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AIR at de Theaterschool Rieks Swarte

You can observe a lot by just watching The profession of theatre technician is a demanding one. Technicians have a coordinating role linking the director or choreographer, on the one hand, and the realisation of the entire production, on the other. These young professionals must of course excel in their practical tasks, but nowadays demands are also being made on their flexibility, creativity and imagination. And the Technical Theatre Arts department is convinced that a passion for the performing arts is of key importance for upcoming professionals. Reason enough, then, to invite theatre maker Rieks Swarte to be its first Artist in Residence. About the project Rieks Swarte is a director, designer, performer and puppeteer. He is celebrated for his powerfully imaginative work and the unique interactions he creates between performers and objects. He creates dazzling stage work using very limited technical resources. Swarte believes that theatre is all about transfer, and that the most important thing students can learn is how to combine the potential of multiple skill sets to facilitate the best possible level of cooperation between technicians and performers. Swarte’s motto for this residency is, ‘You can observe a lot by just watching’. (Yogi Bear) Swarte and the student technicians attended performances and rehearsals for Pinokkio, a collaborative production by Swarte’s company De Firma and Toneelmakerij. Swarte and the teachers also got together regularly for discussions. The high point of his residency will be a production he makes with the students, which will be staged at the end of the theatre season.

Rieks Swarte on the exhibition in his Cabanon, a ‘self-portrait in architecture’, in de Theaterschool: ‘Lots of things came together that I wanted to show, like prints of lovers and things like that. In the end I hung my ‘mood board’ on the wall and the only images that got put into the installation were of my husband Javier and my mother.’

Swarte started off his residency with the Cabanon. He worked with secondyear students to construct this spatial installation made of wood and cardboard. Anke Nust produced the project.

About the artist In 1992 Swarte founded his theatre company De Firma, which performs in the Netherlands and Belgium at theatres as well as site-specific venues. His base of operations is his experimental workshop and studio in central Haarlem, and his home theatre is Toneelschuur, also in Haarlem. This season, Swarte will making the mise en scène for Pinokkio at the Toneelmakerij and designing the set for Zuidelijk Toneel’s To Be Or Not To Be.


On Air 5  
On Air 5  

Magazine van het lectoraat Kunstpraktijk en artistieke ontwikkeling van de AHK.