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The Non-Present Performer

Karel van Laere

The Non-Present Performer

The Non-Present Performer contemplates on the following question: What would it be like if, just like a computer, you could switch off your body every now and then? No thoughts, no stimulants, no movement or feeling, what would this state result in?
The closest to what I was looking for seemed to be anaesthesia or an epidural. So I approached an anaesthesist. My idea to do a live performance under anaesthesia proved to be impossible. However, the anaesthesist did convince me of the power of hypnosis in this context.
The result of all this became a performance in which I, hypnotized, handed over my body to a choreographer and three dancers surrounded by a live audience. I asked the dancers to look for physical borders, to experiment, and to make me the subject of their research as the “Non-Present Performer”. Afterwards, there was a post-show discussion with hypnotist Joris Waayer, anaesthetist Rutger van Leersum, the dancers and the audience.

Concept Karel van Laere
Dancers Amos Ben Tal, Milena Twiehaus, Yvan Dubreuil, Francesco Barba
Medical advice Rutger van Leersum
Hyponotist Joris Waayer
Dramaturgy Chaja Hertog & Nir Nadler
Textual advice & coaching Marcel Roijaards
Cinematography & montage Mink Pinster
Second camera Jasper Masthoff
Sound recording & soundmix Michiel de Boer
Special thanks to John de Weerd, Marten de Groot, Michelle de Vries, Renée van der Ven & Peter van Til
Made possible by Fonds Podiumkunsten
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