After Disappearance premiered in Luxembourg in 2019, the Coronavirus put a stop to performances in the Netherlands. Now, two years later, the show will finally be performed in Dutch theaters. We spoke with artistic directors Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten to look ahead to this performance, where, due to uncertain times, the question remains: will we appear or disappear?
How does Disappearance relate to the first part of the diptych Appearance?
With Disappearance we go to another side of Appearance. From live piano playing and children’s choir to dance with sounds in the ether. We go in search of the flip side of presence. Something can only disappear if it has appeared before. And sometimes a presence can reinforce the feeling of absence. You could even argue that in a performance – that what we see exists thanks to what we don’t see. The children are gone corporeally in Disappearance, their rarefied voices we hear in the ether, and the dancers embody their souls. I disappear so I appear.
What attracts you to the phenomenon of Disappearance or disappearing?
It is dynamic, it is a movement of coming and going. Like the breath that propels the children in Appearance to their last breaths. The breath appears and disappears in a constant flow. You can hold it, play with it, and one day it will disappear forever. Or will it?
At the same time, the dichotomy is inherent in our dance language. From the beginning of our collaboration we play with friction, with a space in between: between body and brain, between the academic language of classical and contemporary dance and the language of instinctive desire, the language of the flesh. Philosopher Anthony van Braambusche described our dance as: ‘the clash between two languages resulting in an in-between space that confronts the dancer and the choreographer with the dialectical interplay between order and disorder, discipline and chaos, freedom and restriction, the appearance and disappearance of the body’.
What is the role of the dancers?
The dancers animate the receptivity and curiosity towards a future life. In Appearance, we say goodbye to the children. In Disappearance, the dancers take up the torch. From the black hole they appear with nothing more and less than their intuitive power. As a group and as individuals they then travel through colorful landscapes to emerge in blinding white. ICKNext, the junior company, plays an important role; the 5 young dancers form the rearguard but are also deployed as ‘avant-garde’. They cause the change of colors and in the end it is they who determine the white.
The piece premiered in Luxembourg in 2019 and could not be shown in the Netherlands due to the pandemic. We are now living in a different time. Did this period influence the performance?
Well, with terms like ‘The Great Reset’ and discussions about a life before and after the pandemic, the play is hyper topical. In 2019, we had the voice of 16-year-old Gretha Thunberg on the airwaves waking up the gray-haired gentlemen at the World Economic Forum during the same period. You say nothing in life is black and white but that is a lie, a very dangerous lie, you are not mature enough to tell us like it is, even that burden you leave to us children, you say you love your children of all else, and yet your stealing their future.
Now, two years later, at the end of Disappearance, the young dancers of ICK-Next are staring at us, nailed in the snow white. We face their intuitive strength and vulnerability.
Have you become curious and want to experience Disappearance yourself? Disappearance will tour theaters all over the country! Click on one of the links below to purchase your tickets for performances in a theater near you.
17.01.2022 – NL PREMIERE – DISAPPEARANCE @ Internationaal Theater Amsterdam
18.01.2022 DISAPPEARANCE @ Internationaal Theater Amsterdam
19.01.2022 DISAPPEARANCE @ Theater De Vest, Alkmaar
22.01.2022 DISAPPEARANCE @ Stadsschouwburg Utrecht
25.01.2022 DISAPPEARANCE @ Stadsschouwburg Groningen
10.02.2022 DISAPPEARANCE @ Schouwburg Hengelo
18.02.2022 DISAPPEARANCE @ Zwolse Theaters
02.04.2022 DISAPPEARANCE @ Theater Rotterdam