Kristof van Baarle
What was your first experience with the performing arts?
When I was a kid, Zirkus Sarrasani on the St-Janssquare in Antwerp.
What did you want to become as a child?
Which performance kept you awake at night recently?
My own 3STRS at TRWARSZAWA.
And which performance is unforgettable?
Everything from TADEUZ KANTOR.
What is your favorite place to be?
Where would you like to show your work once?
Carrière de Boulbon at the Avignon Festival.
Who taught you the most in your life?
What does your workplace or atelier look like?
My workplace is everyday life.
Do you have a ritual before you go on stage or before a premiere?
I watch the show in between the audience.
What is the best thing about your job?
That I am free to make what is at that moment necessary for me, and that I can encounter people in a very intense and profound way.
Do your parents like your work?
Of course. Unfortunately, my father died a few years ago. He was a huge fan.
Does theatre have an impact?
It changed my life.
With whom would you like to collaborate once? Are there certain artists you feel related to?
Romeo Castellucci, Jérôme Bel, Sergei Loznitsa, Wim Mertens, Tiago Rodrigues, …
Who would you like to see collaborate on a piece?
Khadija El Kharraz Alami and Ted Stoffer. I have been coaching Khadija for several of her performances, and always searched for a physical challenge. Ted is a choreographer, not in the ‘dancing sense’. He is provoking energy and space. Ted is the best spacing coach I know.
Did you ever have a special encounter with an audience member?
Regularly, some of them stayed as yoga practitioners in my yoga class. But the most extraordinary encounters I had with Russian and Polish spectators. They always react deeply touched, in contrast to the cerebral and protestant Dutch or German audience. I suppose this is due to my slavic soul. I feel very connected to the characters of Dostojevski and Chekhov. And my performances are in essence referring to a ritual: in the middle of my universe there is always the naked human being, searching for liberation through ecstasy, trying to find peace with the pain of life, trying to find a creative way to free oneself.
What is the most recent note you made?
That reality is just a dream, a projection of our monkey mind, nothing more and nothing less.
Is art your life?
My life is art.
If you had the chance to start again and choose a new career, what would you do?
I would become a gardener.
Do you think the theatre will survive in the future?
Of course, it survives for already 2500 years, and it will survive the next 2500 years. Theatre fulfills a very basic need: to come together, and to share that we don’t have a clue about the meaning of life.