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Bianca van der Schoot, Suzan Boogaerdt

Suzan Boogaerdt and Bianca van der Schoot have been working together ever since they graduated together from the Mime Department of the Amsterdam Theatre School.

In 2016 they became key artistic associates of Theater Rotterdam. Together Suzan and Bianca create expressive, physical, bold and highly visual theatre productions which revolve around the struggles and challenges people face in today’s media-driven world. Ever since 2011 they have been working on a series of 'Visual Statements': theatrical representations of ‘la societé du spectacle’ and the role of image culture in our lives. Ours is a universe of representation, in which what's real slowly dies. With their Visual Statements-series, Boogaerdt and Van der Schoot are creating ground-breaking and troubling theatre of a special status in Dutch theatre. At the Venice Biennale 2017, they presented a selection of the series. One of the Visual Statements, the porn-performance BIMBO, was on show throughout Europe again in the summer of 2018.

The artistic affinity between Susanne Kennedy, Suzan Boogaerdt and Bianca van der Schoot has turned out to be an 'ongoing conversation' since 2013, both in the professional practice of Susanne Kennedy and of Boogaerdt/Van der Schoot. Out of the mutual curiosity for their works, they created Hideous (wo)men in 2013, at the Oostpool company in Arnhem (German premiere: Münchner Kammerspiele, February 2015). It was followed by a radical adaptation of the Orpheus-legend, ORFEO, at the Ruhr Triennale in 2015, in collaboration with Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop. At the Volksbühne, they have been involved in the production Women in Trouble, which premiered in November 2017, and in the current production Coming Society.

Their mutual affinity and inspiration is not limited to the content of the shows, but also involves the exploration of shape, focussing on corporality: the technical approach of the body as an object. In both of their working practices, the theatre artists explore the body as an object in space, which can become politically charged by its action, but more often, by its immobility.

Boogaerdt/Van der Schoot's pursuit of the 'neutral body' as a projection screen for our (in)humanity is, whilst drawing on the mime-corporel, connected to Kennedy's approach of the body on stage. The use of theatrical means, like masks and disguises, which lead to depersonalisation, is paramount in both the imagery of Suzan Boorgaerdt and Bianca van der Schoot and Kennedy. Their collaboration takes its cue from the neutral, depersonalised body which forms the mutual operating base for showing the transitory nature of mankind. What does the body, and more specifically, the female body, mean in this day and age?

Visual statements (English):

Women in Trouble

Current productions

Past productions

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