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Highlights: De Internationale Keuze (Netherlands)

De Internationale Keuze
September 19 – 30, 2012
Rotterdam, Netherlands

This international festival provides visitors with a chance to see a number of special international performances. Some of the productions chosen stand out for their failure to comply with the rules and widely-held opinions of the conventional world of theater. (from the Holland Visitors Site) Below are Contemporary Performance’s highlights. See the full program on De Internationale Keuze‘s website.

Life and Times Episode 1,2,3&4 – Marathon
Nature Theater of Oklahoma
September 22 2012

Beware, the Nature Theater of Oklahoma is coming to town! Take heed, for this year the wayward New York Company will provide you with no less than 10 hours of theatre. Easy to handle when spread over two nights, or ‘hardcore’ during the nocturnal marathon. ‘Epic stories need epic forms’ is their motto. Is it possible to make an exciting theatre marathon, founded on an utterly trivial biography? The international theatre hit Life and Times proves it is. Based on hours of telephone conversations with Kristin Worrall – also one of the company’s actors – directors Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper Worralls have staged a complete autobiography. The conversations have been written down word by word, with all the accompanying pauses and hesitations. This results in no less than a theatre marathon of ten parts, and the first four parts of these will now be staged after each other, for the first time in the world.

Ganesh Versus the Third Reich
Back to Back Theatre
september 26 – 28 2012

The swastika reinstated A performance you will not easily forget: Ganesh Versus the Third Reich is harrowing, fundamental, endearing, vulnerable and crystal-clear. It starts with a story. The Hindu god Ganesh sets off on a trip to Nazi- Germany to reclaim the Swastika, as this holy Hindu symbol of prosperity is misused by the National Socialists. The unflinching elephant god sets out to meet Adolf Hitler. A beautifully narrated journey unfolds, both visual and dramatic. Then the performance founders and the great actors (all of them people with a mental disability) are confronted with major questions about the contents of the performance. What is allowed and possible to tell on stage? Is it allowed, and do you want to play Adolf Hitler, whilst people with a mental handicap were seen as inferior and redundant during the Second World War? Are you allowed to confiscate a holy symbol of another culture?

M, a reflection
Kris Verdonck / A Two Dogs Company
September 30, 2012

A solo for a man and his doppelganger ‘Things are seldom what they seem’, would have been a nice subtitle for Kris Verdonck’s latest creation. In M, a reflection, we are confronted with actor Johan Leysen and his projection. It’s impossible to distinguish the actor from the image, his doppelganger. But who is that other one, that enemy, who determines who we are to a large extent? Using this unusual relationship between twins and the work of German writer Heiner Müller, Kris Verdonck tackles the theme: the need for an enemy. In Müller’s work, dualities come together on an individual and political level. Characters obtain two faces; the situation in which they find themselves topples. This duality often leads to murder or suicide. Do not expect any theoretical or philosophical disquisitions; you will be treated to titillating images of a man and his doppelganger, disguising the distinction between fact and fiction.

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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