This performance is made in conjunction with the exhibition “Cold Nights” in UCCA’s Central Gallery, which is inspired by modern Chinese writer Ba Jin’s eponymous 1947 novel. Curated by Boliang Shen and Zhanglun Dai, the exhibition explores the performativity of creative acts, and the potential of artistic collaboration in times of precariousness and disillusionment. Two female Dutch choreographers and dancers, Marloes van Houten and Rosa Allessie, have been invited to merge their bodies with the world of Ba Jin’s novel. In their choreographic response to the “Cold Nights” exhibition, they explore the subjectivity of the protagonists. They inhabit and reflect on the struggle between manipulation, love, jealousy, modernism, and conservatism. The dancers start as sculptures that gradually come to life, allowing the the dance, their relationships, and the narrative to unfold.
The exhibition, as well as the choreography of Marloes van Houten and Rosa Allessie, are both the artists’ response to their fictional personae and their collective reflection on current reality. The overlap and mixture of these responses construct a new space, a new text.
Choreography/dance: Marloes van Houten / Rosa Allessie
Photography: Kasper van der Spoel
Performance location (Beijing):
Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art
Muscari Armeniacum (grape hyacinth/blauw druifje) is a painterly symbol of tenderness, caring love and solitude. The choreography was inspired by Damian Kapojos’ sculptures. The multiplicity of dualities in Kapojos work, made choreographer van Houten think of Jeroen Bosch ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’. While exploring both works in relation to each other she questioned what the place for ‘muscari armeniacum’ could be amidst the battle between the sexes, unity and disparity, good and evil. The performance shows both the dualities, struggle, contrast as well as their hope for the ‘tenderness, caring love and solitude’
The performance was first staged as an onsite piece part of the annual art exhibition ‘Art Rotterdam’. Later it was developed into a theater work and performed as a double bill with Hong Kong choreographers/dancers Tracy Wong and Mao Wei’s “Pardon”: trailer.
Art direction/choreography: Marloes van Houten
Dance: Marloes van Houten, Joe Mulier
Video: Annemarie Meertens
Cinematography: Ederson Xavier
Photography: Michel Ninaber
Art Rotterdam 2017, Van Nelle Fabriek Rotterdam
De Hallen, Amsterdam
CATAPULT is a dance film, a short theater performance and a photo series on people’s diverse relationship with the topic maternity.
It’s based on real life stories of Hong Kong people on the topic of maternity; receiving new life, losing it, longing for it. Especially in terms of not infertility, miscarriage etc it seems to be a topic with a lot of shame around it, or there is simply no space for grief.
More in general maternity is not just about motherhood in the literal sense. Its about new things to be launched, to be catapulted into existence. What would you like to lean into, to come forth, to be catapulted into?
Marloes van Houten: art direction / concept / dancer
Kim Eugenia: choreography / cinematography
Kristopher Peter Long: dancer
Photography / drone: Tin Mok, MacFlow Tsang, Jon Martin
Steve Freeman: rope artist & photographer
Outfit sponsor: ravenandroselingerie.com
Rehearsal space & artist in residency provided by: CCDC
Sheung Wan Civic Theatre, Hong Kong
Flora, represented by two female dancers, explores the “life world” of Damian Kapojos sculpture, as a modern day version of “Garden of Earthly Delight”. Amidst the struggle centered around madness – sanity, morality – sexual sin, Eastern and Western identity roots, Flora is in search for forgotten places. Places that offer her clarity, relieve and forgiveness”. She brings the “life world” of the sculpture closer to the audience, in an organic movement sequence of attachment and de-attachment, with a wink to classical Indian dance which lends itself for exploring the emotional intensity and blurred lines between sanity and madness.
Project initiator/sculptor: Damian Kapojos
Dance concept & regie: Marloes van Houten.
Choreography/dance: Marloes van Houten & Ana Portela
Body paint: Lia Kinibaeva of Looklab
Bodypaint design: Damian & Marloes
Photography: Erik de Roij
Sponsor: Mondriaan Fonds
Prospects and Concepts
Art Rotterdam 2017
Van Nelle Fabriek, Rotterdam, NL
I had a lot to say
It has become incredibly silent within
I am my text, with each movement
A word of my writing
A solo and dance photo series about remaining silent and/or speaking up amidst injustices, and how silence is just another form of speaking.
Concept, text & dance: Marloes van Houten
Choreography support: Choi Si Wong / Mao Wei
Third eye: Kristopher Peter Long
Second dancer: Luigi Prato
Photography indoor & video: Jin Heng
Photography outdoor: Gareth Brown
Production team: Winnie Lo / Tiu Ivan Karlson / Eugenia Kim
Presenter: Hong Kong i-dance festival 2016 / Justice Conference Asia
Location photo series:
Sai Wan Pier, Hong Kong
Hong Kong & The Netherlands 2016/17
Peer to Pier is a collaborative artist-in-residence and cultural exchange project. Part of the Hong Kong International Choreography Festival and Dutch Days in Hong Kong, this multi-disciplinary project involves a group of female artists from Hong Kong and the Netherlands, together they reflect on ‘growth’ of their being and in their artist career. Travelling from pier to pier, supporting each other like peers.
Public programme at gallery Mur Nomade included the installation Ichi by sculptor May Yeung and site-specific dance performances The Voyage:
Artistic Direction / Choreography / dance: Marloes van Houten
Choreography / Dance: Ivy Tsui, Rebecca Kip Pei Wong, Ilse Evers
Singer: Jeanine La Rose
Music: Sze Ka Yang, Constanze Lee, Linda Tong
Installation art / photograpy: May Yeung
Video: Jin Heng
Cinematography: Kenny Werbata
Organizers of Dutch Days in Hong Kong: the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Asia Week Hong Kong
Presenter and Artistic Director of HKICAROS and Hong Kong
International Choreography Festival: Vangelis Legakis
Venue Sponsor: Mur Nomade
Hong Kong 2015
A commissioned on-site dance theater performance made in the oldest settlement of Hong Kong (Shui Tau Tsuen).
The performance was part of i-dance festival 2015 organized by Y-space dance company.
with my being
a signature into this world
a living poem
Artistic direction: Marloes van Houten.
Dance/acting performers: Ara Cho, Gary Swart, David Leung, Eva Lin, Carmen Read, Marloes van Houten.
Music: Callum McKenzie, Paul Yip.
HK dance journal
A Dutch Cantonese production – Hong Kong 2015
Artistic statement and flyer: http://bit.ly/28K9XMf
Artistic direction: Marloes van Houten.
Choreography: David Leung, Mimi Loo, Marloes van Houten.
With an interdisciplinary team of 15 performers.
Supported by: The Dutch Consulate to Hong Kong and Macau & the Centre for Community Cultural Development
Within ‘Instinct’, Dutch choreographer Iris van Peppen researches the human instinct to move, inviting surprises to come to new ways of moving and being. See more about this local chapter here.
Artistic Direction: Iris van Peppen
The photo’s on the side, are from Interdisciplinary art making and movement workshops in Shui Tau Tsuen, The City Contemporary Dance Centre (CCDC), the Hong Kong Academcy of Performing Arts (2015), Passover Dance, and the Garden of the Dutch Consul general to Hong Kong.