International Contemporary Dance Festival

31 rue Vandenbranden

Ballet of the Opéra de Lyon (France)

Gabriela Carrizo and Franck Chartier

Duration: 1h 20min

Ballet for 13 dancers

The production premiered on 11 September 2018 as the opening of the Biennale de la Danse de Lyon. It is an adaptation of Peeping Tom’s original creation 32 rue Vandenbranden, premiered on November 2009.

Choreography, concept and adaptation: Gabriela Carrizo and Franck Chartier / Peeping Tom

Sound composition: Juan Carlos Tolosa and Glenn Vervliet

Set design: Peeping Tom, Nele Dirckx, Yves Leirs and Frederik Liekens

Costume design: Diane Fourdrignier and HyoJung Jang

Lighting design: Filip Timmerman and Yves Leirs

Dramaturgy: Hildegard De Vuyst and Nico Leunen

Performers: Kristina Leigh Bentz, Jacqueline Brittany Bâby, Adrien Raphaël Vincent Delepine, Alvaro Dule, Amandine Nicole Francois (ép. Roque De La Cruz), Caelyn Jean Knight, Yorgos Loukos, Giacomo Luci, Marco Merenda, Elsa Monguillot, Albert Nikolli, Lore Pryszo, Leoannis Pupo-Guillen, Roylan Ramos Hechavarria

Vocal: Madiha Feguigui

Coproduction Opéra de Lyon – Biennale de la danse

31 rue Vandenbranden

Vandenbranden is an actual street situated within the Dansaert district of Brussels. But the name of the piece by Gabriela Carrizo and Franck Chartier is derived from an imaginary space and time, straight out of the creative verve of the co-directors of the Peeping Tom company.

They also drew inspiration from the Japanese film The Ballad of Narayama by Shōhei Imamura: a story of an old woman led by her son to the top of a mountain to die, following the ancient rule. In the original play, 32 rue Vandenbranden, the two directing choreographers set up two dilapidated caravans in which six inhabitants live in isolation in the middle of a rough, cold and windy landscape. These two makeshift shelters offer the only protection against the extreme conditions. The inhabitants of this isolated community, who live in this place tinged with despair and melancholy, but at the same time poetic and beautiful, are face to face with loneliness that determines the relationships between them, and with their subconscious. Barriers between the reality and their personal perception fade away...

The new version, 31 rue Vandenbranden, presented at the opening of the 2018/19 season of the Lyon Opera Ballet, takes place on the same snowy mountain that has now become a peak in the French Alps. This re-creation also inaugurated the eighteenth Dance Biennale, under the artistic direction of Dominique Hervieu.

Cast Crew

Gabriela Carrizo, concept and staging

Born in the Argentine city of Córdoba in 1970, Gabriela Carrizo began dancing at the age of ten at a multidisciplinary school that had what was at the time the only group of contemporary dance for children and teenagers. Under Norma Raimondi’s direction, the school went on to become Córdoba’s University Ballet, where Gabriela danced for a couple of years, and where she created her first choreographies. She moved to Europe when she was nineteen, and over the years she worked with Caroline Marcadé, Alain Platel, Les Ballets C de la B (La Tristeza Complice, 1997, and Iets op Bach, 1998), Koen Augustijnen (Portrait Intérieur, 1994) and Needcompany (Images of Affection, 2001). She has never stopped working on her own choreographies, and these years saw the production of a solo piece, E tutto sará d’ombra e di caline, and Bartime, a collaboration with Einat Tuchman and Lisi Estaras. In 2002, she also created the choreography for the opera Wolf (2002) by Alain Platel. She starred in Fien Troch's film Kid (2012) and in 2013 she created a short piece The missing door for the Nederlands Dans Theater – NDT 1. In 2015, she created The Land for the Residenztheater company in Munich.

Franck Chartier, concept and staging

Franck Chartier, born in 1967 in Roanne, started dancing when he was eleven, and at the age of fifteen his mother sent him to study classical ballet at Rosella Hightower International Dance Centre in Cannes. After graduation, he joined Maurice Béjart’s Ballet of the 20th Century and worked there between 1986 and 1989. The following three years, he worked with Angelin Preljocaj, dancing in Le spectre de la rose at the Opéra de Paris, among other pieces. He moved to Brussels in 1994, to perform in Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s production Kinok (1994), then performed duets with Ine Wichterich and Anne Mouselet, and took part in productions by Needcompany (Tres, 1995) and Les Ballets C de la B: La Tristeza Complice (1997), Iets op Bach (1997), and Wolf (2002). In 2013, he created 33 rue Vandenbranden for the Göteborg Opera, based on Peeping Tom’s 32 rue Vandenbranden, and developed choreography for the opera Marouf, Savetier du Caire by Jerôme Deschamps at the Opéra Comique de Paris. For the Nederlands Dans Theater, he directed The lost room in 2015, a sequel of Gabriela Carrizo’s The missing door (2013). This piece was awarded the prestigious Dutch Zwaan (swan) Prize for the most impressive dance production in the Netherlands in 2016. In 2017, he created The hidden floor, his second collaboration with NDT and the final short piece of the trilogy Adrift, which began with The missing door and The lost room.

