She is present, but can no longer focus her thoughts. the exact position of things explores the disorientation of a woman who no longer remembers her own name. She survives by clinging to familiar rituals. The performance explores a constant loss of grip on reality. Words lead a life of their own, the search for meaning is in vain. Actions are repeated and the slightest change exposed.
the exact position of things is a dark performance with no centre, always moving forward into the next moment. Reminiscent of work by Beckett, it is not only existentialist and probing but also liberating. The question Beutler poses: can the loss of all knowledge bring freedom? With subtle humour, she leads the audience into the inner world of a person with Alzheimer’s, where the familiar becomes alien, and the alien appears familiar.
This Nicole Beutler classic from 2005 marks the origin of the distinctive signature of this ‘visual artist in theatre’. The delicate dissection, the ‘looping and scratching’ of images, movement, language and light began with this performance. the exact position of things was nominated for the BNG Theatre Makers’ Award and named by theatre magazine TM as one of the best dance pieces of the season. In celebration of the tenth anniversary of Nicole Beutler Projects, the performance returns to the stage with the original cast.
NICOLE BEUTLER ON THE EXACT POSITION OF THINGS IN 2005
“Don’t we all hold on to the familiar for fear of the unknown? What are you afraid of? What’s your logic? Art takes its inspiration from the flaws in society. Imperfection is what moves me. Awkwardness, a person’s vulnerability. People with Alzheimer’s in a home are trapped in a space as they are in their own brain. My character never stops asking questions. She’s clinging on and that’s reflected in her body. It leaves a deep impression – sad, but also funny sometimes. Bodies full of stories, that’s what I want to see.”
Cast & Credits
Concept/choreography: Nicole Beutler
Made in collaboration with performers: Hester van Hasselt, Esther Snelder
Music: Gary Shepherd in samenwerking met Wouter Snoei
Lighting design: Minna Tiikkainen
Dramaturgy: Robert Steijn, Igor Dobricic
Book design: Connie Nijman
Drawing 2015: Nicola Unger
Campagne 2019: Rick Erffman / studio l&rooth
Scene photography: Anja Beutler
Thanks to: Uta Eisenreich, Felix Ritter, Paz Rojo, Yriänä Ranka
Coproducers 2005: LISA, Springdance Festival
Coproducer remake 2019: Theater Malpertuis
With supoort of: FAPK (Den Haag), VSB-Fonds
Acquisition & tour: Theaterzaken Via Rudolphi