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Inside the Studio : Week Nine Layers of Skin

Hi, my name is Marnix, and for two months now I've been working with Retina as a dramaturg and communications officer.

The first job allows me to spend lots of time in the studio, seeing this piece grow day by day. And that's been amazing. I've never worked with a company that can evoke such an energy on stage and in the studio, performing with such intricacy, prepared to push their bodies to the limit and always a bit beyond. In English it may read as a weak wordplay, but its moving!. I'm guessing that only this kind of dedication and energy can fuel a project this ambitious. And as an audience member, it's quite unique to witness just that alone. At the same time its a blessing to work with a choreographer who has his own unique movement language, but on the other hand is open to input and feedback. That makes the sitting, looking and wondering that this dream job is about even nicer.

And that’s where the second job comes in: almost to ensure that I get some movement as well, running around from here to there and back again, spreading the word. Hoping to share this thing with as many other people who may enjoy it. And fortunately we're headed in the right direction: the premiere will be packed with enthusiasts, and the second and the third performance night audience numbers are growing by the day. And they are right to book, because Layers of Skin not only looks exciting, but even kind of risky! Because the scale and the energy of Layers of Skin gets boosted by the day. And the theatre already feels inappropriately small!

Now we're preparing for the final sprint, because it’s all going to happen. First there was the music by Aranis, a brisk mix of sun-ripened tango, contemporary classical and rock music. Then there is the movement material, varying between subdued poetical statues to explosive group scenes. Last week we started working with 8 local professional dancers, to expand some scenes to the next level and its amazing how massive 14 dancers look on a stage, even on a stage the size of Cultuurcentrum Berchem. Yesterday we did a run with live music, which not only adds 7 musicians, but considerably boosts the atmosphere. And tonight we start working with a group of 12 enthusiastic local community dancers, eager to join us on stage. Add some new mass choreographies, the right lighting and costumes (with a hint of nudity of course, it's contemporary dance we're talking about) and you get something that makes me doubt if Cultuurcentrum Berchem can contain it. But whether the walls will be in the way or not, what you can be sure of, is that the energy will be there, in some amazing music and movement, getting under your skin!

Written by Marnix Rummens, Dramaturg & Belgium Communications

Buy Tickets for Layers of Skin premiere at Cultuurcentrum Berchem on June 23, 24 & 25

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