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Infamous offspring

KVS, Ultima Vez, Wim Vandekeybus

A modern patchwork family inspired by Greek mythology and re-mastered through the universe of Ultima Vez and poet Fiona Benson: this is Infamous Offspring. In Wim Vandekeybus' latest creation, a whole new cast of actors and dancers ventures into the labyrinth of ancient tales. On stage as on screen, dance merges with poems to create a unique new world.
All ancient stories revolve around gods, as projections of the extreme experiences of the human life. Zeus and Hera are the nucleus of the Greek pantheon, surrounded by a very lush offspring. How do these descendants relate to their parents and to each other? All together, they form a patchwork family, where all members have their own strengths, ambitions and flaws. Jealousy, adultery, greed and many other aspects that belong to the human experience were infused and amplified in these unreachable characters, so that we could mirror ourselves. 
The Greek world of gods is never-ending: universal tales retold throughout history branch far away and are still hold true to our society today.  Many variants of these stories keep being alive at the same time, which is the very core of the mythological narrative. As writer Roberto Calasso said, “everything that happens, happens this way, or that way, or this other way. If, out of some perversity of tradition, only one version of some mythical event has come down to us, it is like a body without a shadow, and we must do our best to trace out that invisible shadow in our minds." It is in this multifaceted context that the space for artistic imagination emerges and the world of Ultima Vez unfolds. 

Daniel Copeland and Lucy Black play the father/Zeus and the mother/Hera, who, appearing only on screen, remain distant, unreachable divine parents. At their side, the flamenco legend Israel Galván embodies the family’s best friend/Tiresias, the blind prophet who will communicate purely through rhythm and body language to the performers on stage. 
Hephaestus is one of the main characters in Infamous Offspring, the god of fire and of forging, who as soon as he was born was already thrown from the Olympus and remained crippled. Due to his impairment, Hephaestus develops outstanding skills as the blacksmith of the gods. The rejected becomes then the skilled and the indispensable, the only worker. In the show, Hephaestus is portrayed by Iona Kewney, a Scottish painter and contortionist, who transposes the key features of the crippled fire god into an imaginative language. All the divine siblings are performed on stage by young international dancers, opening the gaze on Greek mythology to a broader, contemporary and universal approach. 
Fiona Benson, a poet whose dark imagination is solemnly infused with lyricism, reworked the mythology and imagined the text for the performance. In her writings, such as Vertigo&Ghosts (winner of the prestigious Forward Prizes), the contemporary and the myth are always echoing each other. Infamous Offspring is her theatre debut: poetry, like dance, is an abstract form of conveying something without literally pronouncing it. 
Like in several of his previous pieces (like Blush, Puur, Traptown), Wim Vandekeybus develops the visual narrationthrough several media: cinema coexists with stage performance, dance with spoken word. All these languages enhance and exalt each other for a unique and ever recognizable signature.  

regie en choreografie

  • Wim Vandekeybus

created with & performed by

  • Iona Kewney
  • Maria Zhi Tortosa Soriano
  • Lotta Sandborgh
  • Cola Ho Lok Yee
  • Samuel Planas
  • Rakesh Sukesh
  • Paola Taddeo
  • Adrian Thömmes
  • Hakim Abdou Mlanao

film cast

  • Lucy Black
  • Daniel Copeland
  • Thi-Mai Nguyen
  • Cola Ho Lok Yee
  • Iona Kewney
  • Paola Taddeo
  • Pieter Desmet

with special appearance in the role of Tiresias

  • Israel Galvàn


  • Fiona Benson 


  • Warren Ellis/Dirty Three
  • ILA

sound design film

  • Arthur Brouns

artistic assistant and dramaturgy

  • Margherita Scalise 

movement assistants

  • Maria Kolegova
  • Alexandros Anastasiadis

costume design

  • Isabelle Lhoas

set design

  • Wim Vandekeybus

realisation set and consultancy

  • Schröder
  • Pepijn Mesure
  • KVS

sound engineer and live video operator

  • Schröder

light design

  • Wim Vandekeybus
  • Benjamin Verbrugge

light on tour

  • Benjamin Verbrugge


  • Heleen Schepens 


  • Julia Bouhjar

consultancy on mythologie

  • Nadia Sels 

thanks to

  • Laura Aris
  • Jerry Killick
  • Magdalena Öttl
  • Matteo Principi
  • Louis Kubben
  • Thi-Mai Nguyen


  • Wim Vandekeybus
  • Danny Willems


  • Ultima Vez


  • Teatro Comunale Di Ferrara
  • KVS
  • Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg

with the support of

  • de Tax Shelter van de Belgische federale overheid
  • Casa Kafka Pictures Tax Shelter powered by Belfius

All data

  1. Tuesday 7 January 2025 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen
  2. Wednesday 8 January 2025 — 20h00 — Bourlaschouwburg, Antwerpen

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