"If there is such a thing as an intellectual orgasm, you get it here," De Standaard wrote about NTGent house artist Luanda Casella's work in 2022. Find out why.
PERFORMANCES AT NTGENT
Luanda Casella (born 1976) is a theatre-maker, performer, writer and teacher who seeks to rescue the art of storytelling from its mediatised, doomed fate. Her work has been shown in venues and festivals around the world such as Spielart (Munich), Edinburgh International Festival or Kaserne (Basel). In 2018, she won the Sabam Jong Theaterschrijf prize at Theater Aan Zee. Since 2020, Casella is house artist at Belgian city theatre NTGent. With Killjoy Quiz, she was selected for the Belgian Theatre Festival in 2022.
IN THE PRESS
- "Casella keeps us on the edge of our seats" - review 'Short of Lying' in Irish Times (****)
- "The intelligence with which Casella addresses social issues feels particularly inspiring" - Theatre Festival 2022 jury report
- "How can you be an artist and not reflect on your times?" - Interview with for Theatre Festival 2022
In January 2024, NTGent premieres Elektra Unbound, a show with which Casella is taking the main hall of the Belgian city theatre by storm for the first time. Hunting the part of Elektra, three young auditioners copy women from literary classics, pop culture and social media. Only to reveal their own problematic sense of self.As they interpret iconic scenes from The Oresteia, the full trilogy about Elektra and her dysfunctional family, they start to reveal their disastrous own lives. Late-bloomer director Lua and her fierce assistant Lucius, who have a troublesome relationship, never arrive at the point of actually staging Elektra.
In Ferox Tempus - Terror at is best, a solo performance, Casella takes us to a world where the terror of climate collapse has erupted in full force. Cities have sunk, billions of people have perished, and the survivors of neoliberal culture cling to the ruins of civilisation.
With her expo Ferox Tempus, the unreliable exhibition, Casella occupies the Antwerp arts centre DE SINGEL. The exhibition shows how language acts on our fears and desires. For three weeks, the arts centre bathes in Casella's exceptional universe of humor and terror.
In Killjoy Quiz, Casella explores the linguistic nature of violence and resistance. The performance takes the form of an 'innocent' television quiz to pound hard on prejudice, deceptive language, and sexism and paternalism. Casella uses Sara Ahmed's figure of the killjoy: someone ready to quash any form of violence, even when it is uncomfortable.
With Short of Lying, for which she won the Sabam Jong Theaterschrijf prize at the well-know Belgian festival Theater Aan Zee, Casella is on stage at NTGent. Short of Lying is a narrative performance about deception. More specifically about the power of stories to frame and manipulate reality. It shows how narrative thinking has been hijacked by communication media. In the form of a TED Talk, Casella draws attention to the art of reasoning and exposes the various mechanics of deception.