Posts about performance

Performance Engine and Hypermap

mei 23rd, 2011

This week I’ll be at Psi#17 working on two shifts. This years conference focusses on Camillo 2.0: Technology, Memory, Experience. “It combines science, scholarly pursuit and art in an exciting five-day programme of lectures, presentations of current research (both theoretical and practical), performances, debates, workshops, as well as so-called ‘shifts’ (hybrid programme components introduced by participants or initiated by the organisers which pave the way to unconventional types of presentations)”. The two shifts I’m working on are Performance Engine by Joris Weijdom of the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU) and Hypermap by Danslab and BIT.

The Performance Engine will be presented in Studio T on Friday 27th from 7 pm till 9 pm. We will focus on the possibilities of the Performance Engine as a technological memory machine. The Performance Engine (developed by Joris Weijdom and his team) is a system of hard- and software that enables theatre practitioners to improvise with interactive digital media. In several laboratory settings (LAB’S) practitioners have experimented with this setup and used the experience in their work. Currently, Weijdom’s research group at the Utrecht School for the Arts is working on the next phase of implementing so-called Mixed Reality techniques into the context of theatre and performance.
By Joris Weijdom in collaboration with Jochem Naafs, Ferdy Guliker and Roderick Gadellaa.

For more information download the program on (.pdf) and visit the website of the research group:

From Wednesday 25th till Saturday 28th Danslab and BIT will work on Hypermap, a research in which they will try and remember, combine and forget the (exchange of) (embodied) knowledge during the conference. We will use the concept of Ola Maciejewska’s performance unforgettable existents to absorb, document, exchange and archive this knowledge. Last Sunday we had a try-out at Theater Zeebelt in The Hague during a conference on the future of graphic design and from Wednesday onwards we will pop-up at various location in the city of Utrecht. In CBKU we will build an archive of the memories and experiences of the conference.
By Diane Elshout, Bruno Listopad, Giulia Mureddu, Ola Maciejewska, Jochem Naafs, Jette Schneider and Eric Schrijver.

For more information download the program on (.pdf) and visit the website:

Doing Diderot

april 13th, 2011

Doing Diderot: new visions on making in the arts
Op 20 april 2011 vindt in Arnhem de jaarlijkse LOK (Landelijk Overleg Kunstlectoraten) conferentie plaats. Dit jaar staat het symposium in het teken van het ‘maken’ in de kunsten en gaat over ambacht, vakmanschap en onderzoek. Doing Diderot: New views on making in the arts is een symposium over de hernieuwde belangstelling voor het maken in de kunsten. Centrale gast is de gelauwerde Amerikaanse socioloog Richard Sennett (VS 1943). De theorie die hij beschrijft in het boek De ambachtsman. De mens als maker (2008), vormt het uitgangspunt van de dag.

Ik assisteer Joris Weijdom die dag in zijn performance lecture over de rol van technologie in het creatieve proces. Voor meer informatie over het symposium: Doing Diderot. Voor meer informatie over de Performance Engine en het onderzoek van Joris Weijdom: Augmented Stage.

Technologie en theater – Performance Lecture over flexibele technologie in het creatieve maakproces en de potentie van Mixed Reality.
Aanbieder: Joris Weijdom, hoofd onderzoeksgroep Virtueel Theater, namens het Lectoraat Theatrale Maakprocessen. Met medewerking van Jochem Naafs, Ferdy Guliker en Roderick Gadellaa.

