WHITE BOX JACKET LIVE – Film with live score
A ciné-concert featuring live music by Catherine Graindorge on violin with percussionist Angelo Mustafa
Directed by SABINE THEUNISSEN
GREGORY MAQOMA, CHOREOGRAPHY
CATHERINE GRAINDORGE, MUSIC
THULANI CHAUKE, DANCER
“Nils Strindberg, the young Swedish photographer who took these photos, participated in the famous Polarex expedition led by the engineer Salomon Auguste Andrée in 1897. Departing from Spitzbergen, Norway, Andrée planned to fly over the North Pole in a gas balloon to either Russia or Canada, depending on the direction of the wind. Andrée, Strindberg, and a third man, Knut Fraenkel departed on July 11, 1897 with great fanfare, observed by politicians and the national and international press.
They never came back.”
The film WHITE BOX JACKET is a short stop motion animation made during lockdown by theater maker Sabine Theunissen when all live performances ceased. With dancers filmed remotely in South Africa and assembled in Belgium the resulting film illuminates, interrogates, and honors scientific exploration, one man’s quest for fame, and the perils of underestimating nature. It is a poetic and impressionistic distortion of the true story, unraveling the dramatic journey of the three scientists and blending it with a bizarre parallel tale of the life of the lost photographs since their emergence. It is also a loving tribute to photography and its capacity to reveal the power, beauty, and fragility of the environment. The story-told through projection, stop motion animation, and music-hinges on a rediscovered camera and rolls of film that had been buried in the ice for 33 years, whose unearthing revealed the fate of the Polarex expedition.
ABOUT SABINE THEUNISSEN
The Belgian set designer and architect Sabine Theunissen has created some of the most original and bold stagings in the opera and theater world. Her longtime collaboration with William Kentridge as his primary designer has included everything from Lulu at the Metropolitan Opera in New York to his productions of Dmitri Shostakovich’s The Nose and Alban Berg’s Wozzeck to his large-scale work for non-traditional theater spaces The Head & the Load, which premiered at the Tate Modern in London.