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Developing and presenting our artistic work and giving workshops

 

At the start of the second week everyone felt we needed a strong sense of collaboration and cohesion to finish our performance. We were a mixed group, not just in terms of cultures and nationalities, but also in terms of ideas, forms of training, years of experience, age and artistic vision.Some had never had a dance class before, but found their way into it or sought for other ways to take part in the making of the performance. For example, some wrote poetry, some made their own music, some made the costumes, and some thought about which pieces should be in or out, or took lead in cleaning the group works that had been made. This meant that it really was a performance wherein everyone took part in the making process and had ownership. Odak guided us artistically, always ensuring a program and planning for the day, making sure someone gave the warm-up or took lead in a making process, giving assigments for the creation of duets/trios/quartets. He proposed his artistic vision, order of pieces and his ideas for the storyline for the final performance and took decisions when needed. Yet, the whole process was a democratic one. Everyone was listened to and could suggest ideas. When our first try-out (which we presented during an open rehearsal @ Het Wilde Westen) was too long, one of the participants suggested to change it a bit, leaving some pieces out and changing the order of others we discussed this and unanimously agreed. On wednesday we finished the first 20 minutes. In the afternoon we left and moved to the Stadsschouwburg where we practiced, ate pizza and at 20.00 O'Clock performed a preview of our performance in the Zocherfoyer as supporting program of Alida Dors' work Rebound which we watched afterwards in De Blauwe Zaal. On this day one of the participants who created live music for the piece suddenly arrived with a make-up box and created a BEAUTIFUL make-up art for all of us. After we finished we heard many positive responses!

The next day we continued the making process with even more positive energy. On thursday we finished our final work of 45 minutes. This week we had been training at Het Wilde Westen, Utrechts Centrum voor de Kunsten, Buurthuis de Leeuw and Het Muziekhuis Lombok. Like the first week, we enjoyed dinner together at Buurthuis Rosa or sometimes at home. 

On monday and thursday, we asked who would be interested in giving workshops to kids and youngsters. Some of the dancers from Kenya and South Africa went with Bart to teach kids at de BSO Oog in Al located in de Cereolfabriek, mostly playing games and making theatre and dance performances. Some others went to het Leidsche Rijn College with Annemieke to teach a workshop in South African contemporay and traditional Masai dance from Kenya to a 4 HAVO class.

Throughout the two weeks we had several reflection moments. As we had so many people involved with different ideas of what it means to be in a making process it was always important to hear how people felt and what they thought. Despite some differences, it was mostly our similarities, the collective struggles and joys we encounter, our common passion for (performing) arts, positive energies, the love and enthusiasm of being together and sharing our knowledge whilst learning from others that connected us strongly. 

This must have been visible on our performance night. When the day arrived on april 12, everyone was pretty relaxed. Odak always knew how to make us feel at ease and comfortable of what we had made. After the organizing team had logistically arranged some things in the morning, we started with a collective lunch at Muziekhuis. Here we presented a big piece of paper with all the tasks that needed to be divided. From 14.00 O'Clock we needed everyone to work together to make the space a place to perform. After all, we would be having our performance night at Het Stadsklooster, an old church in Lombok. Some people arranged the lights, others the sound, others taped the floor, others decorated the space, others made a food corner, others made toi toi toi's, Marloes did the make-up etc. At 15.15 we were all finished and went through the whole performance. Everyone was a bit tired, but luckily we all know that a final rehearsal needs mistakes for the real performance to be a success. And it was!!! Our aim was to share our work with the local community, our partners and all our friends and family. At 17.00 O'Clock the first people started to enter. We had space for about 50 people to join a meal before the performance was starting. Rob who works at Good Food Club | Wishing Well West cooked vegetarian paëlla in two pans for our 50 visitors and our group of artists. The dinner was amazing. After the dinner people were invited to see the art of our photographer Iso Caba (from South Africa but living in Utrecht), our catering and photographer Marieke Schroor and art from Edwin Jake who is connected to our partner organization Uitgesproken Queer. De Buurtcamping Majellapark organized a game. It was an amazing mix of people from different religions, genders, nationalities, etc. 

At 20.00 O'Clock the supporting program started. This existed out of two spoken word artists from the poetry collective Uitgesproken Queer. At 20.30 we started. When on stage we could not believe our eyes. There must have been about 200 people. They all joined the night for free (except those who joined the dinner for 5 euros). Afterwards many visitors we received many words of appreciation and hearing many people who want to think with us on how to continue what we are doing.

Luckily this was not the last performance. On saturday people could rest during the day. AT 17.00 we met at Buurthuis Rosa and discussing the program of the night. We were performing at Cafe Het Gegeven Paard in the evening at 21.30 as part of Rabo Open Stage curated by HKU. We decided to show the first 25 minutes of our full performance with smaller groups. It was amazing. A very different setting and a very different audience. In contrast to our show on friday, many did not expect a performance that included dance, theatre and music. 

Sunday was our last day of being together. We met at 12 O'Clock at de Nijverheid. We had been invited to perform as part of their program on Culturele Zondag. We performed twice; at 14.30 and 16.30. We performed the same part of the performance as the night before. Again a very different setting. This time we performed outside, placing the floor we used next to the shed. Whereas everyone was tired, everyone was also ready to give a last and amazing show. It was truly fire. 

We were invited by the family who hosted the two girls from South Africa for pancaked. We ended it with a celebration by giving thanks to all involved, handing certificates to all artist participants, presents to our guids Odak and Saskia from Jongerentheater Link and the one host family involved.

The next day it was time to say goodbye. We had an amazing time.

Thanks to everyone who supported us:

Odak and Saskia from Jongerentheater Link, all participants, David who filmed, Iso who made pictures, Rob who cookes for us, Marina, Marieke and Jimena who cooked for us and did production, all involved organizations Indoni Dance Arts and Leadership Academy, KPAG Arts Company, ArtZone Events and Entertainment, Wishing Well West, Buurthuis Rosa, Het Wilde Westen, Muziekhuis Lombok, UCK, Buurthuis de Leeuw, De Nijverheid, Tivoli Vredenburg, Het Stadsklooster, Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, Utrecht Universiteit, Hogeschool Utrecht, Perron West, Kopi Susu, BSO Oog in Al, Leidsche Rijn College, all the supporting funds; Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie | jijmaakthetmee, Fentener van Vlissingenfonds, K.F. Hein Fonds, Initiatievenfonds Gemeente Utrecht, Projectsubsidie Cultuur Gemeente Utrecht.

Thanks to Iso Caba all moments are captured in a magical way. 

Video's will follow soon.

Warms regards,

Het Xposed Team

Bart and Annemieke

Ps. We will continue to give classes including both repertoire from the final performance and new choreographies, as well as giving space for others to teach workshops. We are also in touch with the participants who look out for funding and are sending us reflections and thoughts on how to continue this project on both a local and international level.