(c) Herve Veronese

Ula Sickle & Ictus

  • Dance
  • Performance

“Each protest is a singularity. Yet everywhere around the world, insurrection follows a common grammar. A grammar that is composed of a multitude of bodies sharing space and time, their vulnerability and urgency to change the status quo. As a single letter can only express very little and is in need of the sentence to reach meaning, bodies – especially those of the oppressed – require the collective in order for their message to be amplified and heard.” (Persis Bekkering)

“Holding Present” is a new collaboration between choreographer Ulla Sickle and Brussels-based ensemble for contemporary music, Ictus. The performance found visual, lyrical, and auditive inspiration in protest and examines how an individual gesture may grow into a powerful collective action. A group of eight performers (dancers and musicians) weaves a fabric from existing and newly commissioned compositions, slowly building a moment, a momentum, that edges its way towards a fracture point at which individuals become critical mass.

The piece employs unusual instruments such as a swaying bullroarer, aluminum pipes, handheld stones, and loudhailers as well as a modular synthesiser. Dancers and musicians collaborate to realise the musical as well as the choreographic score. Together, they venture onto new terrain and record flight paths in the present. The audience will be integrated into the fabric, bit by bit, becoming part of the moment and holding a crucial responsibility for the performance dynamic.

Concept, choreography: Ula Sickle; concept, musical direction: Tom Pauwels (Ictus); composers: Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, Stellan Veloce and Didem Coskunseven; new instruments by Gert Aertsen; creation and performance: Amanda Barrio Charmelo, Marina Delicado, Marie Goudot, Ruben Martinez Orio, Michael Schmid, Mohamed Toukabri, Tom Pauwels & Ula Sickle; lighting and sound design: Ofer Smilansky; scenography: Richard Venlet; costumes: Wang Consulting; dramaturgical assistance: Persis Bekkering; production: Ictus & Outline.

Co-commission of the play by Didem Coskunseven: Ircam-Centre Pompidou and Ictus; co-produced by Ircam/Les Spectacles vivants-Centre Pompidou, Concertgebouw Brugge, KWP (in Pianofabriek), Perpodium; supported by Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government. With thanks for the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Supported by the Alliance of International Production Houses, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.