In the upbeat, nutty family show FUNNY FACE, Introdans turns the spotlight on the choreographers Alexander Ekman and David Middendorp. Both have a highly individual style and a special approach to dance. Both are renowned for the wonderful, infectious humour in their productions. And both are extraordinarily successful at the international level. The Swedish Alexander Ekman is acclaimed above all for his masterful timing and the theatrical craziness in his choreographies. In FUNNY FACE Introdans dances his Swingle Sisters and WHIM, Fractured Fairytale. David Middendorp has built a reputation for the unique way that this young Dutchman combines dance and animation. He is creating a new duet for FUNNY FACE. Moreover, his Blue Journey is being performed as well as a work new to Introdans: Face Machine.

Wereldleiders (World leaders) - David Middendorp (World premiere)

In addition to Face Machine, which is new to Introdans, Middendorp is also making a brand-new duet specially for FUNNY FACE. On the basis of his earlier duets, this is sure to involve a special mix of poetry and romance on the one hand, and comedy and slapstick on the other. That’s not an everyday combination, as Middendorp himself is well aware. But it’s one that suits him down to the ground. “I like it when my choreographies have a certain undercurrent, that they’re not just for making you laugh.”

The new work by David Middendorp is a co-production of Introdans and Another Kind of Blue. Stefan Bandalac is the technical producer of Face Machine and World leaders.

Face Machine - David Middendorp (Introdans premiere)

Middendorp’s Face Machine is a new work for Introdans and is inspired by the now familiar phenomenon of the ‘selfie’. Our face symbolises the person (‘me’) that we display all over the social media. And so Middendorp has made a choreography specially for the face. This face (of a constantly changing dancer) is projected in huge format on the backdrop of the stage, and so it seems as if the other dancers dance, roll and walk across this face. This leads to hilarious scenes, such as when the big face licks the body of a lying dancer like a lolly.

Blue Journey - David Middendorp

David Middendorp created Blue Journey specially for Introdans in 2008. This choreography opened up doors all over the world for the young Dutch artist. A revised version of the piece reached the semi-final of America’s Got Talent and enchanted millions of television viewers. After the performance jury member Howard Stern said: “I believe we have been ‘Middendorfed’. It is the best dance ever in the show.” Now the original version of Blue Journey is once again being performed by Introdans. The choreography is a prime showcase for Middendorp’s exceptional ability to combine expressive live dance and video animations into magical and poetic images. In the video projections we see shadows of the dancers: sometimes these shadows move synchronously with the ‘real’ dancers but more often they make the impossible possible. To give just two examples, we see a ‘giant’ moving horizontally across the projection screen and hundreds of ‘mini-people’ falling like raindrops from the sky.

Swingle Sisters - Alexander Ekman

The award-winning Swingle Sisters is one of Ekman’s early works. The basic idea seems simple: Ekman has three dancers, seated at a rolling table, cough loudly in a strict rhythm. But the hilarious way in which the Swedish artist develops this idea reveals a major and idiosyncratic talent. Swingle Sisters was originally made for the International Competition for Choreographers in Hannover, where it immediately won two prizes.

WHIM, Fractured Fairytale - Alexander Ekman

Ekman’s fantastic sense of humour and timing is perfectly expressed in the comic WHIM, Fractured Fairytale. The theme of this choreography is our constant urge to belong. Set to a daring, swinging music collage, Ekman has the dancers engage in all kinds of strange antics, carry out ludicrous dance steps, recite fragments of text and pull loads of really crazy faces. But whatever the dancers do, WHIM, Fractured Fairytale requires the utmost concentration from them and almost military precision. Introdans has previously performed the chair choreography from WHIM, Fractured Fairytale in the programme SO YOU THINK YOU CAN CHAIRDANCE, which won a Zilveren Krekel (Silver Cricket) award. Now Introdans presents the entire choreography for the first time.

Wereldleiders (World Leaders)

choreography David Middendorp | music Bart Lybeert; Peter Geraedts; Asaf Avidan, Bang Bang | animation/technology Dutch Tilt Studios and David Middendorp | set and lighting design David Middendorp | costume design and execution Karisma Costumes | technical procuder Stefan Bandalac | repetiteur Marlena Wolfe | duration + 10 minutes | world premiere 7 March 2020, Arnhem
Wereldleiders (World leaders) is a co-production of Introdans and Another Kind of Blue

Face Machine

choreography David Middendorp | music Genevieve Murphy, People, Sail, Awolnation; Dario Fo, Skrillex, Bangarang | audiovisual design and lighting design David Middendorp | costume design and execution Karisma Costumes | technical producer Stefan Bandalac | assistant to the choreographer Antonino Milazzo | repetiteur Marlena Wolfe | duration + 13 minutes | world premiere 18 September 2015, Another Kind of Blue, Den Haag | premiere Introdans 7 March 2020, Arnhem

Blue Journey

choreography David Middendorp | music Radiohead, Street Spirit, Videotape, Like Spinning Plates | animation and set design David Middendorp | costume design Dorine van IJsseldijk | lighting design Berry Claassen | set made by Helldörfer Lasbedrijf en Theatex | costumes made by Marie Jacobse, Merlijn Koopman | repetiteur Vérine Bouwman, Marlena Wolfe | duration ± 13 minutes | world premiere 18 October 2008, Introdans, Arnhem

Swingle Sisters

choreography Alexander Ekman | music The Swingle Singers, Bach’s Largo (Harpsichord Concerto No. 5 in F Minor), Alexander Ekman | set and costume design Alexander Ekman | lighting design Hans Giesberts | costumes made by Dorine van IJsseldijk | repetiteur Marlena Wolfe | duration ± 7 minutes | world premiere 3 April 2005, choreography workshop Nederlands Dans Theater, Den Haag | premiere Introdans 26 December 2015, Arnhem

WHIM, Fractured Fairytale

choreography Alexander Ekman | music Antonio Vivaldi, The four seasons – Winter, executed by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra o.l.v. Gil Shahan; Marcelle de Lacour, La pendule de Marie-Antoinette; Edmundo Ros, Bolero; Nina Simone, My baby just cares for me | costume and set design Alexander Ekman | lighting design Alex Kurth | costumes made by Merlijn Koopman | rehearsed by Mathilde van de Meerendonk | repetiteur Marlena Wolfe | duration + 24 minutes | world premiere 16 June 2006 IT Dansa, Barcelona (ES)| premiere Introdans 14 October 2017 (part of), 7 maart 2020 (full version), Arnhem

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