Discover Eindhoven, The Netherlands in this catalogue of creative happenings

No artificial flavourings: Nanine Linning’s Synthetic Twin

October 27th, 2010

Filed under: MUSIC

Suspended twins, photo, Kalle Kuikkaniemi

You’ve only got one more night (Thursday 28 October) during Dutch Design Week 2010 to catch Nanine Linning‘s remarkable interpretation of our detached-yet-wish-we were-somehow-conjoined modern lives at Eindhoven’s Park Theatre. Theater Osnabrück premiered with Synthetic Twin last night in Eindhoven and will travel throughout the Netherlands until April 2011. With a departure point of the literally conjoined (or Siamese) twin, Linning takes the viewer on a multimedia journey of music, sound, depth, height, nano- and global- gestures to turn a mirror and shed light on how we depend so much on each other and fear being alone. The costuming by Iris van Herpen, recent winner of the Rado Young Designer of the Year 2010 added another level of creepy, gimpish, mummific, writhing, organic, regal, playful texture to the sometimes not-beautiful but extremely powerful and moving stories that unfolded over the one hour piece. The use of baroque music (from Gluck, to Händel, Purcell to Vivaldi) gave symmetry to this story about twin-dom. I am not sure which I loved more: the wall dancing or the playful pas-de-deux between the two lovers at the end of the performance, but while I smiled in many parts of the show, I was also pushed to the brink of  alarm (jerky facial/finger/toe twitching), revulsion (wooden-faced 17th century ladies regaled in broken baby-doll parts) and compassion (the male dancer in a duo with his dead female partner) too.

Earlier today while numbly wandering through the Klokgebouw I started to worry about the stagnation of innovation, as I saw the tendency to re-hash design ideas to the point we start to believe that those same old things are actually new. But tonight, my faith was restored. What I saw was a renewal of expression, the richness that a creative mind can give to telling an old story in a new way, or of finding a weird analogy that speaks for our times. There is true power, when art and design unite. Like the comedy tragedy masks come to life with the breath of art, art itself only comes into being by being designed – the steps, sets, lights, wardrobes and so forth are, in their way, designed. But the concept must come from somewhere artful, or perhaps even holy. Who would consider the two headed monster as an allegory for the beast / beauty which is what it is to be human in the 21st century? Who would make the genius decision to cast Iris van Herpen as costume designer? Who would choose to focus on the psychology of conjoined twins rather than the disturbing nature of their physical appearance? Nanine Linning, that’s who. Real, honest and anything but synthetic. This performance and this piece will stay with me for a while yet. Keep a close eye on this spot, for modern dance has won the attention of The Dossier … we may have to find a new category title for it. For now, it will go under music.

Spooky baby-doll-parts-adorned twins, photo, Kalle Kuikkaniemi

For more information, click here.

Parktheater, Theaterpad 1
5615 EN Eindhoven

Thu Oct 28 20.30 – 9.30, tickets € 25.00

Synthetic Twin, photo Kalle Kuikkaniemi

Two-headed gingerbread men, Nanine Linning

* You may wonder why I have a two-headed gingerbread man photo with the Press Kit I got from the theatre this evening. When we entered the hall, the company was making gingerbread men in the most playful way. When they took their standing ovation, they flung no gladioli to the adoring audience, but freshly baked two-headed gingerbread men. Wonderful.

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