Kun je met technologie improviseren op de vloer in een theatermaakproces? Hoe moet je zoiets doen? En wat levert dat dan op?
Het gebruik van technologie in het theater is zo oud als het theater zelf. Hedendaagse technologische ontwikkelingen gaan echter zo snel dat theatermakers niet alle innovaties kunnen bijhouden en integreren. In een theatermaakproces waar improvisatie en maken op de vloer een rol speelt lijkt complexe technologie vaak een belemmering voor de creatieve flow van het moment. Zowel technologie als de maker moeten zich aanpassen om samen te kunnen werken.
Deze theatrale lezing geeft een kort overzicht van het onderzoek dat is gedaan door de onderzoeksgroep Virtueel theater in de afgelopen 4 jaar. Hiervoor wordt gebruik gemaakt van de Performance Engine, een door de onderzoeksgroep ontwikkelt prototype van een interactief systeem die improvisatie mogelijk maakt met digitale media. Doordat de interface, een soort intermediair tussen de gebruiker en het systeem, zo is ontworpen dat onmiddellijk aanpassingen kunnen worden gemaakt, kunnen makers keuzes op de vloer uitproberen en de consequenties ervan ervaren en interpreteren. Diverse makers gingen in diverse zogenaamde LABs met dit systeem op uiteenlopende manieren en momenten in hun maakproces op zoek naar de potentiële meerwaarde van digitale media in hun werk. De lezing zal deze praktijk gebaseerde onderzoeken in een breder kader presenteren en het systeem live demonstreren om een beknopt ervaarbare indruk te kunnen geven aan het publiek.

Theatrale maakprocessen, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht
Lector Nirav Christophe


juni 15th, 2009

Donderdag 25/06/2009 om 16.30 in de Grote Zaal van het Akademietheater van de HKU op Janskerkhof 18 te Utrecht. In deze lecture performance presenteer ik mijn afstudeeronderzoek naar relaties in transdisciplinaire maakprocessen.

Een dialoog in de vorm van een monoloog.

Voor jou, van mij. Een lecture performance over actoren, netwerken, conceptmapping, transdisciplinaire maakprocessen, theaterwetenschap, nieuwe media en digitale cultuur, translatie en vertaling, relaties en jij (of jou, wat jij wilt).

Jochem Naafs

Introduction to Beginning, Middle, End

april 23rd, 2009

This is an introduction I was asked to make for the performance Beginning, Middle, End by Andrea Bozic, Julia Willms, Madalina Dan and Michael Pinchbeck. In November 2008 Michael asked me as a dramaturge for his part of a performance: End. End was only to be one third of the whole performance and while reading the proposal that was send to Springdance I wondered how I could ever be a dramaturge for only this part…

After last year’s Dialogue (this years Europe in Motion) Springdance commissioned for a collaboration by three former participants from three different countries to make a performance for this year’s festival.
Andrea, Madalina and Michael decided to propose a performance, which would both allow collaboration and autonomy. The title of this performance, Beginning, Middle, End, refers both to the structure and concept of the work and to the structure of the working process.

The working process of six weeks was preceded by virtual contact in which the idea was worked out. There were three periods with actual contact: 4 days in March (beginning), 4 days in April (middle) and 4 days in this week (end). In these week they were showing each other what they have been working on and figuring out how these three parts fit together to form one performance. The remaining time each maker worked on his or her own part. But they kept looking to each other’s parts, via skype and live. This looking played an important part in the process.
The three parts were allocated alphabetically: Andrea Bozic asked her long time collaborator Julia Willms to work together to make Beginning, Madalina Dan worked on Middle and Michael Pinchbeck worked on End.

So this performance started out of 3 words, both as form and content: beginning, middle and end. The question is what it means to have such a structure for both the making process and the performance you’ll see tonight. Next to collaboration and autonomy this structure also provided content. What is beginning? What is ending? What is it like to be in the middle? And how do a beginning, a middle and an end relate and interact?

In the end this last question is perhaps the question I was thinking of as a problem in the beginning while reading the proposal. Now I would rather see it as a challenging idea to work from rather then a question that needs to be answered. I would like to end my introduction with the following quote, which can be seen as a starting point for this collaboration:

Every moment has a beginning, middle and end, then dialogue will have meaning.

I wish you a pleasant performance.

