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Boukje Schweigman offers best way out of two years of lockdown stress

From now on, can we agree to replace all DJs with real drummers? I mean, what I experienced at the premiere of Eros, Schweigman&'s latest project, was so overwhelming that I can no longer imagine ever going out of my mind on a drum machine. Two living drummers, splashing and at the same time separately ramming the stars out of the sky: that is all you need for a pot of overwhelming ecstasy.

Eros is about ecstasy. About women celebrating their bodies without that eroticism degenerating into porn. Disarmingly free dancers, partly from Utrecht youth theatre DOX. This co-producer offers no to-the-bone trained professionals, which in this case is only fine. And so it is about drummers.

Singing bowls and floating

I have been following Boukje Schweigman since her first school project, Klep, and have since watched her continue to grow into a completely unique artist. Besides dance performances like 'Wiek', she can also create installations in which you are individually immersed in spiritual sensations, as recently in the illusionary Spectrum.

Projects like Spectrum show Schweigman's esoteric side, and that always skims right past the swagger that surrounds singing bowls, vague lighting effects and 'feeling'. That normally makes me a bit giddy, but Schweigman always manages to bend it to concrete experience. And then it never becomes narrowly sweet, pedantic or compelling.

Black Star's music video

So too with Eros. It starts with singing bowls and a kind of hippy-like witch sabbath in which we are supposed to get a deeper experience via chocolate and hibiscus. Just lucky me. But the singing bowls give way to something I can best compare to the music video for David Bowie's swan song Black Star. And meanwhile, you see that on stage are two full-fledged drum kits and realise that it's not going to stop at singing bowls and chocolate.

And how. The transition is almost seamless, but suddenly you are in the middle of a rave, rock-hard beats from roaring bass drums and raging rhythms on toms, hi-hats and timpani. The two drummers Schweigman pulled out of their holes for this production are the main attraction of this exhausting performance, which leaves no spectator untouched.

Real drummers. How I missed them. Sitting inside for two years because of a effing virus. No touching each other. No popping parties. Little modest partying on home delivery coke and not too loud music. Because the neighbours. Not that that was my world, I only walked the dog, but you will have been young in 2020 and 2021.

How well, in 2022, those drummers and those dancers make up for that misery in this new work by Schweigman&.

Good to know Good to know
Eros by DOX and Schweigman& can still be seen. Information.

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1 thought on “Boukje Schweigman biedt de beste uitweg uit twee jaar lockdownstress”

  1. Hey Wijbrand,
    I read your review about Boukje Schweigman .And although I am also a fan of her work, she is now called Schweigman&
    It is a pity that in the hierarchy of theatre, people still think that the director or artistic director is so decisive . As if it were a pyramid.
    I am sure had it not been for the experimental work of Ibelisse and Frank, Boukje's direction would not have been as strong.
    In the esemble's work, Ibelisse Guarda is a major influence. And also her husband Frank Rosalie. There were two very tight drummers for a reason ( the EX's former drummer). Just for background Ibelisse comes from a family one of South America's most famous musicians. She grew up among them and that background too makes this work so super spiritual.She herself still plays in another band and makes performances with makers who need her background to get more depth in a project around themas that are so important now. In everything, I saw the cosmology of those backgrounds. But also the power of the EX. It was really a collaborative work.
    To mention the DOX as well. They too have invested years in their company and working with young people of all kinds.
    And from my own experience, I know how annoying it is not to be mentioned as a tri-cultural maker like an Ibelisse is. Or as a top drummer like Frank Rosalie and the other drummer.
    I loved it. But that & may be mentioned at the Culture Press right?
    Hopefully it will succeed next time Wijbrand.

    ps: Because I also admire you with your perseverance 🙂

    greetings Berith Danse
    Square Theatre

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Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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