© Yel Ratajczak/Sara Vanderieck

In When I Look at a Strawberry, I Think of a Tongue dancer/choreographer Lisi Estaràs, musician/composer Mirko Banovic, actress/writer Kristien De Proost and dramaturg/theatre maker Sara Vanderieck combine their practices in a multidisciplinary narration about their separate pasts and the common present. The starting point for this creation is Goliarda Sapienza’s novel The art of JoyIts questionings about social and political engagement, personal growth, parenting, sexual desire and aging are the pretext to meet each other.

Sapienza’s novel tellsthe story of Modesta, a woman born in Sicily in 1900. The story begins a few years after her birth and does not include her death. The writer jumps from thought to thought, using different forms of language according to the emotional content of the narration. It is the story of a girl growing into a woman and the story about the political history of Europe from 1900 to late 80s and the story about what a political or a social commitment could be and the story about how to raise children and the story about young men/sons growing up and the story of what could be the concept of “freedom” and and and …

The aim is not to stage the 700-page novel but to use it as a pretext for a dialogue about how the three artists experience life and living in this world today and how to communicate about that. The result will be a series of separate “tableaus” inspired by the novel and their personal relation to today’s world and the specific contexts of the environments in which the performance is created. The research will take place on the verge of the abstract and the concrete, of the private and the public, of fiction and reality.

To be as much in the here and now as possible when performing, the “tableaus” can be performed or not in all possible combinations. The “playlist” will be different for each performance depending on the personal relation of the artists with their environment that day and the specific local setting and audience

To make the performance as versatile as possible, it will be initially created for different settings outside the regular theatre space, from small rooms to public spaces, from cafes and brasseries to museums.