Seen June 22, 2009, Frascati, 16.00
Mime as a form of theater I associate with expressive music, gesticulated movements, and faces that contract in poses. My limited knowledge on the Mime program at the Amsterdam Hogeschool voor de Kunsten justly is corrected, the students are even talking during this performance!
Nowadays, support groups or awareness trainings are well known phenomena. You can visit them with just about every ailment. Even the indecisiveness on how to fill in your Sunday can go as a reason to join such a support group. In Gezelschapsdieren [transl. Pets], directed by Sarah Ringvoet, seven people are struggling with a problem. According to the theory of the four basic emotions happy, angry, afraid, and sad, they divide their body into four fields. The sadness places itself at the bottom; the happiness is placed in the upper right part of the body. The actors maneuver themselves into all sorts of positions that represent their individual situations. They make use of the space extraordinarily well. The choreography by Mischa van Dullemen shows people finding each other for a moment and in the next, they are opposites, locked in their own living space. They want to become pets, but they falter beneath their self-imposed pressure.
Sarah Ringoet raises a number of interesting issues. Life consists of a whole of patterns. What we do and think in certain times is predetermined. Each individual will reach a point at which he or she wants to break these patterns. Yet, this desire in itself is a pattern inherent to life. Near the end, one of the actors utters comments such as: ‘what are you going to write about this performance? What is the dramaturgic function of light?’ As he asks the questions, the actors one by one disappear backstage and shortly thereafter, they leave the theater in their personal attire with their backpacks strapped on, as if they are not actors. A bold statement, but sadly the actors succumb to the theatrical setting: two people remain on scene and revolve into a mating dance as the light slowly dims and the applause swells.
Director: Sarah Ringoet Preparation: Mischa van Dullemen by: Klara Alexova, Hedwig Koers, Jan Barta, Marc Stoffels, Menno Vroon, Niels Kuiters, Thijs Bloothoofd Musical assistance: Wiebe Gotink Technique: Anurag ten Klooster