Juan Carlos Tolosa and Glenn Vervliet, sound composition

Born in Córdoba, Argentina, in 1966, Juan Carlos Tolosa is a composer, pianist, and conductor. Based in Brussels since 1989, he studied at the Royal Conservatory, and attended composition workshops organized by the Ars Musica contemporary music festival. In addition to his pieces of absolute music, he has collaborated with many directors and choreographers, including Gabriela Carrizo, and has a career in both Europe and the South American continent.

Glenn Vervliet is a Belgian multidisciplinary artist.  He has created music theatre pieces and audiovisual installations. He is a co-founder of KoudVuur, a music theatre company in Belgium where he focuses on video and sound design. He created soundscapes for dance pieces of the Peeping Tom company.

Eurudike De Beul, mezzo-soprano

After her studies as a biomedical researcher, Eurudike, born in 1964 in Dendermonde, Belgium, obtained a first prize and a degree with honours in opera singing at the conservatories of Mons and Liège (Belgium). Starting as a light soprano, she sang oratorio and a baroque repertoire for several years. Through more important stage work and body research, her voice grew into a colour which fits Mahler repertoire and heavier mezzo roles. She sang in the choir of the Bayreuth Festival, performed in Verdi’s operas, and sang the roles of Clytaemnestra, Dido, and the Messenger (Orfeo).

For many years now, Eurudike has mainly been touring around the world with contemporary music and dance theatre companies like Les Ballets C de la B, Peeping Tom, Theatre Cryptic, Theatercompagnie Amsterdam, Transparant, Viktoria, LOD muziektheater, Theater Zwarte Sneeuw, and Blauw. She is an artist in residence at the Walpurgis company and the city of Sint-Niklaas (Belgium) where she creates her own multimedia and experimental voice work in cooperation with her company KoudVuur.

Peeping Tom Company

Peeping Tom was founded in 2000 by Gabriela Carrizo and Franck Chartier. A year before that they had created their first collaboration, Caravana (1999), set in a trailer home and featuring  Eurudike De Beul, who were to become their long-time collaborator. Later they created a new version of this piece, Une vie inutile (2000). 

Peeping Tom’s hallmark is a hyperrealistic aesthetic anchored to a concrete set: a garden, a living room and a basement in the first trilogy (Le Jardin, 2002; Le Salon, 2004; and Le Sous Sol, 2007), two caravans in a snow-covered landscape in 32 rue Vandenbranden (2009), or a burned theatre in A Louer (2011). In these pieces, the choreographers create an unstable universe that defies the logic of time and space. Isolation leads into an unconscious world of nightmares, fears and desires, which the creators deftly use to shed light on the dark side of a character or a community. The huis clos of family situations remains for Peeping Tom a major source of creativity. The company has started working on a second trilogy on this theme – Vader (Father), Moeder (Mother), and Kind (Child).

Vader (Father) was directed by Franck Chartier and had its world premiere on 10 May 2014 at the Theater im Pfalzbau (Ludwigshafen, Germany). The second part of the trilogy, Moeder (Mother) was directed by Gabriela Carrizo. The world premiere took place at the Theater im Pfalzbau on 29 September 2016. The trilogy was completed in spring 2019 with Kind (Child).

Since 2013, the artistic directors of Peeping Tom has also created productions with other groups: The missing door (2013) and The lost room (2015) for the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT 1). Franck Chartier directed 33 rue Vandenbranden (2013) for the Opera of Göteborg. In 2015, Gabriela Carrizo directed The Land, a collaboration between the members of Peeping Tom and the actors of the Residenztheater in Munich. In 2017, Peeping Tom and the Nederlands Dans Theater collaborated again on The hidden floor, a new short piece by Franck Chartier for the dancers of NDT 1.

