FULL VIDEO (35 min.)
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An authentic display of inappropriate shyness
Good evening. Welcome to Variété Bodybuilders. We’ve rehearsed a number of scenes with nine kick boxers from Rotterdam Zuid. It’s a bit difficult to explain what it's about. It’s also with bakers, as well as themselves. They come on stage. And then they do something. They perform all sorts of things actually. Also, it’s usually at this point that someone says that it’s beautiful and touching, but you never know how it’s going to go. So just come and watch. Enjoy!
Jetse Batelaan’s (1978) productions often have unusual titles, like A Tree Only Gets Applause Once It's Sawdust [Pas als zaagsel krijgt een boom applaus], Performance in which Hopefully Nothing Happens [Voorstelling waarin hopelijk niets gebeurt] and A Cowboy with his Hands Up is Probably Not Cheering [Een cowboy met zijn handen hoog juicht waarschijnlijk niet]. In each case, he tries to elicit ‘the sincere emotion for the ordinary person in anxious times’ and the ‘heartbreakingingly normal’, as the Dutch press has described his work.
Batelaan has received various awards including the Erik Vosprijs for new theatre makers, the Gouden Krekel for children's and young people’s theatre and the VSCD mimeprijs for physical/movement theatre. For the VSCD mimeprijs, the jury praised Batelaan for his 'completely new way of presenting a narrative, in which he enriches not only his own wonderful oeuvre, but the theatre landscape as a whole'. At the same time, Batelaan has also acquired a strong international reputation, his productions have been performed at diverse festivals at home and abroad, including the Bronksfestival (Brussels, BE), Oerol (Terschelling, NL), Het Theaterfestival (Amsterdam, NL), Het New Island Festival (New York, US), Parc de la Villette (Paris, FR) and the Wiener Festwochen (Vienna, AT).
Jetse Batelaan has made the productions Head [Hoofd, 2007], A Cowboy with his Hands Up is Probably Not Cheering , Boo! A Ghost Story for Grown-Ups [Boe! Een spookverhaal voor grote mensen, 2009], Giants [Reuzen, 2011] and Variété Bodybuilders  for the Ro Theater where he has been a permanent director since 2009.
‘Jetse Batelaan is working on a radical form of theatre that expresses a view of the world that is as naive as it is melancholic, but it is precisely because of that naïve view that his work is always accessible.’ (Parool)
Cast: Ferinio Asandikromo, Samir Baptista Alves, Dexter van Herwaarden, Adam Lopes Filipe, Daniël Monteiro, Luciano Monteiro, Gui Morais, Raffaël Roberto Fernandes, Dwayne Waterval
Direction: Jetse Batelaan
Additional texts: Don Duyns
Dramaturgy: Tobias Kokkelmans
Production manager: Ad van Mierlo
Technician: Wim Bechtold