An artist and his review

april 23rd, 2009

My press kit inside the artist goodie-bag I got yesterday seems to represent my split personality during Springdance. On the one hand I am being the objective journalist, writing my columns about the programme, atmosphere and side programme. On the other hand I am the dramaturge for Michael Pinchbeck’s End. Considered an artist, at least according to the batch I received with my goodie-bag, I morphed into another person in a split second. And is it not the task of the artist to present a subjective perspective on this world?

Of course two issues come to mind straight away. Can I be objective whilst being commissioned by Springdance to write about Springdance? How can I be critical about my own commissioner? The other issue is the question what it is to be a dramaturge. Does my subjective view matter for the artist I am working with? Or should I be able to objectify my own perspective on the performance. Should I try to represent the audience that will come and see the show?
In the end I prefer to mix up a clear subjective view with some elements, which I think are more objective. I try to use this approach in my writing, my research and my dramaturgical practice. Alternating in describing the subject matter and my own position in relation to that.

I can’t help thinking of Simon Ellis’s Down (working title). Ellis, one of the participants in Europe in Motion, not only presented his solo performance, he also provided the context of this performance. From the introduction, where I imagined myself in his place, having just introduced Beginning Middle, End myself an hour earlier, to the reviews, audience reactions and even the specifications for touring.

As an artist Ellis took the liberty to be lecturer, choreographer, dancer, critic, audience and PR assistant in one. Criticising both dance and the dance community, he shows, as the devil’s advocate, the ‘like knows like’ existence of this dance community. He left his audience powerless. Everything was already said. Interesting enough Ellis manages to represent several of my positions during Springdance & performance festival. And by doing this he got me thinking about my position(s) in this community.

In a way Ellis covers himself against any criticism from others, wrapping his entire performance. I could write a review on Beginning, Middle, End today…

Beginning, Middle, End by Andrea Bozic, Julia Willms, Madalina Dan and Michael Pinchbeck tonight (April 23), 19.00h in Theater Kikker.
More Europe in Motion: April 23 and 24, 20.30h in Theater Kikker.

Beginning, Middle, End

april 7th, 2009

Currently I am working with Michael Pinchbeck, a Nottingham based writer, live artist and performance artist. Together with Andrea Bozic and Madalina Dan he makes the performance Beginning, Middle, End. The startingpoint is that every artist takes one part. Andrea takes Beginning together with Julia Willms, Madalina takes Middle and Michael takes End. Michael asked me for dramaturgical advise for his part. The performance will première at Springdance on April 22 and will also play on the 23rd.
For more information visit their blog.

Beginning, Middle, End – Andrea Bozic / Madalina Dan / Michael Pinchbeck
Three artists meet for the first time. They make a performance about the beginning, the middle and the end of an encounter. This is the beginning.

Andrea takes the beginning, Madalina takes the middle and Michael takes the end. The beginning is about a beginning, the middle is about a middle and the end is about an end. This is the middle.
They play with threes. Three dances. Three artists. Three countries. Three bears. Three ways to tell a story or to sing a song. Three in One. They make three entrances and three exits. This is the end.

Andrea Bozic (HR/NL), Madalina Dan (ROU) and Michael Pinchbeck (UK) took part in Springdance Dialogue 2008. They proposed Beginning Middle End for Springdance 2009 to enable both a collaboration and an important sense of autonomy. They identified many intersections in their work; shared interests in absence and presence; issues of embodiment and self-referentiality; fictionalising personal life and personalising fictional life. Beginning Middle End has been built around the artists’ presence and absence in each other’s creative processes. Interested in the connections between their practices and the space between their practices, the artists asked how they might inhabit each other’s work and exit their own.

Production credits:
Concept and performance: Andrea Bozic, Madalina Dan, Michael Pinchbeck
Live drawing (Beginning): Julia Willms
Dramaturgical advice (End): Jochem Naafs
Produced by the Springdance Festival (in co-production with Theater Frascati), financially supported by the Europe in Motion project.

