Symmetry is one of the most fundamental concepts in geometry... It is so prevalent in nature, from the human body to crystals, atoms, particle physics, or cosmology, that it is difficult to imagine it not being central to our understanding of the world. (Jean-Pierre Luminet: Science, Art and Geometrical Imagination)
The dream of getting back to nature is an ageless one. Nature represents all that is pure, real and unbridled, in contrast to everything that has been touched by humankind – culture – which is civilized, orderly and contrived. Choreographer Nicole Beutler’s takes these platitudes to task in 3: The Garden. Because although nature is indeed wild and unspoiled, symmetry is fundamental to it; not a single atom or crytal escapes it. The acrobatic dancers in Beutler’s Garden of Eden create perfectly reflected symmetrical forms, like the beads in some hallucinogenic kaleidoscope. But, very gradually, driven on by music from DJ/composer Gary Shepherd and the anti-pop band Einstürzende Neubauten this restrained aesthetic goes off the rails and humans themselves become the instigators of a raging chaos.
Beutler drew inspiration from both the contemporary zeitgeist and far older sources for whom nature had a special status: the pre-socratic natural philosophers, the Romantics and Monte Verità, the early twentieth century artistic community in Switzerland. She also gives the theory of evolution the chance to play around with the biblical creation story and lets the influence of Jeroen Bosch’s exuberant painting The Garden of Earthly Delights shine through.
With her strongly composed images, Beutler creates theatre in which dance, text, music and visual arts melt together as one.
Cast & Credits
Idea, Choreography, Directon: Nicole Beutler
Music: Gary Shepherd
Lighting design: Minna Tiikkainen
Created and performed by: Hillary Blake Firestone, Marjolein Vogels, Giulio d’Anna, Niels Kuiters, Hendrik Willekens, Javier Vaquero Ollero
Cast since 2015: Hillary Blake Firestone, Marjolein Vogels, Giulio d’Anna, Niels Kuiters, Christian Guerematchi(sinds 2015), Felix Schellekens
Dramaturgy: Felix Ritter
Repetitor: Keren Levi
Costume, Stage design Suze May Sho: Jessica Helbach, Rosell Heijmen, Connie Nijman
Light technique: Martin Kaffarnik
Sound technique: Valentijn Berkhout
A coproduction:Nicole Beutler Projects, Beursschouwburg Brussels, Grand Theatre Groningen
With support of: Fonds Podiumkunsten, Gemeente Amsterdam, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst
Graphic design: Connie Nijman
Many thanks to: Paul Schimmel, Hester van Hasselt (Coördinatie Context Programma), Anouke de Groot (assistentie), Signe Tollefsen (voice-training), Robert Steijn (power animals), Bojana Mladenovic, Hester van Hasselt, Michael Jahoda