRE [Paris, FR] 
Thanks to
Wim Bervoets, Brice Maire, Lux Lumen, Els De Bodt, Pascal Rueff, Morgan Touzé, Christophe Ruetsch, Isabelle Grynberg, Nadine Malfait, Natalie Schrauwen, Katleen Treier, Piet Menu, Anthe & Ama Oda Baele, Remi & Ilias Degryse

Fun Fact

Our exhibition ‘Hello there, I just wanted to ask how you’re doing’ is open for a visit from 7-10 pm during every activity that’s planned in Pilar Box. Feel free to treat us with a little visit!
As part of Pilar ASAP Thu 03 — Thu 31 Mar 2022 Your Current Mood Edition the bitter & better
Start: 8pm
Spoken language: Ukrainian
Subtitles: English & Dutch
Presale: € 10,00
At the door: € 12,00
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