X FRAGMENTS (1999)
the union of
place of time
a magic and
a place to
wish for the
Blok & Steel are inspired by human behaviour, their hidden emotions and relationships. X Fragments is their personal interpretation of Faust. For what is a man willing to sell his soul? We see fragmented sketches of people who, with all their powers and weaknesses, try to achieve their unreachable desires. Within the shielded surroundings they truly dare to express themselves. Their lives reach a crossroad, where they have to decide whether they will pursue their dreams and in order to achieve them, like Faust, sell their souls to the Devil.
Dynamics, rhythm and tone are the guidelines for the powerful and energetic dance. For X Fragments Blok & Steel have collaborated closely with composer Dolf Planteijdt, who, with his band Morzelpronk, performs the music live and interacts with the live dance. X Fragments is performed by five dancers and four musicians.
Robert Johnson, the legendary Blues musician was tormented by the idea of Faust. In the music, Dolf Planteijdt used the shuffle in all its variations as a starting point for composing the music, which results in surprising and rhythmic patterns. The music swirls from scorching musical eruptions and frozen soundscapes to heartbreaking sax solos and juicy surfing themes. In the background the Blues are omnipresent. The, mostly unplugged, voices of the dancers are a vital part of this total sound.
Choreography: Suzy Blok
Concept: Suzy Blok & Christopher Steel
Dance: Shila Anaraki, Inge Buyls, Daniella Dietz, Simon Rowe and Gabrielle Uetz
Music composition: Dolf Planteijdt
Musicians (live): Dolf Planteijdt, Alan Purves, Thijs vermeulen, Roland Brunt
Light design: Marijcke Voorsluijs
Set design: Suzy Blok & Christopher Steel
Costumes: Antoinette Wubben
Sound technician: Johan de Koeijer
Set construction: Yun Teng
“ …Successful in the Julidans festival was X Fragments of Blok & Steel together with four man band Morzelpronk. Witty, inventive and strikingly one with Dolf Planteijdt’s music. Extremely suitable for a show at Paradiso…”
Volkskrant 19-07-99 – Isabella Lanz
“…Dynamic encounters in X Fragments by Suzy Blok in the Municipal Theatre of Eindhoven. The X symbolises the crossroads in the south of The United States, where musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in order to play the blues. In fragmented scenes the dancers portray their own unobtainable wishes on the sounds of the raw, slurring or swinging live music by Dolf Planteijdt and his catchy band Morzelpronk.
They’re looking for space, inner stillness, dare, they want to fly or sing. (…)
X Fragments is extremely well performed on all levels although during a few moments the very loud sound volume overpowers the strong dynamic dance. At the very end the dancers become a complete unity, when they disappear, devoured by the now open decor construction symbolising Hell’s Gates.”
NRC Handelsblad 10-06-99 – Mirjam van der Linden
“…X Fragments is impressive with strong dance-personalities and penetrating images. It should be successful during the summer festivals for which this performance was specially made. In the metal wall hides an intruiging climbing-framework, comparable on first sight with the metal wall from Angelless (1993). At the end this construction even becomes a castle for the five fresh devils. Their souls have been sold, their wishes granted, a cape as a present, Hell awaits them.”
De Volkskrant 11-06-99 – Anette Embrechts
“ …Next to the narrative scenes X Fragments contains a large amount of pure dance which is very enjoyable. The acrobatic style, with which the duo Blok & Steel made their name, also attracts the attention in this new choreography made by Suzy Blok. The duo has clearly worked on deepening their ideas and thus creating a dance vocabulary with more depth and intensity.
The combination with live performed music by Dolf Planteijdt’s rockband Morzelpronk makes X Fragments even more attractive for a broad public…”
Algemeen Dagblad 08-06-99 Astrid van Leeuwen
* Translated from Dutch.