Research. Dansateliers Rotterdam

A research period at Dansateliers Rotterdam focused on ‘the Art of Performance’.

During this research, two physical ‘paintings’ were created, intended to be staged in public over a long period. These paintings explore the absurdity of human existence, reflecting our attempts to live meaningful and purposeful lives in an indifferent universe. Despite the objective meaninglessness of life, we strive to create meaning. The ‘paintings’ depict physical images, abstractions, resonating with humanity’s need to give meaning to our lives.

Our needs often drive our actions. We ‘get up for’ them, trying repeatedly to achieve our goals and fulfill perceived personal needs. To an outsider, our intrinsic motivations barely translate. Our reasons remain, in their complex simplicity, an incomplete image, even to ourselves.

The first ‘painting’ revolves around ‘Trying. Again and again.’ to reach a goal in time. Regardless of whether the goal is big or small, once achieved, it is already forgotten, as a new goal waits, with focus already shifted. The next goal continuously appears, while life, with all its unpredictable diversions, serves as the counterpart to the main character.

The second image uses slowness to create effort over time. The absurdity and beauty of intrinsic motivation, invisible to the outsider, create a painting that resonates with the absurdity of ambition. It draws the audience in to look closer at the details rather than any separate movement, eventually leading to the realisation that there is no objective ‘why.’

“To get up, again and again, for whatever is meaningful to me, I perceive as an heroic action.” jvr

Concept/Research: Jessica van Rüschen

Performance: Dario Tortorelli, Jessica van Rüschen
Production: Dansateliers Rotterdam

Duet, 30min

  • Premiere: 22.02.2013
  • Dansateliers Rotterdam