Destination Beirut

Lebanon has been facing multiple crises. The recent explosion in the port of Beirut, happened against the backdrop of long-standing political unrest and unprecedented economic crisis. Then there is inflation, a corrupt political elite, high rates of unemployment, and the pandemic. As if things could not get worse, on 4 August 2020 there was an catastrophic explosion that killed around 200, left 6.500 injured, and 250-300.000 homeless.

Project Destination Beirut started its planning and preparation in the spring of 2020. The project is the start of a long term collaboration. Together with local artists and NGO’s, Forge will stage dance- and music theatre performances to address societal issues and inspire hope. Also, art-, music- and movement based workshops & training for trainers will be provided to offer psychosocial support.

The first introduction trip is planned for January/February 2021.
For more info and to support the project:





Bijzonder dansproject voor mensen in Beiroet | Dans Magazine

Museum of Humanity

Opening performance

All the beauty that’s been lost before wants to find us again (U2)

The museum of humanity is set up and run by photographer Ruben Timman. The museum has been developed based on a dream to restore and celebrate the beauty, diversity and dignity of humanity. Ruben travelled the globe and captured people in all kinds of (often difficult) situations. Amidst the hardship and uncertainty he put up his photography tent and captured people in a way where you see their suffering, but even more so, you see their strength and dignity.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the heart and guiding principle of the Museum of Humanity
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Artist team

  • Ruben Timman (photographer / founder of Museum of Humanity)
  • Eva van der Pol (cello)
  • Suzanne de Bekker (dancer/choreographer)
  • Marloes van Houten (dancer/choreographer)

Forge Collective coordinated the performance for the opening of the museum in March 2019.


  • Zaandam municipality

Performance location

Hembrug terrein, Zaandam (The Netherlands)


Opening Museum of Humanity video
Zaanstad Nieuws Article

Beyond Dots

Chinese calligraphy knows rhythm, composition, texture, like choreography and dance does.

In the exhibition Lines in Motion- East Meets West traditional Chinese Calligraphy and painting are displayed side by side Western Modern Abstract art. As part of the exhibition, the cross cultural dance collective Forge produces two nights of dance with the title BEYOND DOTS, to bring the philosophy and stories behind the Chinese paintings and calligraphy to life.

The performances show a multiplicity of responses to CHANGE. Are we willing and capable to explore what lays beyond the metaphorical ‘dot’, the ending of something? East and West, Modernism vs Conservatism, change vs continuity.


  • Artistic direction, choreography, dance: Marloes van Houten
  • Dancers/choreographers: Ruochen Wang, Rosa Allessie, Regilio Sedoc, Jort Faber, Dio Semerel, Robin van Zutphen
  • Scenography/story telling: Ting Gong
  • Visual artists: Hui Jen, Loi Che Rakhorst, Edgar Janssen, Hanna Maas


  • Centrum voor Beeldende Kunst, Amsterdam
  • Loi Che Rakhorst Gallery
  • HKNLversations

More info

DANCE x CALLIGRAPHY – official opening exhibition from HKNLversations on Vimeo

Flyer Beyond Dots

Deep Fall Puppet

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

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

Performance locations

  • 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?


  • Art direction / concept / dancer: Marloes van Houten
  • Choreography / cinematography: Kim Eugenia
  • Dancer: Kristopher Peter Long
  • Photography / drone: Tin Mok, MacFlow Tsang, Jon Martin
  • Rope artist & photographer: Steve Freeman
  • Outfit sponsor:
  • Rehearsal space & artist in residency provided by: CCDC

Performance location

Sheung Wan Civic Theatre, Hong Kong

Exhibition location


Flora, Forgotten and Forgiven

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

Performance Location

Prospects and Concepts

  • Art Rotterdam 2017
  • Van Nelle Fabriek, Rotterdam, NL


Flyer Flora, Forgotten and Forgiven


Artistic Statement

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

Peer to Pier Project

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.

Artistic statement

I write
with my being
a signature into this world
a poiema
a living poem
I become….


  • 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.


Forge Portmanteau

A Dutch Cantonese production – Hong Kong 2015.


  • Artistic statement and flyer:
  • 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

Detachment – Dance Poetry

Lai Chi King harbour, Hong Kong 2014.


  • Dance: Marloes van Houten & David Leung
  • Poetry: Marloes van Houten
  • Photography: Mark Lam


Explorative Dance Improvisation Research

Reinventing Home in Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong 2015.


  • Performers: David Leung, Marloes van Houten.
  • Photography: Tin Mok & May Yeung
  • Cinematography: Vincent Mak,

Workshops & Master-classes, others

The project introduction film and photos below are of the starting period.

Location: Tamar Park, Hong Kong (2014/2015)

HNLversations Project Introduction Film

Interdisciplinary Art Making Workshops

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.


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