One Night’s Dance 2019

On 5 December, the newly renovated Dansateliers space welcomes us to One Night’s Dance with a festive atmosphere perfumed by pepernoten and tangerines. One Night’s Dance is an annual project that offers a selection of new makers an opportunity to do research on new work. In a series of workshops and coaching sessions with the artistic team, each maker delves deep into their practice. Although the efforts are geared towards productions, the pieces presented are not treated as premieres, but rather as carefully crafted try-outs. 

The evening starts with a solo created and performed by Wennah Wilkers. She explores her relationship with House music and its movement vocabulary. Seeking a sense of timelessness, she dances around the stage with ease, exploring the space, walking, dancing and changing the space through simple alterations in the scenography: a movable red spotlight that seems to show the way, talcum powder on the ground allows for more movements to happen. Infinite proposes a playground where, as the title indicates, endless possibilities could arise.

After this groovy moment, a duet created by Ian Yves Ancheta and performed by Rowy Tebeest and Alkis Barbas continues the uplifting vibe. Once, Two Times plays with variations around a clear frame of movement. A trio of two bodies and a board with wheels interact ingeniously, climbing, sliding on top of or into each other. What happens if one factor is changed? If the roles are switched? If the directions are shuffled? The piece is a playful experiment with movement and dramaturgical fluctuations.

Continuing the investigative mindset proposed in the previous work, Šuka Horn dives into a detailed exploration of the boundaries of his body. Designing movement with great detail, his limbs transform into a pendulum swing. Oscillating subtly, alternating the position of his extremities, always with unexpected changes and tempos. Fine Line keeps us engaged and invites us to zoom in and out between abstract shapes and deconstructed body parts.

After a break to freshen up the minds and enjoy the jolly atmosphere, we enter the last part of the evening, this time with a darker ambience, higher in intensity. An energetic duet danced by Danielle Huyghe and Alexandra Verschuuren, the makers themselves, kicks off this second part. The two embark on a frantic trip of dynamic movements. Precise gestures and emotional states seem to be in constant dialogue. Out of the Blue examines the possibilities of consciousness and subconsciousness by exploring dreams and the feelings these can evoke.

The solo Tandava, created by Dane Badal, continues to open up mysterious realms. Rohiet Tjon Poen Gie embodies this choreography that is rooted in the principles of the Hindu god Shiva’s creation and destruction of the universe. With virtuosic physicality and a movement language that looks like a meeting between urban dance and traditional Hindu dance, we are transported into mystic narratives.

To round up the eclectic evening, Dansateliers has invited three poetesses, Chery, Marjolein Roozen and Lotte Velvet, to respond to the works. We are gifted with poems read out loud by the writers themselves, ending the experience of the night in lightness.

This plethora of works and approaches to movement expression show us plenty of doors to enter the pieces, and dance overall. From conceptual to more narrative works, the topics brought to the stage are varied, yet they are all united by the urgency of bodies. The urgency of using this physical medium as a container to express what is around, between, above and beyond us.

Seen: December 5, 2019, Dansateliers, Rotterdam.

Photo: Thijs Huizer

Participating choreographers: Ian Yves Ancheta, Dane Badal, Šuka Horn, Danielle Huyghe, Alexandra Verschuuren, Wennah Wilkers  | coaching and selection: Merel Heering, Kristin de Groot | advice,  concept development, feedback: Rodia Vomvolou | shared feedback: Kristin de Groot | feedback: Gil the Grid | lighting design: Edwin van Steenbergen.