Due to the global pandemic, most of the international touring is paused, and the venues in China are reopening slowly with limited audience number. The Dutch Focus programme in venues in Shanghai and Beijing cannot take forward as planned. However, inspired by many companies’ quick response to the Covid-19, including Club Guy and Roni, 100 hands and Jakop Ahlbom Company, etc, we hope to propose some events below for creating a digital edition of Dutch Focus.
The Dutch are not the first ones to present their performing arts in China. There are some cases from different countries, such as French Waves, Berliner Theatertreffen in China and UK-China Contemporary Cultural Festival. The Dutch embassy is launching a website for all cultural art forms in December 2020. However, the below cases are led by the embassies in China to generate attention to icons of their countries. We won’t take the same route but are closely working together with the venue and festival partners with the following goals: 1) to have a pre-promotion of the future activities, 2) to maintain the current network, 3) to attract new venue/festival partners and 4) to build more awareness to the general public.
Two men are living together in a single tiny room. They have ingenuously solved the problem of lack of space. All the furniture has multiple functions: the bed doubles as a piano and the bookcase serves as a fridge. And to compensate for the absence of a woman, the pair create a mechanical cleaning lady. But it soon becomes clear that she has no intention of quietly going about her chores. This doll has opinions of her own. Tensions mount, and the room starts getting smaller and smaller. The men’s latest invention may be their downfall.
Lebensraum is inspired by the works of actor and filmmaker from the 1920’s, Buster Keaton. Keaton was a pioneer in the worlds of slapstick and physical comedy. At that time, silent movies like Keaton’s were accompanied by classical piano music. This piece is going to be live accompanied by Ralph Mulder and Leonard Lucieer of the band Alamo Race Track.
Jakop Ahlbom won the 2012 VSCD Mime Award at the Dutch Theatre Festival for Lebensraum. Silke Hundertmark, who plays the doll in Lebensraum, made history by being the first actress in a nonspeaking part to be nominated for the prestigious Colombina award.