nationwide tour 09-03-2022 until present
USUALLY I’M ON TOP
In a world in which perfect pictures blur the image of reality, Speels Collectief smashes the ideal image. USUALLY I’M ON TOP questions prevailing norms of femininity and sexuality. Vulnerable and grotesque, in word and body, seven women take you along in their experiences and desires. In a search for a new morality (or the absolute rejection of it) we arrive at ‘what she really really wants’.
The three-part podcast series VAN HAAR SOKKEL about femininity and sexuality is connected to the performance USUALLY I’M ON TOP.
Sanne Arbouw (1994) graduated in 2016 from the course Theatre in Education at ArtEZ School of the Arts in Arnhem. Since her graduation she has been working as a theatre maker for, among others, Muziektheater de Plaats, De Vrolijkheid and ArtEZ School of the Arts.
Sanne makes theatre in asylum seekers’ centres, community centers, retirement homes, care institutions, schools, theatres and neighborhoods. In 2021 she won the second prize for the Gelderse Bokaal of the Prince Bernhard Cultuurfonds. In 2016 Sanne founded the theatre company Speels Collectief together with Merel van Lieshout. In recent years, under their artistic and business leadership, the company has grown into a serious player in the inclusive theater landscape.
Sanne is a socially involved and enthusiastic theatre maker. She composes the ensemble with which she works as diversely as possible in order to represent as many perspectives as possible. By juxtaposing these perspectives, she questions the norm with her performances. With her work she strives for a more inclusive representation, and thus for a changing image of current themes.
Ulrike Doszmann (1970) is born and raised in the former Eastern Bloc and came to the Netherlands to study at the Fontys Dance Academy in Tilburg. After graduating in 1998 she started making her own performances. Ulrike is also a dancer and performer for, among others, dance company Vloeistof. She has been teaching Movement Classes at Fontys for three years now.
In her work Ulrike seeks out the thin line between tragedy and humor. The charm of the ‘not-entirely-it’ feeling is what keeps Ulrike busy. The ordinary and almost unimportant is magnified. According to Ulrike, the poetry of humor is undervalued, so it is humor that gets a revaluation in her work.
SNEAK PEEK OF THE PERFORMANCE
USUALLY I’M ON TOP is a sequence of scenes around ideal images versus personal outpourings. You see a sensual dance trio, you hear our telephone conversation with the editorial office of the dictionary De Dikke Van Dale about the definition of sexuality, you are overwhelmed by a choreography to hits by Britney Spears, you listen to letters dedicated to our bodies, you see us twerking to the music of Def Rhymz. In the wings, conversations take place about subjects related to the theme we are researching (pop culture, the vibrator, fairy tales, period leaks). We expose the dominant beauty ideals and oppose these to our own definitions.
We see the abstract translation of a Greek temple; a gray floor, with various pedestals. During the performance, the pedestals are desecrated by using them more and more as props. The pedestals are stacked and assembled and dismantled in a different way each time. The images that are created with it constantly acquire a new meaning. A white cloth hangs as a frame. The varying lighting of these canvases gives the space a different meaning, think of a nightclub, temple, video clip, Disney, etc. The costumes are somewhere between classic and kink, in a palette of popping pink. The women thus find themselves in a world with a redefined sexuality, the environment slowly but surely transforms with them.
DURATION 1 hour and 15 minutes | HALL Suitable for a small theatre hall | STYLE documentary theatre, movement theatre, interdisciplinary, montage performance, socially engaged, inclusive, diverse ensemble
DIRECTOR Sanne Arbouw | PLAY Edith Heij, Beppie Jansen, Ella de Coninck, Marloes Dingshoff, Marga Kamperman, Merel van Lieshout, Lisette Mepschen | DRAMATURGY Bram Walter | SCENOGRAPHY Eva Dijksman | ASSISTENT DIRECTOR Dana van den Heuvel | ARTISTIC LEADER Sanne Arbouw, Merel van Lieshout | PARTNERS Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie
DE GELDERLANDER | Wat is seks nou eigenlijk? Arnhemse theatergroep wilde definitie veranderen en dat lukte [DUTCH ONLY]
ROSA | Speels Collectief maakt einde aan eenzijdig beeld van seks [DUTCH ONLY]
NIJMEGEN NIEUWS | Normdoorbrekende voorstelling Usually I’m On Top over seksualiteit en vrouwelijkheid is terug [DUTCH ONLY]
DE LINDENBERG | De Lindenberg gaat samenwerking aan met theatergezelschap Speels Collectief [DUTCH ONLY]