It was a Friday night, the 11th of November, when the audience waited at the door of theatre De Nieuwe Vorst in Tilburg (Holland). The performance “Ik hou van je maar je hindert me” (I love you but you hold be back) was about to start. We were all very curious. We had heard positive reviews about the show in De Melkweg (Amsterdam, Holland). How will Vloeistof show us life as a raw, imperfect dance; a relationship as ‘a vulnerable process’? Up front, the audience was asked to pair up. This confirmed two things: relationships and interactivity. Parts of compositions from Brecht to Eurythmics guided the audience to their seats; ‘Mackie Messer’ from ‘Die Dreigroschenoper’ and ‘Sweet dreams are made of this’.
The dance floor is a carefully laid out square. Inside of this square, dancers Andrea Beugger and Killian Haselbeck will attract and reject each other; annoyance and desire, suspicious looks and eye-to-eye confrontations, fighting and making love. There’s an oppressive atmosphere. Every now and then, a deep sigh escapes.
Dance duo Beugger and Haselbeck take full advantage of the floor. Together they sit in a corner, screaming. In the farthest corners they never lose each other by constantly shouting: “I’m here, I’m here”. Like slugs, they slowly roll themselves across the floor, diagonally. Heartfelt. In the deadly silence, all we hear is their heavy breathing. Intimate. Later on, the sound of rain comes in. The dancers hang on to each other, sweating, enduring, and dragging… They have to keep each other under control. This doesn’t always work. If one of them lets go, they’ll both fall down, liberated but convulsing. They cannot be without the other. Instantly, they rush back to a smothering embrace.
At one point, the mood turns brighter. The spotlight moves towards a couple in the audience. A voice speaks to them, with words similar as those from dancers Beugger and Haselbeck. “You could have showered, you know”. “Oh really? Not this again”. Someone giggles, enjoying the obvious discomfort of the couple in the spotlight. The playful sex-scenes on the dance floor are jolly and finally the audience is roaring with laughter: hoeka chaka, hoeka chaka.
This performance is a carefully constructed product, but every spectator gives their own meaning to the content. Through this, choreographers Anja Reinhardt and Yuri Bongers stay true to their words on their website: “Dance should be meaningful; dance should be stripped of all unnecessary decorations”. “I love you but you hold me back” deserves a stage and an ever-growing audience. It’s a trip down memory lane, both alienating and recognisable.