Springdance Stage

maart 31st, 2009

For this years dance and performance festival Springdance launched a community website. Please join Springdance Stage and get in contact with dancers, choreographers, makers, journalists, other visitors et cetera. I will keep all visitors of Springdance (Stage) up to date with a number of columns I will write before, during and after the festival. But the website also features videos, pictures and reviews from both makers and visitors. And you are welcome to share your own expectations and experiences too.

Visit and join by hitting the sign up button!

The Post Show Party Show

december 1st, 2008

December 5th and 6th The Post Show Party Show is coming to Amsterdam. Ivana Müller invited Michael Pinchbeck on behalf of Frascati to perform it as ‘supporting programme’ of her performance Playing Ensemble Again and Again. He was one of the participants of Springdance Dialogue last April. This performance was shown there and the intriguing combination of re-enacting the past and being in the here and now hit me. Pinchbeck seems to have found a fascinating way in which the past and the present get mixed up and reinvented. Here are two quotes from the text I wrote for Springdance:

“At the start of The Post Show Party Show, every spectator is offered a drink. In this performance, Michael Pinchbeck very clearly plays with the here and now. He mentions his own presence and his father’s as actors, as well as the audience’s presence. He combines this layer in the performance with an attempt at re-enacting The Sound of Music and the post show party after the amateur performance of the musical in which his parents met in 1970”.

“Memory, nostalgia and the personal play an important role in Pinchbeck’s work. In The Long and Winding road and Sit with me for a moment and remember, he invites the audience to accompany him in a car or on a bench for a one-to-one performance. If they ask, he talks with his visitor about his reasons for inviting them to join him. In The Post Show Party Show, Michael Pinchbeck returns to the past once more. In these performances, he does not tell a story about himself or voice his opinion about a subject. He tries to recount what has happened and how he relates to these events: always looking for what is left behind to see what is lost”.

The Post Show Part Show – Michael Pinchbeck
December 5 and 6: 19.30 in Frascati2
December 6: 18.45 Pinchbeck discusses his work with dramaturge Jeroen Fabius

Playing Ensemble Again and Again – Ivana Müller
December 3/6: 21.00 in Frascati1

Orbis Pictus – Theatrum Mundi

oktober 14th, 2008

Van 23 t/m 26 oktober vind in Amsterdam de conferentie Orbis Pictus- Theatrum Mundi plaats. Deze conferentie wordt georganiseerd door het Gesellschaft für Theaterwissenschaft en heeft dit jaar als thema de combinatie van de wereld als podium en de zichtbare wereld. De vraag die gesteld wordt is hoe het theater de wereld waarin wij leven zou kunnen verbeelden.

De conferentie is opgdeeld in vier secties: paradigma verschuivingen, methoden, esthetiek en politiek. Naast lezingen en discussies zijn er in Frascati ook diverse voorstellingen en installaties te zien:

De installatie Anamorphose van Ibrahim Quraisi, Nothing can surprise us van Andrea Bozic en Julia Willms, Little red (play): herstory van het internationale gezelschap andcompany&Co en The art of flipbook (Daumenkinographie) van Volker Gerling.

Ursus Ludens

september 23rd, 2008

(Geschreven voor summerschool kunstkritiek, Het Theaterfestival Antwerpen, VTI)

Hotel ModernRococo
Antwerpen, Bourla, 22 augustus 2008

Een georganiseerde chaos: dozen, bubbeltjesplastic, allerlei objecten en twee stille figuren met berenmaskers uitgestald op een wit plastic zeil. Het publiek komt binnen en is gedwongen over het knallende bubbeltjesplastic naar zijn plek te lopen. Het geluid hiervan is nog maar net uitgedoofd als er leven in een van de beren komt. Liggend op een trolley rolt de beer naar voren. Het voorzichtige geknal van het publiek maakt plaats voor het geratel van een mitrailleur: het spelen is begonnen.
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