'The Pleasure and Pain of Not Knowing my Name'

A choreography for the ‘Of Curious Nature Dance Ensemble’ in a shared evening with Anila Mazharis’ ‘The Future is like whisper yelling’.


‘The Pleasure and Pain of Not Knowing my Name’ is a piece conducted in three parts.
In each part a different perspective on ‘Ignorance’ or ‘Wilful Blindness’ is portrait.


We are curious. We want knowledge. At the same time we choose to ignore knowledge or stay away from becoming informed. We avoid having to make undesirable decisions that such information might prompt. Pretending not to know is a typical human trait when we want to abdicate responsibility or take action according to our needs. ‘The pleasure and pain of not knowing my name’ by Jessica van Rüschen aims to create a poetic chapter around the quote of Thomas Gray: ‘Where ignorance is bliss ‘tis folly to be wise.”

This theme felt repeatedly present during the Corona Pandemic, in 2021. Suddenly the world went into a halt. Unimaginable changes were introduced worldwide.
On Black Friday the masses still went to shop.


Wilful blindness holds my interest on personal and societal level.
I often wonder about this trait. It scares me. We rather ‘not know’ than to confront ourselves with feelings of helplessness and pain. We tend to look away from uncomfortable truths, often unaware of true motives and believes. We have an excuse ready, lying to ourselves and to each other. I believe that pain is caused and maintained by this choice. Not the truth hurts but the illusion. 

The first part, a solo, features a man in search for knowledge but inevitably getting caught in complexity he can’t comprehend. Navel gazing he repeatedly finds himself knotted within his body, so focused on his quest for knowledge that he becomes blind for life happing around him.

The second part consists of a duet, one man wanting what the other man has: a sense of peace.
Ignorant as to how to get there he moves within what he knows and tries to impose his ways of conduct onto the other, to not be alone in his prison of ambition.

In the last part, a solo, a woman looks back at her life, remembering her innocence of ‘not knowing’.



Choreography: Jessica van Rüschen
Performance: Aron Nowak, Felix Bossart, Luigi Sardone, Aurelie Robichon
Costume: Theresa Klement
Set: Britta Bremer
Music: Christof Littmann
Technical management: Oliver Hisecke
Management / Production: Achim Bernsee,
Booking / PR: minusmalminus
Photography and Social Media: Marc Seestaedt
Video: Valeria Lampadova
Office: Judith Elbeshausen

Solo, Duet, Solo, 30min

  • Premiere 16.04.2021