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Perversiteit in perspectief

“A product from the mind that manifests itself into righteous but unnatural creations”

This translated quote from Flemish theater guru Dora Van der Groen describes her interpretation of “perversity”. The origins of the word “perversity” are found in Latin, where “perversion” is described as a type of subversion; in this case, a twisted movement that challenges the prevailing moral code by crossing established boundaries. In theatre, it is seen as crossing a boundary with style, which highlights the movements and boundaries of what is generally considered normal today, as proof of extreme adaptability. If this were not the case then similar transgressive behaviour in our day-to-day lives would be seen as evidence of barbarism, or in more modern terms: psychopathy.

“Perversity” as a movement consists of knowing the moral code all too well and willfully transgressing anyway. It is supposed to have righteous foundations, touching upon the theme of perversity should be a good moral practice. You might even say that “perversity” is an element of humanity you cannot summon or suppress. The only choice we are given is: do we make it visible; do we channel it as artists and do we try to bend this force towards good or do we try to keep it invisible - banish the so called “perversity” to the shadows, making it illegal and censoring it from our society. This would possibly make this phenomenon a destructive and dangerous force.

Researchers Katarina Antunovic and Maarten Degraeuwe will bimonthly be working on an interpretation of “perversity”. These interpretations will be made in co-production with an established theatre practitioner/choreographer with his/her distinct practices that revolve around “perversity”. These case studies will follow the rough blueprint of ‘Decadence’ by Steven Berkoff. It is a piece about a man and a woman struggling to re-affirm their intimacy from within the depths of depravity. The text will form the case study which will be reinterpreted bimonthly by a theater director with his/her perspective on “perversity”.

Promotor: Peter Kolpa