The first part of the triptych of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s future company, Foi revolves around the simple question: what do you believe in? Set in a triangular post 9-11 site designed by Rufus Didwiszus, peculiar protagonists wake up realizing they survived a disaster and try to find a way out of this no exit place. They are surrounded by intangible, invisible angel-like dancing beings, who manipulate the gestures and actions of the colorful actors, sometimes tender, sometimes ill-intentioned. Each time they think they're safe, another catastrophe hits them, from an earthquake to a gas leak to being slaughtered by a hammer. Yet every time the chatty characters survive, as if something was still unfinished, their destiny unfulfilled. The drama is supported by the 14th century ars nova compositions interpreted live by the singers and musicians of Capilla Flamenca.
Foi premiered on 18th of March 2003, the day the USA bombarded Iraq. The news, political issues and all its horrors are part of this dark yet funny piece. Foi toured the world successfully for 2 years.
Years later Foi still resonates to our complex socio-political reality.In 2010 it returned to the stage by popular demand. The piece brings together 18 performers, singers, dancers and musicians in a traditional-style creation of a medieval/contemporary opera. In collaboration with the ensemble Capilla Flamenca and Christine Leboutte, the choreography stages pieces of scholarly music from the fourteenth century, written scores and songs from the oral tradition. The connection with faith and myth is easy to make: what did you learn from your parents, what have you heard people tell, what have you read? What do you still believe? Why do you still believe? What do you want to survive or be passed down? Are you convinced of this? It is on these questions that Foi is constructed.