Awards and honours

In 2005, Le Salon was awarded the Prix du Meilleur Spectacle de Danse (Best Dance Show Prize) in France. In 2007, the company received the Mont Blanc Young Directors Award during the Salzburg Festival and the Patrons Circle Award at the Melbourne International Arts Festival. The pieces Le Sous Sol, A Louer and Vader (Father) all got selected for the Theaterfestival, which accumulates the most remarkable shows of the past season in Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2013, A Louer was nominated for the prestigious Ubu Awards in Italy as the best performance in a foreign language, during the theatrical season 2012/13. This piece also got nominated for a 'Premio de la Critica Barcelona' in the category 'Best International Dance Production of 2015' after a series at Grec Festival de Barcelona. In 2013, 32 rue Vandenbranden was elected the best dance show of the year in São Paulo (Bazil) by the magazine Guia Folha and in 2015 it won a prestigious Olivier Award in London as the best new dance production. Apart from being in the official selection of the Theaterfestival 2015, Vader was also elected the best dance performance of 2014 by the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and won a 'Premio de la Crítica Barcelona' as the best international dance production of 2014 in Catalonia and Barcelona. This piece was also selected for the Theaterfestival in Brussels.

In 2016, Franck Chartier's The lost room was awarded a Zwaan (swan) Prize as the most impressive dance production in the Netherlands.


At the confluence of choreographic creations, something special from Lyon.

As early as 1969, when arriving at the head of the “Opéra Nouveau de Lyon”, Louis Erlo gave a key place to dance. For the first time, an opera house outside of Paris consecrated to its ballet company entire events devoted to dance.
Ever since, it has never stopped opening up to every kind of source, be it a stream or a river, close or far, harmonious or stormy. But, whatever the case, always talented. Right from the start, the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon has lived out this vivifying opening to the world, with its first directors, the Italian Vittorio Biagi, then the Yugoslav Milko Speremblek and the New-Zealander Gray Veredon, who were all in the neo-classical, Béjartian movement of the times. 

But, as of 1985, it was Françoise Adret who gave the company a resolutely plural turn. “Mère Adret” as her dancers affectionately called her, had an eye, the gift of the gab and a large address book. Above all, Française had travelled widely and her mission was to give the troop a national and international dimension. She built up a repertory based on a twofold spectrum: great international choreographers who were still little demanded, (and not the least of them, including Jiří Kylián, Mats Ek, Nacho Duato or William Forsythe) and an opportunity given to “young French dance” (Mathilde Monnier, Maryse Delente, or Angelin Preljocaj)… In any troop, there are moments of grace. But, in Lyon, a lightning bolt was to change the course of history. In 1985, no one imagined that a magical doll (Maguy Marin’s Snow White) would provide the company with a world tour, with no fewer than three trips to the USA in just 1987… Three years later, Lyon did it again by creating the famous rereading of Romeo and Juliet by Angelin Prejlocaj. This was a fresh challenge (and, for the choreographer, his first important commission), and another memorable piece. The die was now cast …
When, in 1991, the Greek ballet-master and director Yorkos Loukos replaced Françoise Adret, the trend was set and has continued to thrive until today, with an extremely open-minded “choreographic” palette. Maguy Marin, who had become resident choreographer, set off even more sparks when, in 1993, she inaugurated the new Opéra de Lyon with an offbeat version of Coppélia set in a popular bar in the suburbs of Lyon. With turnings-back towards the history of dance, views of the contemporary scene, visions of what it will be tomorrow, a plurality of styles, the ages of the choreographers, their origins, and backgrounds, the strength of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Lyon comes from the very absence of any particularity, except if it is the highly diverse repertory as sought out by Yorgos Loukos. It goes without saying that it attracts the public (who love novelty) and today’s young dancers, who like and are used to changes of style. Even the teachers are in constant motion, changing every month, so as to avoid any routine.

Today, the company has a repertory of 117 pieces, over half of which are creations. A list of the choreographers who have worked in Lyon is a reminder of the importance of the pioneers of new French dance (Mathilde Monnier, Jean-Claude Gallotta) and its young cousins (from Jérôme Bel to Christian Rizzo, Alain Buffard or Rachid Ouramdane). It also means meeting the guiding lights of modern American dance (Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham, Lucinda Childs), from post-classic energy (William Forsythe, Benjamin Millepied) to the "next wave" (such as Otto Ramstad). It means exploring Belgian musicality (de Keersmaeker) Swedish theatricality (Mats Ek), Czech lyricism (Jiří Kylián), or Israeli power (Ohad Naharin, Emanuel Gat). It means getting used to seeing new talents (Tânia Carvalho, Alessandro Sciarroni, Marina Mascarell...). It means… being at the confluence of a dance that has never been so open to the world.