renee van zadelhoff
Spanning approximately 50 minutes, the performance unfolds within TANZMANSCHINE, a cubic installation measuring 8m x 8m x 5m. The space is divided into two areas: the Arena where the performer dances, and the Observation Deck from which the audience looks down on the performer. This unique setting allows the audience to situate themselves between man and machine. One of the groundbreaking features of the performance is the 360-degree sound placement, which varies according to the performer’s location in the Arena. In the performance’s final scenes, the dancer’s movements become a live slider, dynamically adjusting the volume of the sound.
Theme and Technical Aspects
Focusing on the themes of clubbing, identity, and existential “being,” the performance employs a mix of mime techniques and rave dance. These elements collaboratively probe the complexities of social interactions, self-perception, and how we project ourselves in different settings. The sound design plays a crucial role, inspired by hard, dark, and shamanistic techno music. Not just a background element, the sound in the final scenes becomes interactive, controlled by the performer’s movements. The lighting design incorporates strict lines and geometric forms, creating a game-like atmosphere that influences the performer’s choices and contributes to the overall experience.
Concept Niek Vanoosterweyck
Performer Niek Vanoosterweyck
Sound Design IGNOTA
Light Design Hessel Hilgersom
Sound Engineer Titus Duitshof
Technical Production Titus Duitshof
Production Saskia Wieser
Dramaturgy Saskia Wieser
Advisor Bas van Rijnsoever
Artwork Niek Vanoosterweyck
Thanks to Loes van der Pligt, Willem Weemhoff, Erik Lint, Fred Rodrigues, Renee Van Zadelhoff
Powered by ID-Lab and the Mime Education
Premiered on 29/11/2019 at the Academy of Theatre and Dance
Performed at Toneelschuur and Musis Arnhem for ITS Festival on Tour 2020, NDSM Theatre for OHIJ Festival 2020, Museumnacht 2022 Stedelijk Museum
How can I be seen in this disappearing world?
I decided to follow the light and let myself be navigated by it. So I stay visible. So I can be, there. Seen. In the spotlight. In the right place, in the right timing. I get immersed in the commands of the machine. Trying to be ahead. To stay visible within the installation. The machine leads me to my outermost border of exhaustion, of being. The struggle becomes more and more visible.
How can I make the invisible visible to you? How can I break with the light without losing my flow? Through listening and moving, through acting and reacting. This way I can choose between going against and working with the invisible power. I embody the invisible to make it visible.
In Tanzmanschine we use an infrared camera, which is hanging above the performance space. This camera projects invisible light on the performer and is connected to Isadora (a communication software). In Isadora, we use the incoming light data to influence the light- and soundscapes. Because of this connection, I can influence my surroundings. Therefore I need to discover the impact of the movements on the invisible machine. I follow the light to stay visible. Until the system limits my movement space and forces me into exhaustion. By falling to the ground I become invisible to the camera. I reground myself to go against the light and control the sound.
The questions we are raising: How do we relate to something we can not see? What are the invisible translations of our actions? How do we deal with something that seems it will never stop?
___When I start, I need focus and an empty head. All of my attention goes to the sound, the body and the light. While performing it I noticed that if I memorised all of the lights my brain would be too busy to react. To be able to react as fast as the machine demands I am obliged to follow my intuition, my senses and my reflexes. The machine doesn’t stop, so the only option is to give yourself to it completely. I have quite the winning mentality so making mistakes pushes me to be even more precise. And if I don’t listen well enough the mistakes are inevitable. It puts me in this special state which keeps me going.