There we are, waiting in a group under the lighthouse, ready to go on a tour with the walk-along dance-experience ‘Am I here now’. Everyone holds an MP3-player, and we press play on cue. From that moment on, for the next fifty minutes, we live in the head of the dancer that we follow through the streets of West Terschelling. I hear his thoughts through my headphones. His voice tells me: “I won’t judge the next person that passes me by.”
I look around. Do the other ones hear the same voice? Or does everyone hear something different? “If I take a right turn here, will I meet the love of my life?” I look down the street with a fresh view, curious about the next passer-by.
The dancer looks for interaction with anything he encounters on the street: people, animals, buildings… “I’m looking for a gentle side of this street”, it sounds from my headphones. The dancer explores the space, follows the lines on the buildings, the plants on the walls. He repeats this action for minutes; non-stop, wilder and wilder each time he does it.
The lady working in the building next to us doesn’t even look up for a moment. Other passersby do react to the dancer. An old lady starts imitating his movements. It’s fascinating to see how diverse the reactions are. The dialogue between dance and thoughts opens my eyes and plays with my perception of things. For little less than an hour, my own thoughts are silenced and I see West Terschelling through the eyes of the dancer.
A parking lot behind a retirement home, tiny alleys; I’m finding myself in places I would normally never visit. The walk-along dance performance shows us the poetry of everyday life. Through his thoughts and his dance, my view focuses and I see the village with new eyes. Every detail is exciting and stands out: the curb, the weeds, the smells. No passer-by walks by unnoticed. It’s as if I’m on holiday in my own country.