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    The libretto 'Lee Miller in Hitlers Bathtub' is a portrait of a woman who at the end of her life said that she felt like a cow who had been milked dry. A woman in the shadow of many men. Famous men. Notorious men. Jan Lauwers wanted to make a portrait that was no longer that of Lee but of so many women in the history of art who have been gagged. And then there is this one photo: 'Lee in Hitler’s bathtub' What does it mean for Lee that she chose to
    take a bath in the monster’s bathtub? What does it mean moreover to let her photo be
    taken there? The text begins at the moment when Lee Miller stands in
    front of Hitler’s bathtub in her stinking clothes, which still reek of the corpse smells from


    A Sublime Mistake — played by Gonzalo Cunill — is a new character based on all the slightly lost male characters in Jan Lauwers’ oeuvre. An intimate portrait of a man who looks at the world in astonishment and fails to understand why he is even part of it.

    Beauty is only beautiful when it is impermanent!

    A multidisciplinary art project developed especially for the Schwetzingen garden, curated by Sarah Maria Sun and bringing together two artists who have never worked together before: the young Chilean composer Tamara Miller and artist and choreographer Grace Ellen Barkey.

    While visiting Salzkammergut, Barkey observed how climate change affects this region. Poetic statements also transport this dystopia into the Kalvarienkirche in Gosau. At first glance it appears that plants are covering the windows, and it is only upon closer inspection that it becomes clear that they are all in a state of decay. On the floor of the church there will be a mosaic made of dried leaves that have been collected by the artist.

    'Imagined Garden | Night version' combines sound, visual art, science, technology and botany in a single installation and transforms the Hektagon into a mysterious nocturnal experience space, a garden of possibilities and memories.

    Passages is an encountering between several disciplines in the museum


    After the success of Billy's Violence, the desire to continue this intense tale was so strong amongst the artistic team, cast and crew that it has led to a sequel: Billy’s Joy. Once again, Victor Lauwers turns his hand to reworking Shakespeare’s plays and see what they can still mean in our time - a time of great controversies, vulgar polemics, cancel culture, structural racism, climate change, war. What is there left to laugh at? Is humour the coward's weapon or a form of activism?

    “Where is the Rabbit?” is a collaboration between choreographer Sung Im Her and choreographer Grace Ellen Barkey (Needcompany, BE) in which Sung Im Her confronts her own work, which focuses on the body, distortion, repetitiveness and femininity, with that of Barkey, in order to research the longing for connection between metaphysical characters and reality (in Wonderland).

    Performing arts About Needcompany

    During EXPLO #3, Needcompany will be presenting two evenings with performances by Nana Bilus Abaffy, Noluthando Mpho Sibisi, Sung Im Her and Aya Suzuki, put together by Grace Ellen Barkey. An experimental programme in which artists from all over the globe will be bringing their idiosyncratic performances to life for the first time.

    In his only opera, 'Le Grand Macabre', György Ligeti created a large, discursive world theatre in which the plain, unvarnished human condition, with all its base desires and weaknesses becomes the cause of a full-blown, imminent apocalypse.


    A magnificent monologue based on Joyce's Ulysess that, in these #MeToo times, reinforces the need for equality for women. After first being voiced by Viviane De Muynck, the Needcompany production now also has a Spanish version starring the Chilean star Gaby Hernández, in cooperation with Santiago A Mil International Festival.

    Originally performed with students from the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp at Concertgebouw Brugge in 2019, Grace Ellen Barkey & Needcompany will re-stage Probabilities of Independent events exclusively for the Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps with young graduates of the Höhere Fachschule für Zeitgenössischen und Urbanen Bühnentanz in Zurich. Anything is possible. It can’t fail.

    AMOPERA is the first part of a triptych around the idea of 'meta-opera', which aims to reflect on the medium of opera. This first instalment - the love part - is an intense collaboration between Klangforum Wien and Needcompany on opera and music theatre from the past hundred years.

    Songs of Disconnection is a next step in Seghers’ research into the potentially tragic relationship between entertainer and spectator. This resides in the irresistible urge to share and connect and the essential impossibility of doing so.


