5 / the horizon / Outrages and Ravishments

In August 2015, an international festival of contemporary dance entitled "Outrages et ravissements" - "Outrages And Ravishements" - was held in Brussels in "Les Brigittines". We wish to give the last word of this choral work to its artistic director, Patrick Bonté, who has clearly expressed, in his presentation of the festival, what we would like to convey as a concluding feeling.

"Even though we can be overwhelmed by beauty at any one time in our lives, those moments often go hand in hand with a darkness that disturbs our emotions. Or makes them more complex, more uncertain, but also richer. It is in those moments that we experience an intensity that seems supernatural and reveals to us a new dimension of our existence.  It is by standing up the banal, sensual and moral comfort, beauty itself when it seeks only to tread familiar ground that something bursts into movement and life.


No literature, no show will ever be more upsetting than reality, with its oppressive brutalities and shackles. Every news programme testifies of such violence that in comparison, artistic excesses remain inoffensive. Moreover, has everything not been said and done in terms of shocking or scandalous works?


Our intention is not there. We are well aware that times have changed and that the concept of outrage must be re-examined, particularly in the area of arts, where the work on forms operates like a filter giving access to singular perceptions. Today, these forms and perceptions are in danger. The corporate world governing us, which only recognises the laws of pleasure and profit simplifies, obliterates and enslaves its players, unable of recognising the free, liberating character of creation. We must refuse to leave creation within agreed limitations and make sure that art remains dangerous, failing which it will lose its power of questioning, destabilising, opening of possibilities and of the possible. This is the veritable outrage.


If, in this movement that we want to follow, some acts should be considered as baffling manners or morality, we shall remember that they always come with a call to the spectator’s connivance and intelligence… and humour too. This offence is never a prejudice, but rather, tends to make us into what we are. If we are to take this offence like a slap in our face, it also reveals us to ourselves. Ravishment is worth paying that price."


Here we are.