How do we care for each other? What does this do to ourselves, and our relationships with others? Jija Sohn, Aleksandra Lemm, and Julia Reist attempt to answer these questions in Landing on Feathers.
In this performance, caregivers and artists share their vision on body-oriented caregiving through dance. Care constitutes relations between individuals in society as a necessary element in building a community. Landing on Feathers is a performance for those who are in need of care, and those who are hired to care. It is a performance where the audience can also experience the first steps in making their approach to care more conscious and attentive, even to strangers.
The performance is based on creative research that started back in 2021. Choreographers and performers Jija Sohn and Aleksandra Lemm and dramaturg Julia Reist sat down with artist Elmer Kouwenberg, whose body has been paralyzed due to a car accident that happened 28 years ago. In Landing on Feathers, the artists share their research in a safe and intimate setting. They do this together with performer Nica Roses.
The audience witnesses the interaction between their dance training and the physical dimension of their work as Elmer’s caregiving team. Within their caregiving practice, limitations are not simply experienced, but deeply acknowledged as an intrinsic part throughout the process.
It is a performance about awareness and attentiveness. Jija and her associates bring the notion of care from the sphere of market value back into the condition of building a relation between people and constituting a community. The artists invite you to reflect on care, closeness, and our relationship to the other. Jija will discuss the topic of caregiving further in the Topic Talk performing care.
Francien van der Putt from the Theaterkrant on Landing on Feathers: “Landing on Feathers is both humorous and serious: it is a combination of a very personal realism with dramatirgical tecnieuqes and a minimal design, which ensures that the paradoxes of an emancipated self-image related to intimacies and care pop up.”
Practical information: In this performance, there will be an invitation to take off your shoes and partake in a small physical exercise. You are free to choose whether or not to participate.
Landing on Feathers takes placein BAK - Basis voor actuele kunst. In April and May 2023 UPS (Ultradependent Public School) transforms BAK into a schoolhouse with distinct study areas: a gymnasium, a copybar, a bootleg library, a gift hall, a microcosmicroom, and a cafeteria. Sixteen artworks as learning objects are located here and around the city of Utrecht, activated by an intensive public program of trainings. Symposiums, rituals, field recordings, workshops, day-long radio shows, lectures, skill-shares, assemblies, beauty salons, bootleg distros, beauty salons, and cook-offs are only some of the ways UPS configures the act of training.
If you have time before or after the performance, go take a look! Read more here.
Jija Sohn (JPN/KOR) is an artist based in Amsterdam. In 2015 Jija graduated from the SNDO (School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam) and was selected for the Moving Forward Trajectory - residency project that supports the upcoming artists. In 2017 she was awarded with the ‘3Package Deal’ by Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst. 2019-2021, she was supported by DansBrabant and had an opportunity to re-think her practice from a fundamental base, and started focusing her practice on wellbeing, care and the fullness of life. From rethinking her artistic roots and starting from the principles of care, she decided to also start working as a caregiver. This side job (as a caretaker) is a mirror to how we are in daily life and at work as artists - shaping our relationships with friends, family members and with ourselves, with systems, beliefs and cultural values.
Concept: Jija Sohn, Alexandra Lemm and Julia Reist
Performance: Jija Sohn, Alexandra Lemm and Nica Roses
Direction: Jija Sohn
In Research with:Alexandra Lemm, Nica Roses and Elmer Kouwenberg
Dramaturgy: Julia Reist
Music composition: Abel Kroon
Scenography and physical advisor:Sebastian Belmar
DansBrabant, SPRING Performing Arts Festival, Kaaitheater, VIERNULVIER, Be My Guest, De Brakke Grond, Theaterfestival Boulevard, ICK Dans Amsterdam/Space for Dance Art, Dansateliers, Festival CEMENT
De Brakke Grond, Kunstencentrum BUDA, WPZimmer, ICK Dans Amsterdam/Space for Dance Art, VIERNULVIER, Kaaistudio's
Photos used: Jija Sohn & Alex Heuvink