An important role in Vanishing Point is reserved for Eddy Becquart. The 68-year-old dancer/choreographer/teacher – who previously performed with Panama Pictures in Go North, Portraits and short stories and Ergens; dichtbij – knows the theme of the performance like no other: getting older, transience. “What you have ever done and been able to do is still so fresh in your mind.

He didn’t dance much any more; age and discomfort began to play a role. “I’ve made serious demands on that body for forty years, almost everything in my body has been broken at some point.” But when Pia Meuthen, Eddy’s former student at the Fontys Dance Academy, asked him to dance in a piece of hers around 2014, he said a resounding yes. “Pia is someone I trust. She has an affinity with my way of moving, remembers me as a former teacher, knows my reputation in the work field. I am going to use that man, she knows. And now I am already in her fourth big performance.”

Older dancer

“What do you still do on stage as an older dancer? According to Eddy, the possibilities are limited. “For two reasons. First, the role. Put simply: put me next to a young dancer and it immediately becomes sexual. Or it becomes father-daughter. Put an older dancer opposite me, problem solved. With a man, if no sensuality emerges, it becomes ‘men among men’.”

“But what then comes into play: the aesthetics of youth. You dance when you are young. The audience can have a rather ruthless, critical view and quickly think: ‘Oh, that old man wants to show that he can still do it too’. And that then dominates the choreographer’s meaning. Pia realises that very well, she understands that she shouldn’t combine me with young men, with the youth. So she places me opposite them. Or on the edge. Or in the middle, but with a different meaning. Because Pia is very harmonious in her artistic grammar, there are no raw contrasts but rather beautiful, vulnerable encounters.”


Rehearsing and playing with younger dancers is purifying but also confronting, Eddy has experienced. “It is normal for a body to wear out, there is an age-related physical limit. I am limited, jumping off a wall would be stupid. You know that rationally. But the urge to go along with the dance movement remains strong. Everything you have ever done and been able to do is still so fresh in your mind.”

“And that is sometimes frustrating, when you are standing there sweating in your nice costume, with your bald marble and your wrinkles, and next to you someone is blazing in the full force of his life. The awareness of standing alone and the desire to be part of the whole are then diametrically opposed. And that is precisely the theme of this performance.”


But Vanishing Point also offers positive reflection, putting things in perspective. “Yes, absolutely. It also makes you ask yourself: is it really so bad, growing old and losing face? Well, no. One of the most important sentences I discovered while making this performance is: ‘From the moment you are born, you are in the process of getting older’. So getting older is one big ping-pong game of what you’ve done and what’s coming. And beyond a vanishing point, new perspectives always emerge.”

“Moreover, there is beauty in getting older. I can greatly enjoy all the experiences I have had, I like the fact that I am no longer so easily anxious, understand people and situations better and better. You have built up something, you are someone. That is satisfying. I like that.”

Photo: Teis Albers