A Sun King (Zonnekoning) in all his grandeur and glory is the focal point of the nation. He is wealthy, wise and all-
In Zonnekoningen (Sun Kings), the company’s new artistic intendant Jan Linkens explores the simi
larities and differences between the rituals at the courts of Louis XIV and the Ashantehene from Ghana, both of whom are called Sun Kings. They are icons from cultures that have different foundations, but similar customs.
During the reign of Louis XIV, dance was the leading art form at the court of this “Sun King”. Special dance music and dances were written and performed for numerous occasions. Dance was seen as an outward form; as etiquette for interacting with each other without words and emotion.
Dance plays a comparatively pivotal part in the ceremonies and rituals of African nations. The Ashanti King in the current Ghana performs the same role that Louis XIV did in the seventeenth century. Dance and music are two of the Ashanti’s principal forms of communication for expressing feelings and emotions. The focus in their dances is not on the form, but rather on the sensation and emotion.
Zonnekoningen is an adaptation of the “Sonnenkönig-Eine Reise” production Jan Linkens created in 1996 for Berlin’s Tanztheater der Komischen Oper. An extra dimension has been added to this new version for the International Dance Theatre. It is a world that embodies all these historical vestiges and yet contin
ues to search for new forms of expressing emotions and communication.
Choreography: Jan Linkens Baroque music: Jean-Féry Rebel (componiser), Lonneke Regter (arrangers), Collectivum Musonia (performance) African music: Moussé Pathé Mbaye, Cheikh Ibra Fall, Pape Seck Amadou Costume design: Joop Stokvis
Photography: Carin Verbruggen