Verosimile used dance and songs to explore themes as group vs individual, conformity vs. identity, and appearing vs being.

Thomas Hauert made a splash in 2001 with the solo Do You Believe in Gravity? Do You Trust the Pilot? in which he initiated a new type of investigation combining short texts and songs with his movement vocabulary. In Verosimile he adopts a similar approach in order to explore the numerous possible ways in which dance, theatre and songs can interact, complementing and modifying each other. “Lying, the telling of beautiful untrue things, is the true aim of art,” said Oscar Wilde. On the subject of transformation, of changing identities, Thomas Hauert and the members of ZOO most definitely invite us to such an experience in Verosimile, constructed between what’s real and what’s false, between the body’s actual appearance and its simulacrum on stage.

Thomas Hauert’s company ZOO functions as a collective. The four dancers present on stage with him, his long-time companions, closely collaborated in the creation of Verosimile. They co-wrote the lyrics and music of the songs they perform with the help of a hand-held microphone, and they developed part of the choreographic material based on improvisations. This improvised aspect and the unexpected elements it entails coexist with an extremely strong written structure. The determinate and the indeterminate are superimposed to bring tension and vitality to the dance. The dancers move according to geometric patterns, the compositions unfold in the shape of arches, lines and circles; an accident is never far away. The dance gradually takes hold. The dancers take their time to walk around a stage covered in pastel coloured stripes and lit by circular beams lending it a contradictory aspect as an ornate as well as bare music hall.

Verosimile is a humorous and mocking account of people gathered in groups by way of the funny attitudes adopted by their bodies. The audience sees a number of variations on togetherness and separateness. The dancers, at first free and alone, gather to circle slowly and then to walk in step in single file to an almost martial beat (fortunately all warlike implications are undermined by the translucent night-dresses worn as uniforms). The unison ends in a cacophony of limbs knocking together. Other moments offer a fleeting vision of identity, doubling and multiplicity. The shapeless group, gathered in contact improvisation, resembles a Hindu deity with many and ever-changing limbs and faces. One of the dancers assumes consecutively, and only for a few beats, the guise of a Renaissance angel with a straw wig or of a dubious Iggy Pop. The mechanics of man becoming or originating in an animal is explored by strange birds and all of a sudden one remembers but of course! that this company’s name is ZOO. One of Hauert’s first pieces was called Cows in Space. It was already about gravity and airiness and the combination of opposites. That is true singleness of mind mind you keep on watching this choreographer!

Guillaume Schmitt, Le Manège de Reims, December 2002

Concept & direction Thomas Hauert
Dance created & presented by Thomas Hauert, Mark Lorimer, Sara Ludi, Samantha van Wissen, Mat Voorter
Music & soundscape Bart Aga
Music Jean-Sébastien Bach
Songs music by Bart Aga in collaboration with the dancers. Lyrics written by the dancers
Harmonic advice Sanne De Smedt
Voice training Rahel Studer
Lighting and set design Simon Siegmann
Costumes Own
Technical direction & sound Karin Demedts
Light technician Jan Van Gijsel
Production ZOO/Thomas Hauert
Coproduction Kaaitheater, Brussel (BE) / Centre Pompidou/Les Spectacles Vivants, Paris (FR)
With the support of Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap – Cultuur, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie, SACD (program “1500 hours to dance”), Pro Helvetia and Ein Kulturengagement des Lotteriefonds des Kantons Solothurn
Thanks to P.A.R.T.S., de Beweeging, Sara De Roo, Pascale Gigon, Paola Gottardello, Wietse Marievoet and Lode Van Laer

16 January 2002
17 January 2002
6 February 2002
Kaaitheater Brussels (BE)
7 February 2002
Kaaitheater Brussels (BE)
8 February 2002
Kaaitheater Brussels (BE)
9 February 2002
Kaaitheater Brussels (BE)
13 February 2002
14 February 2002
29 June 2002
Danças na Cidade Lisboa (PT)
4 October 2002
De Brakke Grond Amsterdam (NL)
5 October 2002
De Brakke Grond Amsterdam (NL)
11 October 2002
Oltre 90 - Milano Oltre 20129 Milano (IT)
12 October 2002
Oltre 90 - Milano Oltre 20129 Milano (IT)
23 October 2002
Stadsschouwburg - Leuven 3000 Leuven (BE)
27 October 2002
Konfrontace Praha (CZ)
22 November 2002
Tanz in Olten Olten (CH)
23 January 2003
Side Step Festival Helsinki (FI)
24 January 2003
Side Step Festival Helsinki (FI)
28 January 2003
30 January 2003
Le Manège de Reims Reims (FR)
31 January 2003
Le Manège de Reims Reims (FR)
5 February 2003
7 February 2003
Theater De Vorst Tilburg (NL)
26 February 2003
CC Tongeren - De Velinx Tongeren (BE)
21 March 2003
Forum-Meyrin Meyrin (CH)
16 May 2003
Pôle Sud Strasbourg (FR)
21 May 2003
Corps à  Coeur Aix-en-Provence (FR)
31 May 2003
Dance Week Festival Zagreb (HR)
18 June 2003
Southbank Centre London (GB)
19 June 2003
Southbank Centre London (GB)
25 June 2003
Body_Mind Festival Warzawa (PL)
26 June 2003
Body_Mind Festival Warzawa (PL)
29 June 2003
Malta Festival Posnan (PL)
3 August 2003
15 August 2003
8 October 2003
9 October 2003
28 October 2003
Kaaitheater Brussels (BE)
29 October 2003
Kaaitheater Brussels (BE)
27 November 2003
Tanzquartier Wien Vienna (AT)
28 November 2003
Tanzquartier Wien Vienna (AT)
29 November 2003
Tanzquartier Wien Vienna (AT)
2 December 2003
CCN de Tours Tours (FR)
9 December 2003
6 May 2004
8 May 2004
AKKU Dortmund (DE)
18 February 2005
11 March 2005
CC Berchem Berchem (BE)