Archives for category: festivals

 Photo: Yuri Huijg / Soopknife

The second edition of What You See Festival took place from November 22 – 24 in the city of Utrecht. Initiated by Vincent Wijlhuizen, Ieme Soes and myself, this multidisciplinary and international festival presented a brand new program fueled with urgency and joy. Through dance, theatre, film, exhibitions, music and more, the festival questions and stretches deep ingrained norms on gender and identity.

“Still humble in means, yet rich and ambitious in its programming, this festival is diverse in its core – the main focus lying on the topics of (gender and sexual) identities – but also diverse in poetic approaches to the themes at hand.” – Jordi Theunissen,

Next festival is November 19 – 22 in Utrecht, NL
Read the rest of this entry »

@Soopknife / Yuri Huijg


From the 23rd till the 25th of November the very first edition of the international What You See Festival took place in Utrecht. Initiated by Vincent Wijlhuizen, Ieme Soes and myself, the festival questioned and stretched deep ingrained norms on gender and identity in a challenging program fueled with urgency and joy. The different theatre and dance performances, the film program, the exhibitions and a symposium offered new perspectives on gender which resulted in in-depth conversations and new connections between various people. The sold out performances, committed audiences, open and generous atmosphere,  curiosity and beautiful encounters underlined the necessity of and the need for this festival. On November  22-24 2019 the second edition will take place.

A reflection on my experiences at Spring Forward Festival 2017

‘It don’t matter if you’re black or white’ was the ideological soundtrack of my youth. Somewhere along the line, while imitating Michael Jackson moves, we somehow forgot that what he was singing about was an ideal and not yet a reality. I, and many others, grew up with the illusion that we don’t see skin colour, and that it really doesn’t matter if you’re black or white. But it does matter and, by ignoring that, we are at risk over overlooking systematic iniquities in our society. As Anousha Nzume’s writes in her recently-published and very accessible book Hallo witte mensen (Hello white people), ‘if you claim you don’t see colour, you will also not see power structures created on the base of colour.’[1] In order to unravel power structures we have to talk about skin colour, including within the dance field. So here we go.

Read the rest of this entry »

Classical Beauty by LOCATION X / Taneli Törmä Photo: Jan Vesala

I was one of the lucky ten that were selected for the Springback Academy at Spring Forward Festival 2017. From 28th till 30th of April we saw 20 performances plus a film at the festival in Aarhus, Denmark. We ate, drank, discussed and danced together. Each one of us wrote three reviews and in doing, were mentored by professional dance critics. Below I’ve included my reviews, but you can find the work of my badass colleagues here.

Classical Beauty
by LOCATION X / Taneli Törmä  / April 28

A burly, beardy man stands centre stage, surrounded by a circle of light. He starts running in place, showing us the muscle tension in his bare legs while sweat seeps through his neat, lilac shirt. During the action his blissful smile reveals exaltation; he’s aiming for something to fulfil his longing.

Read the rest of this entry »

AUSUFERN is the name of a brand new interdisciplinary series of events run by Uferstudios in Berlin and means exactly that: to go beyond one’s own limitations and beyond usual sites of artistic production presenting and initiating art projects that reach into the public realm. These events particularly look to create a dialogue within the neighbourhood and seek to understand the realities of the neighborhood of Wedding, Berlin. Choreography is not only understood as staging, but also as social practice- a multiple and contradictory mobilisation of individual bodies which in turn brings about “communities in development”.

Entrance for the performance is free. In 2017, AUSUFERN takes place from 1-4 June, 1-4 July, 1-4 August, 1-4 September and 1-4 October.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dutch Dance Dialogues 2014 / photo: Antoinette Mooy

Festival De  Nederlandse Dansdagen (Dutch Dance Festival) is almost coming up and they’ve asked me to organize the Dutch Dance Dialogues; a biennial programme to boost the dialogue within the Dutch dance field. This years themes are: Dance & Fashion (in relation to the projects (OLD)Fashion(ed) and Distinguished Dreams) and Dance & Gender (in relation to the European project Performing Gender). Speakers include, among others, fashion journalist Aynouk Tan, Lecturer cultural studies Bibi Straatman, director Gender Bender Festival Daniele Del Pozzo, Roberto Casarotto of the B-Motion Festival in Italy, several choreographers like Connor Schumacher and Juan Arques and many more.

You can be there as well! There is cake and coffee. Check here for more info and tickets.

 Photo: Melanie Hofmann

On May 23rd, after the performance The Stages of Staging of choreographer Alexandra Bachzetsis, I moderated a debate on the concept of Self Design at SPRING festival. Together with Alexandra, reality television producers Ellen Schutten and Maarten Eysink Smeets, art critic and writer Simon van den Berg and the audience we talked about how we present and shape ourselves to the outside eye through various media. Even an hour felt to short and the debate continued at the bar.

Interested in the topic? Read Simon van den Bergs article on the topic in relation to The Stages of Staging here.

The debate was organized in the frame of the project De Vuurlinie and hosted by SPRING Utrecht.

 Photo: Vincent Wijlhuizen

The older person is not frail, except at certain crucial and often personal moments.’
Kim Putters, director Dutch Institute for Social Research (SCP) at the opening of Act Your Age.

‘We are more aged by culture than by chromosomes.’
Ross Jennings, head of the Women, Ageing and Media Research Centre at the University of Gloucestershire in Rock On:Women, ageing and popular music.

‘From a biological perspective, we are meant to love children and we are not meant to love older people. We don’t want to be confronted with the face of old-age.’
Rudi Westendorp, director Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing in I am my body.

‘By doing nothing and making use of Kairos (durational, dynamic, heterogeneous) time instead of Chronos (economic) time the rest brain is activated, which is necessary to stay healthy.’
Joke Hermsen, writer and philosopher in Growing Up Mindfully, Growing Old Actively 

‘Be Bitter Chocolate.’ Marjan Berk, writer in Ageing and Practice

Read a former entry of mine about the research week in 2012.
More info on Act Your Age.