We’re pretty fuckin’ far from okay

Fear is a human body at its most instinctive, fear is a body in trance. The concrete and basic physiological changes it induces are the point of departure for We’re pretty fuckin’ far from okay the third performance in Lisbeth Gruwez’ triptych on the ecstatic body (with It’s going to get worse…and AH/HA.)
Fear is not a cultural construct but an evolutionary response deeply embedded in our genetic make-up. It is directly linked to basic survival. Even before we can deal consciously with it, our body starts to react in a drastic way. Our heartbeat and breathing accelerate, we start to sweat and tremble, readying our body for a vital decision: to fight, flight or freeze?

On these bodily reflexes from fear, especially its impact on breathing, Lisbeth Gruwez focuses in We’re pretty fuckin’ far from okay. Difficulty in breathing can generate a panic attack, the right respiration on the other hand diminishes oppression or can even overcome it. The movement of breathing as the source of internal feedback for tension and contraction, repose and expansion – within the body and in relation to the external environment alike: on this tightrope between restraint and release the performance balances. Lisbeth Gruwez and Nicolas Vladyslav aspire to affect their audiences and to draw them into the dynamics of their breathing.
Sound designer Maarten Van Cauwenberghe uses the performers’ breathing as a unique building block for a sound collage that is in dialogue with their bodies. His soundscape creates suspense, pushes the movement and at other times induces contemplative ease.

It has been stated that at the beginning of the 21st century we are living in ‘a culture of fear’, that we are in a permanent ‘state of crisis’. We’re pretty fuckin’ far from okay (working title) isn’t a political or sociological account of anxiety in our society, it shows what the prolonged exposure to distress does to our bodies.


Concept & choreography: Lisbeth Gruwez
Composition, sound design & Assistance: Maarten Van Cauwenberghe
Performance: Lisbeth Gruwez & Nicolas Vladyslav
Dramaturgy: Bart Van den Eynde
Repetitor: Lucius Fromm
Light design: Harry Cole
Light Assistance: Caroline Mathieu
Scenography: Marie Szernovisz
Styling: Veronique Branquinho
Production manager: Liesbeth Stas
Production: Voetvolk vzw
Coproduction: Festival d’Avignon, La Bâtie-Festival de Genève, KVS, Le Phare, Centre Choregraphique National du Havre Normandie, Theater Im Pumpenhaus, Les Brigittines, Tandem Arras-Douai, Weimar Kunstfest, Julidans, MA Scène Nationale – Pays de Montbéliard and Troubleyn|Jan Fabre.
Residencies: Troubleyn|Jan Fabre, Buda Kunstencentrum, STUK, Les Brigittines
Supported by NONA, the Flemish Government and the Flemish Community Commission

Premiere: Julidans 2016 & Festival d’Avignon