    For Billy's Violence, Victor Afung Lauwers researched the ten tragedies of Shakespeare and rewrote them into violently loving, intimate dialogues in which the woman is the central focus, stripped of any historical reference or anecdotal content.

    Haunted by the night and inspired both by her ancestors and the Javanese theatre of shadows wayang, Grace Ellen Barkey, who was born in Surabaya, Indonesia, enters into a dialogue with the obscure and searches for forms of re-imagination in her installative performance MALAM / NIGHT.

    EXPLO XL: Under the name Xenia - or the virtue of hospitality - the work of Leyla Aydoslu, Willem Boel, Dirk Braeckman, Helen A Flanagan, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou, Simon Lenski, Maarten Seghers, Grace Tjang (Grace Ellen Barkey), George van Dam, Emma van der Put, Har van der Put, Oscar van der Put and Guy Woueté is brought together in a group exhibition that can be freely viewed for eleven days in MILL, Molenbeek.

    In Lauwers’s setting for L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Vienna State Opera, his melancholy yet cheerful, humorous and sceptical style meets the great human draughtsman that is Monteverdi. All participants meet on one level: “In our version of L'incoronazione di Poppea every singer, musician and dancer is an independent force – and everyone wants to survive as one”.

    Intolleranza 1960 is an opera that provides more questions than answers. Can it in fact be called an ‘opera’ at all? Or does it offer a statement of much greater importance? Does it transcend its own political content when it is staged today, as Intolleranza 2021?


    The Power (of) The Fragile is a meeting between Mohamed and Latifa, his mother. After being apart for several years, they find each other again on stage.

    Molly Bloom presents the inner monologue of the unfaithful wife of Leopold Bloom. A new creation by Viviane De Muynck and Jan Lauwers, based on the final chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

    About Needcompany

    Needcompany is launching MILL's Beauty Salon, a fellowship committed to supporting artists in thinking, dreaming and creating. It is open to all nationalities & ages and designed for artists who have developed an independent body of work over a number of years. We want to address the question of whether the era of BEAUTY is over and whether REALITY has now become the main topic of artistic interest. Is it the case that the true moment of exploration occurs when one word is mistaken for another? All the information on the application can be found here.

    We will be hosting an open day at MILL, our homebase in Molenbeek. We'll present visual works by Dirk Braeckman and Emma van der Put, a preview of Grace Ellen Barkeys upcoming work and a performance by George van Dam and Simon Lenski.

    In her installation at the 'Coup de Ville 2020' artistic circuit in Sint-Niklaas, Barkey starts from Bambi's perspective. Can we still look at nature innocently?

    On 3 and 4 July, at MILL, Needcompany’s laboratory, we will be presenting a durational performance of 2 x 8 hours: The House of Our Fathers / Mothers of Inventions, a reimagining of a durational installation conceived by Jan Lauwers and Needcompany more than 10 years ago. Now the house is being realised in Molenbeek by Grace Ellen Barkey, Maarten Seghers and Jan Lauwers and 20 performers of all generations. It will be Corona-proof and full of the joy of the making.


    All the good tells a story about loss and hope. A love story at a time in which Europe is sacrificing its values and a large group of people are succumbing to hate and incomprehension.

    With Day and Night Grace Ellen Barkey occupies Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. Several installations invite the viewer to become part of her sense-oriented work.

    In Probabilities of Independent Events, Barkey returns to absurdity. Anything is possible. It can’t fail.


    The Band Facing the Wrong Way ignores the wall of the theatre against which it is bellowing. It sings past the wall. Or else it gets through it. Or else the wall moves aside. Or not, and everyone and everything crashes into it. What counts is the effort it takes.

    In Jan Lauwers’ setting for 'L’incoronazione di Poppea' at the Salzburg Festival, the gods do penance like cripples and the protagonists literally walk on the bodies of their sins, their deeds, their killing. The obsession with power, intrigue, cruelty, violence and manipulation triumphs on a background full of Baroque beauty.


    On the basis of his lifelong archives, Jan Lauwers is building a monumental installation in which he reinterprets past works and materials and confronts them with art history.

    Following the success of Isabella’s room (2004), which looked at Lauwers’ family history, he is now exploring the history of Hertmans’ family, somewhere between art and war, and in the midst of the Flemish struggle.

