Video and Choreography of LUTGARDIS. Project 3

FLUX. Identities fluctuate. Identities grow and harmonize but they also destroy and cause conflict. They are negotiated and renegotiated over time and within different spaces. The choreography is inspired by the three chapters of Lutgardis’ hagiography (saint life), three parts of her identity. Lutgardis’ life was documented by her confessor and dear friend Thomas of Cantipré. He choose to divide this biographical work in three chapters, opting for a mystical-theological composition instead of a chronological sum of events. His first chapter is on Lutgardis as a devote young woman, the second on Lutgardis as a more advanced mystical woman and the third on Lutgardis as a full-grown contemplative saint. Each dancer represents one part of her life, congered up in one single moment in time, a dance of identities.

LUX. Light and vision play an important role in the life of the Flemish saint. At the end of her life Lutgardis becomes blind. The loss of physical sight is mentioned in the third chapter of her hagiography. It is counteracted with the gain in contemplative sight. In her perfected state the saint sees God. In order to do so she had to let go of her earthly life and her sense of sight. The dance introduced the symbol of the blindfold to depict this important change in her life. A classically trained dancer represents the third part of Lutgardis’ hagiography, her dance suggests nearly reached perfection. Confronted with her past lifes (the other two contemporary dancers), the saint struggles to move on. Her blindness urges her to renegotiate her idenity.
The cineast explored the spectrum of colors and played with light and dark to suggest the change between physical and contemplative sight.

Fragment from LUTGARDIS. Project 3

VOX. The thee parts of Lutgardis’ hagiography are personified by three dancers. In the making of the choreography the dancers discovered an enigma concerning the plural identities presented in the hagiography. The second chapter presents a woman who is nor young and unexperienced, nor perfect and divinized. The choreography revealed a crucial question, namely who is this Lutgardis of the second chapter? What is her role in society? Does she have a voice to proclaim her identity? The second dancer represents the struggle of reaching perfection in a world that questions her right to speak.

CRUX The cross unifies Lutgardis’ different identities. Love connects Lutgardis throughout her life with her heavenly groom, Jezus Christ. Her mimetic relationship to him is the one constant in her life, it inspired her to grow towards perfection. Lutgardis experienced the sight of the cross as the sign of God’s love for humanity. On the cross Christ gave his life for the salvation of humanity. This sacrificial eternal love inspired Lutgardis to grow: to grow towards perfection and to grow closer to Christ, intensifying their mimetic love relationship. The choreographic interpretation of the sign of the cross is repeated frequently within the dance, performed by all the dancers (all the different stages in Lutgardis’ life). The cross symbolizes unity within the flux of changing identities.

Fragment from LUTGARDIS. Project 3