What remains about Piano Etudes is in this last blog, backgrounds, portraits, references, sources, reflections, on making theatre. For me of course it was a big adventure, developing the idea of transforming written stories into a theatre-performance.
This process developed little by little and the performers, Mariken Bijnen and Ilke Turpijn played an essential part. There existed twenty stories, no dramaturgy in advance, no scenario.
We started with improvisations. First with only the actresses to find a base for the interpretations. Later on the musicians joined in and the stories expanded into scenes.
All the time we looked for authenticity and the actresses always cooperated with me in a very special way, based on their playing and directing experiences. At one time I was the director, another time a reflecting eye at a distance. Obviously we had to find our balance and this was a process in itself. But this has been honest and constructive and also very exciting, but throughout continually searching for progress.
Sometimes there have been obstacles, an important one was in which way the individual scenes, could be more fluid and connect more with each other. An essential input of the actresses has been the life-stream-camera. Contently so close to the idea of looking, but also as a woven thread trough the scenes. And so it happened. We did eventually find out our relationships in Piano Etudes in a very fruitful way, whereby I became happy with their confidence, surroundings and initiatives. This occurred also between the actresses and musicians, so that more and more their cooperation smelted beautifully together.
With the Productions it proved an important decision to ask Abdullah Geels and Evan Morris for sound projection and light. This made the performances more professional and gave us a confident base to do the necessary preparations in the theatres, together with the technicians in situ, within quite a short time. Their attitude has been calm, all the time in control and precise and that works very well for the actresses and musicians and for me as director. Each time at the end of the preparations we could manage to have a run-through that the performance could rely upon.
In the background others played a special part, including Veronica Divendal together with Ernestien Lammens, for the production, the sponsors, financing, budgets and bookkeeping. Brigitte van Hagen gave good advices about budgets and the approach of theaters. Veronica was also an important partner in the dialogue concerning all kinds of elements in various areas, without her I was in danger of sinking into the swamp of theatre production! For publicity we tried everything to project Piano Etudes. This succeeded well with online publicity and in the various publicity agendas. Geertje van Emmerik and Stefanie Grimbergen certainly did everything with heart and soul. Without their efforts we could not have come so far. Also Christiaan Honig, who built up the website and continually assisted me with the print work, all very important and supporting.
As a most important partner I must particularly mention Annelies Grimbergen, who continually gave her own vision and comment, playing her part in all kinds of production elements, such as bookselling, the preparation of the meals for the crew, to spreading out flyers and posters in different cities during the tour and supporting me unconditionally throughout both the broad and detailed totality.
Of course I must congratulate the visual artists, so directly and immediately producing their drawings and visual works, inspired by the stories, at both the Brazilian and European sides. Their work has been optimally exposed in the performances and the special exhibition which we could show in a smaller or bigger format in almost all the theatres. Also my foreign partners, including the ‘pianitas’ in São Paulo and Emmanuelle Schwartz in Vézelay, who gave me their trust and offered me space in some form for Piano Etudes, now and in the future.
And also thanks to all who have made possible this project financially. Without them it should be not possible at all. On the bottom of this page you see the foundations and supporters, but I will mention them here again: Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, VSB-fonds, Fonds21, J.P.Ruigrokstichting and the Henri Moerel Foundation. But also all who contributed in crowdfunding via Voordekunst and you all who came to the performances and bought tickets, sometimes even twice. Our gratitude is strong, in our believe that without you all, this project should be never realized.
Also those theaters who believed in our project and take risk, in partage, like Compagnietheater in Amsterdam, Parktheater in Alphen aan den Rijn, Grand Theatre in Groningen, or bought our performance almost or complete, Engelenbaktheater in Zaltbommel en the unsurpassed Toneelschuur in Haarlem. Thanks also to all directors and programmers believing in adventure and experiment, not like the Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten which goes just for predictable safety.
The website will continue and include further news, but is also the archive of the 50 blogs I wrote.
For me personally Piano Etudes was a miraculous adventure, being both grandiose and stirring.
……….. now back to something smaller!