The Show

Welcome to LJ Project’s production of ‘Vincent’ – a brand new dance theatre work based on the life of the artistic genius that was Vincent Van Gogh and his relationship with his brother Theo.

The National Gallery in London holds a painting of Sunflowers by Van Gogh. For some reason, this was the first painting that I always gravitated too. Looking at the painting in real life is a sight to behold. Van Gogh leaves the edges sparse and raw so that you see the underlying canvas, colours and brush strokes thick with paint. The painting moves you inwards, from the rough warn edges to the thick, swirling centre. Looking at his work up close is quite an emotional experience and forces you to see this man’s life in its reality – it was then that I knew his life was a project I wanted to create through dance.

Vincent was a man of far reaching and titanic emotions that he then poured into his paintings that then spilled into his personal life. Never fully at ease in company, his only closest and dearest friend was his younger brother Theo who supported him emotionally and financially to the best of his ability. Vincent painted over 900 paintings in the space of 8 years and wrote over 1000 letters, mostly to his brother, before finally committing suicide at the age of 37. It was believed that he was bi-polar and suffered from frightening delusions that would sometimes continue for weeks at a time. These only really stopped when he painted.

His story has resonated with me for 10 years now, and I feel so privileged to bring his world to the stage. This work is my interpretation of how I see the internal workings of his mind – from the female voices in his head to the guilt ridden reactions of his words to Theo. All of the dialogue in the performance are taken directly from letters written between Theo and Vincent themselves.

With my fantastic cast, and creative development team, I have been able to take this show from small beginnings to what it is today – a moving and intense piece that is set to tour around the world, for as many people to see as I can show. This story, this show is so dear to me, that it truly must be seen to be believed. A moving piece of blended theatrics, dance, story telling and technical brilliance – Vincent is a show I would hope can touch as many people as the paintings have.

 

Melissa Lanham,
~ Artistic Director & Choreographer

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