5 till 11 August 2021


Laika/ Zefiro Torna | BE

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Crowd favourite Laika is back at Theaterfestival Boulevard with a sensual performance. This time together with the authentic sounds of the music ensemble Zefiro Torna. Inspired by 15th century polyphony, traditional songs from Portugal, Greece and Iceland and the mystical sounds of Hildegard von Bingen, Laika and Zefiro Torna create an alchemistic concert: a laboratory of experiments that plays with the audience’s senses and a search for the ‘ultimate gold’.

Location MAINSTAGE Brabanthallen
Running time 75 min.
Genre Musical theater
Ticket price € 19 per person, can only be ordered in pairs
Ticket price 'Vriend' € 17 per person, can only be ordered in pairs
Accessibility wheelchair users

BALSAM touches all of your senses: you will see, hear, taste, smell, and feel and let it all soak in like a balsam for your soul. The sixth sense? Maybe it’s your superior sense of taste, your sense for music, your nostalgic heart or maybe it’s your nature. This year, the Flemish theatre company Laika, known for its divine combination of food and play, and the music ensemble Zefiro Torna pay a tribute to life and its mystery in a harmonic healing collaboration.

The texts of the songs draw on the Bible’s Song of Songs, on verses by Virgil and Horace, and the poetry of the contemporaries Baudelaire and Verhaeren. The lyrics tell of the game of love, longing, and heartbreak, the sweet fragrance of jasmine, and the beauty of a tree. A tribute to the healing, stimulating, and enchanting effect of plants and herbs, and above all, they celebrate the overwhelming and unfathomable power of nature.

The performance can also be attended by children the age of 10 going up, under supervision of their parent(s).

"Laika and Zefiro Torna (…) succeed in fusing together extremely aesthetic and well-written sounds and flavours into a sensual sensation."

Theaterkrant.nl (Tuur Devens)

"BALSAM brings delight to your ears, eyes and taste buds in the most gracious manner and in doing so, invites you to approach life with open senses and sensitivity and to experience the world.”

Knack Focus (Els Van Steenberghe)


concept Laika en Zefiro Torna
coproduction Le Channel, scène nationale de Calais en Le Volcan, scène nationale du Havre  
with the support of Vlaamse Gemeenschap en Tax Shelter van de Belgische federale overheid  
musical concept, lute, barocguitar, chitarrone Jurgen De bruyn 
sensory concept Peter De Bie en Sara Sampelayo 
final direction Jo Roets 
singing Elly Aerden, Raphaël De Cock, Jurgen De bruyn 
chatkan Elly Aerden 
flute, soprano saxophone, composition Philippe Laloy

recorder,french bagpipe, bugel, percussion, ukelele, compositions Jowan Merckx 
uilleann pipes, bawu, chatkan, kaval, hardangerviolin, overtone whistling, mouthharp, duduk, overtone singing Raphaël De Cock 
bassklarinet Jean-Philippe Poncin 
alchemists Peter De Bie, Sara Sampelayo/Simone Milsdochter en Bram Smeyers/Arnout Vandamme 
costumes Manuela Lauwers 
dramaturgy Mieke Versyp 
'injected' by modern day alchemist Alexandre Gauthier 
technical en production Pieter Smet, Rik Van Gysegem, Anton Van Haver, Marlies Jacques 
in collaboration with Kopspel vzw

Theaterfestival Boulevard thanks: