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Making dance together as an example of living together. SOUL #3 Co-Creation is intimate, without eroticism.

You have those performances where, as an unsuspecting spectator, you are invited on stage and, once there, get completely blocked. SOUL Co-Creation is not one of those. Almost one, though.

Indeed, in this work, dancer Claire Hermans explains that fear is a blockade to creativity. Consequently, the four performers do not urge you to get on the floor. They do come very close to you in the audience and move gently. 'We bring you an ode to vulnerability, because we learn to shield it from childhood...' These are the opening words of the performance text by Hans van den Boom.

The performance is about co-creation, or: making together. When you walk into the auditorium, some of the audience has already started working with dancers. This is also how the evening ends. In between, the dancers embody the creative creativity of choreographer duo Jérôme Meyer and Isabelle Chaffaud.

A solo by Diana Senauskaite sets the tone for the aforementioned vulnerability. Because the entire audience is seated around her, or because she has bare legs. Skin looks vulnerable.


Fifteen years Meyer and Chaffaud have been making dance. Further afield, choreographer couple Sol León and Paul Lightfoot are celebrating double years of dance mastery at NDT. Meyer and Chaffaud once worked at NDT. You can see that in the dance: everything flows, everything moves. The dance is round and supple. Not too polished, but not very raw either. This is also due to the somewhat well-behaved costumes (fine for a neo-classical ballet performance): they don't really support the idea of chaos that comes with creating. In that respect, SOUL lacks Co-Creation the transgression of someone like Ann Van den Broek: repetition in movements or intensifying a small movement until it drives you mad or drives you insane.

Ode to an incubator

You can call it an exhibition, this game of making connections and seeking openings. Think of it as a helping hand of how to interact: mature, familiar and open. Intimate even, without being eroticising. You can see this in Konstantinos Kranidiotis, a dancer with primal strength. He takes a slim blonde woman onto the floor, where they begin a duet in the dark. The young man who sat next to her and stays behind watches it all benevolently.

That fits in with the era. It remains to be seen whether a society that reproduces itself on the basis of drives and lusts and moves unruly and shockingly, can cope with the above neutralising coping.

Therefore, the performance promises to be a celebration, not an expectation of how things can be. Moreover, if you look into the soul of a human being, it is inherently pure. It seems that the makers start from that pure basic human being. Shaped with dancers who seek each other's common centre of gravity, descending, rising and giving into it. SOUL Co-Creation thus delivers a full evening, even if it lasts only an hour.

Ruben Brugman

writing ex-dancerView Author posts

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