With his newest performance 30 appearances out of darkness, Arno Schuitemaker creates an experience in which a new dimension opens from the dark.
Arno Schuitemaker: “Maybe it is proof that I am getting older, but I feel that I am less and less resisting the vulnerability of life. When I was reading Derek Jarman’s book Chroma some of his words resonated with me: Is black hopeless? Doesn’t every dark thundercloud have a silver lining? In black lies the possibility of hope. It led me to want to reflect on the significance of this paradox, and how it can shape and define us for the better. For example, why do we sometimes fear what we desire most? It is a question I can’t let go of. I want to fear less. Maybe we should find enlightenment by disappearing into darkness, if only to be able to come out on the other side.”
Barely lit images emerge from a pitch-dark space, sometimes on the threshold of perception — mysterious and mesmerizing. Assumptions we make are being challenged, while a group of performers moves across the stage. They appear and disappear. Not everyone is visible at the same time, but their presence is always felt in a world with its own kind of gravity that absorbs each and every one. Darkness, as ominous as it can be, gradually transforms into a place of protection, hope, and conquest.
30 appearances out of darkness was ranked in the top 5 best performances of the season by de Volkskrant.
Find the dates, press quotes, and credits below.
Hopefulness is risky, since after all it is a form of trust,
trust in the unknown and possible.
Hope in the Dark — Rebecca Solnit
Top 5 best performances of the season - de Volkskrant
Between black velvet pillars the contours of naked bodies emerge one by one. (...) In this all-absorbing game of disappearing and appearing, Schuitemaker gradually creates a space for a redeeming finale. It is an impressive feeling to realize that afterward your head is glowing. — Annette Embrechts, de Volkskrant ★★★★
Movement, light, and sound engage in a perfect dialogue (...) The pivotal moment of the performance is when a voice breaks through the instrumental score. The intense humanness of a voice and a body is very touching. — Heleen Westerik, Cultuurpers
Within the frame of an hour both the dancers and the audience make a journey from stillness and darkness to light and movement, from one extreme to the other (...) It is a hallucinatory experience. — Kester Freriks, Theaterkrant
Arno Schuitemaker meticulously builds his choreography of 30 appearances out of darkness in a magnificent, disorienting light design by Jean Kalman. — Francine van der Wiel, NRC
Creation: Arno Schuitemaker
Performers: Ivan Ugrin, Ahmed El Gendy, Emilia Saavedra, Frederik Kaijser, Rebecca Collins, Clotilde Capelletti, Jim Buskens, Paolo Yao, and Lucas Devroe (understudy)
Dramaturgy: Guy Cools
Music: Aart Strootman
Lighting design: Jean Kalman
Set design: Jean Kalman, Arno Schuitemaker
30 appearances out of darkness is a production of SHARP/ArnoSchuitemaker in coproduction with La Place de la Danse – Centre de Développement Chorégraphique National / Toulouse-Occitanie and POLE-SUD - Centre de Développement Chorégraphique National Strasbourg. Supported by Fonds Podiumkunsten, Amsterdams voor de Kunst, Fonds 21, and Zabawas. Many thanks to the Holland Festival.