    Only the jester can express critical thoughts to the king without fear. OHNO COOPERATION (Maarten Seghers, Jan Lauwers and Elke Janssens) takes this privilege as a mission in its study of the place of art and the artist in society.

    This bleak and glimmering allegory about love and death was the last play the legendary filmmaker John Cassavetes wrote before his death.


    ‘No one can sustain constant praise of life. Death or, rather, the finiteness of human life deserves a song or a dance too.’

    Performing arts MaisonDahlBonnema

    MaisonDahlBonnema invites the audience on a crazy trip around nothing: a celebration of the subnormal.

    If art does not penetrate the observer’s memory it does not exist.

    Grace Ellen Barkey is working on new site-specific installations.

    A struggle between dogged rhythmicality and melodious syrup in the ritualization of the sale of truth. A truth which, like all truths, says it is the ‘real truth’, in contrast with the other truths: the amazement at almost nothing.


    Jan Lauwers starts out from the performers’ family trees and is writing a new story based on their various nationalities, cultures and languages.

    Performing arts MaisonDahlBonnema

    For their new project,  Rhythm Conference Feat. Inner Splits , Dahl and Bonnema are collaborating with the Swiss musician ...

    Seven years after THE OHNO COOPERATION CONVERSATION ON THE O.H.N.O.P.O.P.I.C.O.N.O. ONTOLOGY, Maarten Seghers and Jan Lauwers are meeting up ...

    Just for Venice
    Just for Sarajevo
    Just for Bozen | Bolzano

    The party for the memory of a party.

    Statements as ‘an artist has to be nice, so you can understand’ and ‘if art is our lover, then who the f*** are you?’ are chanted all around, making the theatre hilarious, passionately and violently burst its seams.

    Being born and having to hold out. That’s Tough Shit. Tough Shit isn’t a cripple and isn’t blind. But there’s a plank stuck to his face. That’s Bad Luck.

    An apartment at the end of a street by the sea. With a seaview, despite the covered windows. They ...


    A forest full of mushrooms. These mushrooms unite and rise in rebellion: 'We are alive and kicking! Full of exceptional dreams and cosmic wishes!'

    In the wondrous world of Needcompany anything is possible. Anything? Yes, anything! Don’t you believe it then? Your eyes ...

    If art does not penetrate the observer’s memory it does not exist.


    This installation is the result of non-preconceived aim. An anti-conceptual delusion.

    Not a reconstruction, not nostalgia, but a work that always seeks out new problems.

    And what's the use to me of a firm hand, what use is the amazing power that's mine, if I can't have the sun set in the east, if I can't reduce the sum of suffering and make an end of death?

    Film About Needcompany

    A sensual & entertaining glimpse at a 5-year relationship of a young director with a group of artists who made a fundamental choice of putting creativity beyond everything else in their lives.

    The questions Jan Lauwers asks in the play go to the heart of twenty-first century politics. In a globalised world, the things that once held a society together – tradition, religion, ethnicity, nationality and so on – have lost their self-evident binding force.

    Uninteresting Result
    Performing arts MaisonDahlBonnema

    Analysis – The Whole Song  is the final piece in a trilogy on contemporary opera,  Tokyo, Paris, New ...

    The art of entertainment  is a black, almost cynical comedy about a famous actor, who decides to bring ...

    The art of entertainment  is a black comedy about a famous actor, who decides to bring his life ...

    On Saturday 27 August the fifth  AIR Antwerp opened its cellars and gardens for the fifth OPEN AIR ...

    If art does not penetrate the observer’s memory it does not exist.

    If art does not penetrate the observer’s memory it does not exist.


    an OHNO cooperation evening the tragedy of the applause installations and performances 1/ So man, (installation/performance)    ...

    OHNO COOPERATION (Maarten Seghers and Jan Lauwers) took over Strombeek cultural centre from 25 September to 21 October 2010 ...

    Performing arts MaisonDahlBonnema

    "Theatre is looking at people. Possibly even an excuse to look for a long time. Because people have ...

    Washy washy washy  Round and round  And makes nice sound  Never be dirty  Always be clean  That’s why we ...


