Spoffin 2015:  international stepping stone for outdoor theatre

Burnt Out Punks (SE) open Spoffin 2015 with The Stockholm Syndrome. (Foto © Andy Lee)

Wondering what the next generation professional circus artists in Europe hold in store? How anarchistic is the opening performance of the Burnt Out Punks (SE) who will reclaim the public space for art and culture with much love and a bus load of explosives? Spoffin, the international festival for street and location theatre, offers a program interesting to both public and professionals. The sixth edition of Spoffin in Amersfoort (NL) - Friday 28 till Sunday 30th of August - features 106 performances by 30 groups from 15 different countries, including 11 Dutch premieres.

This year Spoffin opens with The Stockholm Syndrome by the Burnt Out Punks. The way they combine contemporary circus with fire circus is rare. Accidents occur, according to producer Mithras Ljungberg. ’There is no school where they teach this kind of work. We have to find out ourselves, with a lot of experiments.’ The upcoming compagnie Bandart Productions from Hungary also performs Friday night. Their show Dancing Graffiti – There’s Always a Wall combines dance with live made digital graffiti.

Spoffin is an excellent stepping stone for young artists who have chosen wholeheartedly for outdoor theater. Like Cink Cink Cirk from the Czech Republic; the magician is still in high school. “Aleš has his final exams this year, yet he is Czech Champion of Magic 2014,’ acrobat Luke Bliss (19) says. "He uses magic techniques but also pantomime and physical theater and he is a juggler too. That’s what makes contemporary circus interesting to us: being able to combine everything: dance, theater, music.’ Another Dutch première is Love will tear us apart, dedicated to the relationship between contemporary dance and a specific genre of rock music, a solo created for performer Petra Hrašćanec (HR) and the Carnival Parade by Mr. Pejo’s Wandering Dolls (RU), artists who are specialists on mask theatre and magic.

From The Netherlands itself is Arch8, a group contemporary dancers. Their performance, inspired by the surrealistic stories of Japanese writer Haruki Marakami, goes straight through the city centre. Interaction with the audience is always important for artistic director Alfred Konijnenbelt. This years’ artists in residence is Walkwoman from France: seven women with headphones on, dancing to the beat of the music and inviting to the audience to join them in their dance by offering a second pair of headphones. Some of the acts may be loud, but also an artist like the Catalan Joan Català proves that intimate an silent performances can be just as exciting, involving the public with no more than body language, eye contact and little sounds.

Looking for more? Join Spoffin TALK, the talk show hosted by Dutch theatre maker Patrick Nederkoorn with interviews and reviews and discussions with directors and artists, mainly in English.

  August 19, 2015

 Festival Spoffin

Go back