”It’s very beautiful.”Alba
”The dancers are amazing.”Sveriges Radio Kulturnytt i P1
”A complete experience that leaves a lasting impression"Göteborgs-Posten
”So damn brilliant that it makes you weak at the knees”Borås Tidning
The awards just keep coming for the Belgian-Moroccan choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. He’s been awarded Chroeographer of the Year by Tanz three times, is nominated for Faust 2018 and in November, he’ll receive the European Prize New Theatrical Realities on what is commonly known as the Oscar Academy Awards Gala of European Performing Arts. This fall, he was also nominated for the MTV Music Awards for the choreography for Beyoncé’s/The Carters’ video "Apeshit". Meanwhile, dance companies all around the world invite him to create new pieces exclusively for them. He’s now writing the third chapter in the collaboration with GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, which began with the airy "Noetic" (2014) and the earthy "Icon" (2016).

In a vast library, where time seems to have frozen, life goes on in the deluded assumption that nothing will ever change. People come here to find some quiet, or to live their decadent lives. They are self-absorbed, seeking constant recognition, and they fill their lives with things and addictions in the pursuit of inner peace. But most of all, they yearn to be understood. Nobody listens to anyone else when everyone is busy trying to present themselves in the best way.

The monochrome grey library, an iconic work of art by the Belgian visual artist Hans Op de Beeck, is a counterweight to the people’s anxiety and eagerness. It’s neutral, does not behave or respond; it’s stoic. A still life; a frozen moment with time for reflection. There is scope for seeking what may heal. The music plays a key role in this quest.

Arabic vocals, Congolese music and Japanese percussion are interwoven by composer Felix Buxton of the electronic duo Basement Jaxx, to create the innovative and universal whole that is the hallmark of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

Stage rehearsal of Stoic
"We’re in a time when openness is shrinking and borders are closing. If anything, my dream is that people will dare to connect with one another again. Sure it goes with burning your fingers – not every single being is a nice person – but that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way to go. In fact it’s the right way to go. To never stop being curious about, believing or trusting in other people. Stoic is trying to break those boundaries again."Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui


Choreography & composer – Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Set and costume design – Hans Op de Beeck
Musical director – Felix Buxton
Lighting design – David Stokholm
Choreography assistant – Shawn Fitzgerald Ahern

14 from GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, 5 from Eastman

Vocals, guitar – Kaspy N'dia
Vocals, percussion – Mohammed El Arabi-Serghini
Violin, viola, sound effects – Samy Bishai
Piano, guitar, percussion – Gabriele Miracle
Piano, koto, drums – Tsubasa Hori

Vocal coach – Anna Sato

Running time – 75 min

Stoic is a co-production with Eastman.

World premiere at The Göteborg Opera, 12 October 2018

Text extracts

  • Dissociative Identity Disorder, from Youtube, 2008
  • Daniel Mackler, Why I quit being a therapist, 2018
  • Symptoms of Schizophrenia, unknown author
  • Dennis O’Grady, PsyD, 10 introductory questions therapists commonly ask, 2018
  • Clint Smith, The Danger of Silence, 2014. Text from TED Talks.
  • Reika Farman, 60 milligram down to 30 million feelings, 2018

Song, performed live by dancers

“Le Plat Pays” by Jaques Brel

For agents


Performance program

Press photos

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Film of entire performance

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