131028.INFANTEN.(c)Peter Empl-7180

See INFANTEN on 20 and 21 April 2018 at Staatstheater Darmstadt!

131028.INFANTEN.(c)Peter Empl-7279




INFANTEN ist Preisträger beim Stuttgarter Tanz- und Theaterpreis 2015! INFANTEN has been selected for the Dance and Theatre Award Stuttgart 2015! Jury statement.

Wie kämen wir zurecht, wenn die Dinge keine Namen hätten? Haben wir noch einen Zugang zur Welt der tausend Potenziale, der wir vor langer Zeit angehörten? Dem versuchen Regisseurin Jolika Sudermann und die Darsteller Hilde Labadie und Dwayne Toemere auf den Grund zu gehen. Sie erforschen die Bewegungen, Laute und Verhaltensweisen von Kindern, die sich an der Schwelle zum Laufen und Sprechen lernen befinden. Labadie und Toemere versuchen, sich dorthin „zurück zu üben“, wo sie schon lange nicht mehr waren: Das Stadium, in dem Etwas noch Alles sein kann, das Stadium, bevor die Hände die Form der Dinge und die Stimme deren Namen kennt.

It was a gorgeous insect, it had never been described before. I realized that the act of categorization – this is a fly – took away some of its beauty. The feeling was quite different when the word was gone: I had a sense of wonder for the mystery of creation.’ (biologist Jane Goodall)

On a home video from the eighties, a little girl sits in a rubber boat and plays with a colander. She is absorbed in her play, places the strainer on her head, holds it against her cheek, her belly, and sings with a high narrative voice. Then we hear the suppressed laughter of her parents behind the camera. As soon as the girl notices their looks, the laughter increases. Her face turns red, her singing falls silent and she stops playing.

The girl is Jolika Sudermann, mime performer, choreographer, theatre maker and still equally fascinated by the way how she perceived the world as an infant. Looking at the video, she gets the impression that she’s lost something.
In march 2012 she starts the project INFANTEN, a search of a path back to the sensory spectrum of the infant/the universe of infants‘ experience. In a crèche she and her performers Hilde Labadie and Dwayne Toemere observe 1 to 3-year-olds. What they see and hear there serves them as a guideline for their „return trip“. Letting go of all physical obstacles on the way of recovering infant motorics, the performers are also confronted with the complexity of letting go of mental obstructions like consciousness, self-censorship and knowledge.
Sometimes it works. Then, for an instance, they reach a state of being before becoming human, before the naming of things. A state in which everything can still be anything. They cannot return completely, but in touching this preliminary phase, the performers find back a freedom that had partly been abolished by configurated words and movements.
INFANTEN is coproduced by zeitrauexit Mannheim, Het Veem Theater Amsterdam and Dampfzentrale Bern.

Past tour dates: 

9 October 2016, Festival RODEO München

February 2016, Theater Rampe Stuttgart

April 2016, Sophiensaele Berlin

15 april 2015, Festival „6 Tage frei“, Stuttgarter Tanz- und Theaterpreis

11 january 2014, Dampfzentrale Bern

7, 8, 9 november 2013,  Het Veem Theater Amsterdam

31 october-2 november 2013, zeitraumexit Mannheim


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