    OHNO COOPERATION presented ‘The Tragedy of the Applause – Roubaix’ . During this happening-cum-exhibition, OHNO COOPERATION and the ...


    Art is actually all about man and human nature and all good art is a self-portrait of the observer.


    C-Song Variations  tells several stories about people and fate. The link between all these ‘sea songs’ is the ...

    In the museum installations (deconstructions) there are performances lasting a whole day, and the observer decides for himself how long he wants to watch a particular action.

    In early 2007 the SPIELART theatre festival (Munich) asked four curators (Jan Lauwers, Romeo Castellucci, Tim Etchells and Johan ...

    Performing arts MaisonDahlBonnema

    Anna Sophia Bonnema and Hans Petter Dahl sing to the audience in the guise of their alter egos Ricky ...

    In 2007, the choice Maarten Seghers and Jan Lauwers made, of sharing the role of fool in the shape ...

    Grace Ellen Barkey makes a theatre of images or an image of theatre.

    In 2007, the choice Maarten Seghers and Jan Lauwers made, of sharing the role of fool in the shape ...

    If art does not penetrate the observer’s memory it does not exist.

    Performing arts Viviane De Muynck

    In Isabella’s Room , Viviane De Muynck plays the character Isabella Morandi, a strong woman who tells the ...

    On the day he has chosen he puts on his best suit and by way of farewell goes to his favourite restaurant, ‘The Lobster Shop’, to eat just one more lobster with armorican sauce.

    Whereas nature aspires to chaos, art was invented to find a certain balance in that chaos. Art, after war ...

    In O.H.N.O.P.O.P.I.C.O.N.O. Maarten Seghers and Jan Lauwers went in search of the iconography of pop music. For the first ...

    In The Porcelain Project | Installation , Lemm&Barkey have create a world in which porcelain objects move. These ...


    A world in which sensuality, the bizarre and the frivolous meet, in which stories appear, but where the story is just one facet of a miraculous universe.

    Farewell to Warhol The last performance of Images of Affection was in Rakvere on 16 June ...


    Laugh and be gentle to the unknown.

    Performing arts Viviane De Muynck

    Under the wing of Needcompany, Viviane De Muynck is steadily building up an international career in which she combines ...

    Jan Lauwers has been working on the C-Songs since 2001. He wrote and directed a short film without words ...

    No Comment focuses on the fate of four women who look back at lives marked by radical ...

    During 18 months Jan Lauwers was followed closely by cinematographer Nico Leunen. This film tells the story of a ...


    Jan Lauwers’ art work has an independent existence, but receives support from Needcompany whenever his visual and theatrical worlds ...

    A few years ago Grace Ellen Barkey decided to put on three pieces by Bartok: The Miraculous Mandarin ...

    “You have the ability to turn this paradise into a living hell.” In this reversal from paradise to hell, the story develops into a modern-day fable in which man becomes the sum of his secrets, his past and his moral choices.

    Jan Lauwers’ art SUMMER EXHIBITION - GRIMBERGEN 2002 ...

    “Love it and trust it and leave. ” ( Don DeLillo ) Images of Affection is a play ...


    When grandpa shouted, ‘Centina, it’s six o’clock, grandma not only knew what time it was, but also that she ...

    When Prospero throws out his books at the end of The Tempest, he says, ‘Despite all the wisdom and ...


    At William Forsythe's request, Lauwers took up the challenge of creating a piece in which the two companies confronted ...

    The story of the Mandarin is a parable based on the classical idea that one dies as soon as ...

    The weight of this sad time we must obey; Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. ...


    Morning Song is the second of the two-part stage production No beauty for me there, where human life is ...

    By tradition,  Needlapb  offers an insight into future Needcompany projects. In order to shed some light on the ...

    De wonderbaarlijke Mandarijn
    Performing arts Viviane De Muynck
    Also Viviane
    The Snakesong Trilogy
    From Alexandria
    The Moustache of Duchamp
    Caligula. No beauty for me there where human life is rare, part one
    Stories (Histoires/ Verhalen)
    Snakesong / Le pouvoir (Leda)
    Snakesong / Le voyeur
    Performing arts Viviane De Muynck

    Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues, which won the Obie Award in New York in 1997, is a worldwide success. It ...

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