Close encounters

2020 – 2021


Imagine a world where we can’t touch or get close to each other. Imagine being a teenager and having to negotiate this distance between your shyness and the hormonal magnetism emanating from your peers’ bodies. Imagine not being able to say what the norm would be, if the world had ever been normal. How close can we risk getting? Who decides? What about love in all this?
Continuing the research initiated in 2019 with The Class / Kunstenfestivaldesarts, the second chapter of Close Encounters investigates the relation between intimacy, normality and love, giving voice to teenagers through a series of recorded intimate conversations. They will share this material with a group of adults by re-enacting it during one to one dialogues guided by a prompter’s voice.
After months of social distancing, we are even more conscious of our vulnerability and that humans need to be handled with care. Because we crucially need a new start, humble and poetic, in which rough tenderness would be the new habits. The new paradigm is augmented intimacy. 


Originally commissioned by the Kunstenfestivaldesarts 2019, in the context of the triennal programme The Class
Concept Anna Rispoli
Text created together with teenagers participating in the process
Concept and direction Anna Rispoli
Producer Marine Thévenet

Next dates : 11-14 November 2021 Kaaiteater, Brussels


Close encounters – the movie


During the process of creation of the performance a short movie has been realized together with the students in the fascinating industrial location of Interbeton. It’s about touching each other, don’t touch, reinventing a collective self. You can watch it here.

Video: Luca Mattei
Musical consultancy: Massimo Carozzi

Students involved: Asma Abdeslami, Abdoulwahab Barkat, Barkat Abdoulwahab, Francesca Ate, Mohamed Ayari, Abdoulaye Bah, Mohammed Belhadj, Hafsa Berrabhi, Soufiane Boutagumant, Demba Diallo, Nesrine El Gharnati, Ouassima El Mashouli, Wassila El Yahyaoui, Paata Gambarashvili, Fatima Guezzari, Türkan Gülal, Nouhaila Bakhat Habibi, Cristian Iolu, Yousra Islane, Abderrahmane Krimel, Aiman L’Ghazouan, Amina Majidi, Fatima Majidi, Mardoché Malaba, Atiyya Merchant, Lina M’Rabet, Ayoub Mouhoua, Mohammed Moussaoui, Victoria Paluka, Fareha Raza, Xheme Vogli, Laura Verriez
Workshops: Enrica Camporesi, Paulo Guerreiro, Carolin Herzberg, Anna Rispoli
Teachers: Marleen Allaert, Valérie Asselberghs, Florence Hanoset, Stefanie Peeters
Production and external eye: Marine Thévenet
Coordination: Daan Simons, Anne Watthee

Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, La Monnaie/De Munt
Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, De Veerman
With the support of: Dynamo 3 (Cultuurkuur, Vlaamse Overheid), La Cellule Culture-Enseignement (FWB) & Sven Gatz, Flemish Minister in Brussels, Charleroi danse, Gemeenschapscentrum De Kriekelaar, Hacktiris, Inter-Béton, La Maison des Cultures et de la Cohésion Sociale de Molenbeek, Maison de repos Anne-Sylvie Mouzon, la Montagne Magique, RITCS Bottelarij, Smart Belgique-La Vallée, Tour & Taxis, Zinnema
Thanks to: Atelier L’Ad Hoc, Jeanne Boute, Les Brigittines, Bart Capelle, CIFAS, Common Wallet, Gideon Hakker, Hectolitre, Cécile Hupin, Christophe Meierhans, Chez Prima, An Vandevelde, Lauranne Winant, and many others who helped, supported and cherished the project






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