17 Belgrade Dance Festival
Jacop Ahlbom Company, AmsterdamBook & Buy Tickets
direction: Jakop Ahlbom
dramaturgy: Judith Wendel
music: Alamo Race Track
decor: Douwe Hibma and Jakop Ahlbom
technical crew: Allard Vonk, Yuri Schreuders, Michel van der Weijden
props: Rob Hillenbrink/Robs propshop
hair, make-up: Anabel Urquijo Claveria
scenography: Sanne Peper
business director, international sales: Marc Pil
with support of: Wilma Kuite/Alles voor de Kunsten en Remco Gianotten
premiere: Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, 2017
performers: Jakop Ahlbom/Yannick Greweldinger, Silke Hundertmark, Reinier Schimmel, Leonard Lucieer, Empee Holwerda
Two men are living together in a single tiny room. They have ingenuously solved the problem of lack of space. All the furniture has multiple functions: the bed doubles as a piano and the bookcase serves as a fridge. And to compensate for the absence of a woman, the pair create a mechanical cleaning lady. But it soon becomes clear that she has no intention of quietly going about her chores. This doll has opinions of her own. Tensions mount, and the room starts getting smaller and smaller. The men’s latest invention may be their downfall. “Lebensraum” is inspired by the works of actor and filmmaker from the 1920’s, Buster Keaton. Keaton was a pioneer in the worlds of slapstick and physical comedy. At that time, silent movies like Keaton’s were accompanied by classical piano music. This piece is going to be live accompanied by Ralph Mulder and Leonard Lucieer of the band Alamo Race Track.
Jakop Ahlbom was born in Sweden. In the early 1990s he moved to the Netherlands where he studied Mime at the Amsterdam School of the Arts. Upon his graduation in 1998 he was presented with the Top Naeff Award for the most promising student. His gift for choreography had been noticed – and so had his poeticism and his ability to get his cast to unleash their energy, bravado and physicality. After graduating, he worked with a variety of theatre makers as a performer, choreographer and director. In 2000 he started working on his own oeuvre, within his own company.
The show begins quite slowly and is a little too self-consciously surreal, but it gains both momentum and physical aplomb, particularly in the breathless final madcap sequences. It's thoughtful and unsettling, too, in the way it undercuts the comedy through image and association... When the white-coated pair attempt to modify the doll, their operation looks like something Josef Mengele might have attempted. The cast are terrific...
© The Guardian
There’s a simmering delirium at work, as doors spin on their axes, sofas swallow people whole and walls open up like sinkholes. By the time it reaches full pelt, it’s quite dizzying. Is ‘slapstroke’ a legitimate medical complaint?
© The Telegraph
“Lebensraum” challenges and inspires audience.
© Boston Globe