Skip to content

TWOOLS 18 reflects contemporary worldview (and that's not good)

If you want to see a do-nothing dance programme, TWOOLS 18 by Scapino Ballet Rotterdam is the wrong place. If you want to know how young creators live their world, you're in the right place.

TWOOLS the eighteenth edition

TWOOLS is an occasional platform that offers young choreographers the chance to work with a top company. All the makers taking part in the 18th edition of TWOOLS have one thing in common, or rather one place: Hanover. That is where they have all been.

An annual international competition for choreographers takes place (this year on 29 and 30 June). It is a fishpond for new talent. The winners of the Scapino Production Prize also get the chance to create a work for the Rotterdam company.

In TWOOLS 18, six choreographers will perform, five of whom will present a new work. The makers come from all over the world: from Suriname to Taiwan. Giving them all studio space and time in a short period is logistically very demanding for the company. Yet it gives an extra dynamic to the company.

The creators are: Ryan Djojokarso, Fang-Yu Shen, Maciej Kuzminski, Miquel G. Font, Marcos Morau and Joeri Alexander Dubbe.

But where is Ed Wubbe?

This season, Ed Wubbe celebrated another 25th anniversary as the company's artistic director with his successful production Scala. Next season features a new full-length work by Wubbe, All Hands on Deck. However, the Scapino big man is missing from the TWOOLS stage with a work of his own. The concept of a connecting line through the programme has also been abandoned this time.

But that is precisely what the young makers need: a guiding hand from an experienced dance maker, or dramaturge. Still, Wubbe gives feedback to choreographers, but it seems they use the freedom to do little with it.

How many lucky young choreographers are walking around?

The worldview of the young, modern makers in TWOOLS is bleak. Some of the themes: accelerating technological developments, Orwell's 1984, loneliness, a world that never stands still.

Ryan Djojokarso comes up with a lighter theme in a colourful setting: the last day to mate. Mating? There's usually nothing wrong with that. Yet one dancer falls out of the group. Who is left alone to merely watch the lives of others.

The rest of the works mostly take place in the dark. Preferably with smoke involved. And mean lights. Supported by screeching, repeating sound fragments.

Dancers with quality

Fang-Yu Shen pursues quality in the movement of her three dancers and very creatively portrays the loneliness of an otherwise communicating whale. Maciej Kuzminski has nine dancers walk in mathematical Nicole Beutler patterns until chaos breaks out and Micha van Leeuwen has to catch them like a saving angel. More could have been done here with the beautiful stage setting at the end when all the lights come down and these spy the dancers one by one.

It gets better after the break, only there is no break

The ingenious Norai by Miquel G. Font is more af and ballet-oriented. Consequently, the choreographer started it as a dancer when he was only three. The goddess on stage stunning a dance couple caught in ropes must have sprung from Catalan Catholic-mystical soil. Or from the Mudra/Ballet Béjart area where Font hails from. In any case, Laura Casasola Fonseca and Alexander Cyr dance nicely nippy.

The ingenious Shin A Lam by Marcos Morau is a delightful resumption From an earlier edition of TWOOLS. Magistically danced by Maya Roest and Bonnie Doets.

Finally, and extensively 'speaking', comes the thinker Joeri Dubbe. Who plunged into robotics. A large group of dancers have worked very hard to master the robot movements: it appears to be a harness for them. For a moment they break through it, with the Beastie Boys, balloons and confetti, but soon they have to return to the trance. An impressive and bizarre spectacle.

An overdose never really makes you happy

Scapino Ballet Rotterdam quite honestly bills TWOOLS 18 as 'Scapino's ballet overdose'. Of course, an overdose doesn't really make anyone happy. However, the theme of TWOOLS rightly symbolises a melancholy that weighs on society. No one seems to have a redeeming answer to it for now.

Good to know Good to know
 TWOOLS tours through January 2019 across the country. At the end of June, the programme Made in Rotterdam will be released, with dancers creating their own work. There will be no TWOOLS next season. In season 19/20, the 75-year-old Scapino Ballet celebrates its anniversary. A modified version of TWOOLS may appear then.

Ruben Brugman

writing ex-dancerView Author posts

Small Membership
175€ / 12 Maanden
Especially for organisations with a turnover or grant of less than 250,000 per year.
No annoying banners
A premium newsletter
5 trial newsletter subscriptions
All our podcasts
Have your say on our policies
Insight into finances
Exclusive archives
Posting press releases yourself
Own mastodon account on our instance
Large Membership
360€ / Jaar
Voor culturele organisaties
No annoying banners
A premium newsletter
10 trial newsletter subscriptions
All our podcasts
Participate
Insight into finances
Exclusive archives
Posting press releases yourself
Own mastodon account on our instance
Collaboration
Private Membership
50€ / Jaar
For natural persons and self-employed persons.
No annoying banners
A premium newsletter
All our podcasts
Have your say on our policies
Insight into finances
Exclusive archives
Own mastodon account on our instance
en_GBEnglish (UK)