In 2005 i made a short movie as a part of the danceperformance 'Ironing Madonna' by Sjoerd Vreugdenhil. I edited it in a splitscreen. The rightside of the screen was shot with a consumercamera by the choreographer in a studio and was not acted. The leftside of the screen is footage i shot during the performance, of the actress Laura Graham.
Ironing Madonna - Sjoerd Vreugdenhil.
Ironing Madonna is telling us about beauty – as an ideal, as a support, as a façade, and as a means to purification. Vreugdenhil drew his inspiration for this production from the attractiveness of religion, which has been influencing people for centuries through its appearance of beauty.
The “truth” though which lies behind this appearance, only emerges at the moment the façade starts to crumble. Similar to religion, theatre creates a feigned world, captivating and seductive. However, contemporary theatre allows more and more to see through the illusion. It is this very medium of theater, conflicting and ambivalent, which Vreugdenhil chooses to explore what is left when appearance dissolves / after the soap bubble bursts.
The leitmotif of the evening is the development of the performers who rid themselves of the facades they built up throughout their lives. Chuckie Dennis for instance, who used to be a devoted make-up artist working with great fashion designers like Gianni Versace and Issey Miyake, drifting in a world in which he fit less and less, affected by an advanced skin disease. The search for honesty evolves as an account of loss. In this setting we hear the echoes of George’s and Martha’s voices, the main characters in Albee’s Who’s afraid of Viginia Wolf?, who raise an illusion in order to escape the void behind it.
Choreography and light design Sjoerd Vreugdenhil | performers Chuckie Dennis, Laura Graham | dance Adam Ster, Sara Wiktorowicz, Cheryl Wimperis | music Dirk Haubrich | costumes Asalia Khadjé | set Femke Kramer in co-operation with Eddy van der Laan.
Video by Josanne Buiting
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