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.
|Jolika Sudermann (DE)||Dwayne Toemere (NL)
Hilde Labadie (NL)