In ATMEN, Nicole Beutler welcomes you to an undiscovered piece of the future; it is 2200. A pulsating, vibrating and breathing paradise in which nature has reclaimed its place. The red plush in the theatre is now part of a living ecosystem. The ruin is overgrown with bacteria, flora, fauna and shiny fungi. Along with hybrid creatures, the audience becomes part of this ecosystem, in which the four singers of the award-winning dance opera 8: METAMORPHOSIS sing romantic songs of nature.
Run time 90 minutes
Language various languages
Under the moonlight, a wolf howls and two dancers meet. Together with the living space, they move to music of lost radio waves, rustling leaves and electronic music compositions by our in-house composer Gary Shepherd. These compositions are inspired by remnants of Schubert songs.
Visual artist Heleen Blanken uses three-dimensional video images to make the theatre overrun with resilient nature. Deep in these vibrating, cavernous depths, at the bottom of a post-apocalyptic reality, the wild promise of an unimaginable future gradually takes shape.
The second part of the trilogy: RITUALS OF TRANSFORMATION (towards a new humanity) is an immersive theatrical experience. We travel through an experiment, a speculative fiction where we contemplate constant collective transformation in an overgrown ruin.
In the first part of the trilogy: GINKGO or: 56 million years ago there were palm trees on the North Pole, we watched the end of the man-made world, like a film without a happy ending. In ATMEN, Beutler and her team let the audience catch their breath again with a space full of life, potential and change. In the final part of the trilogy, a new balance will be found.
This trilogy creates a space where the performers and the audience reflect together on what it is to be human in this world. Theatre offers an opportunity to think critically about the future of humanity on the planet. Beutler aims to touch the audience by offering new perspectives, by breaking open existing concepts in search of new, unexpected connections, generating potential for a hopeful vision of the future.
This performance is presented as part of a collaboration between Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA) and Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).
Impact programme around ATMEN
Nicole Beutler Projects presents an impact program around ATMEN with lectures, conversations and meetings in which we delve deeper into our relationship with the planet. Together we explore the possibility of looking at the distant future from a more-than-human perspective.
Suppose you plant a tree on the square in front of the theatre, and suppose it can live there for 400 years without human interference. How does that tree see its environment changing? What kind of world are we planting it in?
The evening starts on October 18 with a short lecture by the national thinker Marjan Slob and on October 19 by philosopher Lisa Doeland. Afterwards, the films Songs from the compost and The Underground Astronaut can be viewed alternately. In the middle of the evening, there will be a special panel discussion in the square foyer. Participants in this conversation adopt a plant and imagine its future under the guidance of a 'speaker from the living'. Where does this organism like to live, how will it develop in the coming years, and what adventures and dramas will they and their descendants witness in the wilderness of time?
After the conversation, it is time for action. Everyone is invited to bring their plant to give it a place at home, or as a 'guerilla gardener' in the neighbourhood, and thus take care of the future in a small way.
Guests include artist collective The Sunflower Soup, de Onkruideniers, Neal Powless, Stijn Nollen, Lisa Doeland and Marjan Slob.
You can also enjoy an introductory podcast and a clothing swap market this evening! Be on time, take your old clothes with you, and maybe you will go home with a new blouse.
October 18, 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM in the Salon
Marjan Slob is our 'Thinker Laureate' and has been working as an independent philosopher, speaker and essayist for more than twenty years. She sees it as her mission to increase insight and understanding without losing contact with reality.
October 19, 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM in the Salon
Lisa Doeland is a philosopher and writer. Her book Apocalypsophy was recently published. On recycling, green growth and other dangerous fantasies (2023).
SONGS FROM THE COMPOST: MUTATING BODIES IMPLODING STARS
October 18 and 19, 6:30 PM – 11:30 PM in the Salon
A short film by Egle Budvytyte that sheds light on the fragility of the ecological balance and the interconnectedness of humans and non-humans.
Duration: 28 minutes.
THE UNDERGROUND ASTRONAUT
October 18 and 19, 6:30 PM – 11:30 PM in the Salon
The Underground Astronaut is an Ammodo documentary that follows evolutionary biologist Toby Kiers on her mission to map and understand global fungal networks before it is too late. A fragrant and urgent journey to the underground. “No fungi, no future.”
Duration: 17 minutes.
Grab a pair of silent disco headphones and listen to the introductory podcast to the performance by artistic coordinator Justa ter Haar.
An exhibition by the artist collective the Sunflower Soup who strikingly combine art and activism in their work.
Exchange clothes that you no longer wear but are too beautiful to throw away and/or score your new beautiful outfit.
Immerse yourself in the reading and listening tips of choreographer and theatre maker Nicole Beutler. Here you will find a selection from the library that inspired the performance ATMEN.
PLEIN FOYER - PANEL TALK
A special panel discussion where Bonnie Chopard opens the conversation. In the role of 'Speaker for the Living' associated with Zoöps, she works with organizations that commit to a new attitude: from anthropocentric to symbiotic.
ZOÖP is an organizational model for cooperation between human and non-human life that promotes the interests of all zoë (Greek for 'life'). In a world where the climate is going crazy and ecosystems are under pressure, people are looking for a balanced and sustainable relationship with nature. -|-
This alternative organizational model offers a radical reform in which the voice of other-than-human life is heard.
Participants adopt a plant and jointly imagine its future. After the conversation, it is time for action. You are invited to bring your plant with you to give it a place at home, or as a 'guerrilla gardener' in the neighbourhood, and thus take care of the big future in the small.
concept and directing Nicole Beutler
in close cooperation with the team
performance and vocals Hillary Blake Firestone, Revé Ter Borg, Arnout Lems, Dominic Krämer, Felix Schellekens and Timo Tembuyser
music composition Gary Shepherd
music Franz Schubert
video art Heleen Blanken
scenography and lighting Julian Maiwald
dramaturgy Igor Dobričić
costume Jessica Helbach
artistic assistance Justa ter Haar
repetitor Catarina Ferreira da Silva
sound design Ruben Kieftenbelt
directing assistance Konstantinos Chatzikypraios
understudy dance and vocals Salya Berrraf
rehearsal director and tour management Joao Dinis Pinho
head of technique and video technique Hans-Peter Hulsscher
sound technician Valentijn Berckhout
engineer and video engineer Durante van Kuijk
lighting technique Thijs Kempers
production Yonina van Geel
marketing Shewska Verberne and Alma Hoekstra
a production by Nicole Beutler Projects
created in co-production with Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Parktheater Eindhoven, O. Festival for Opera. Music. Theatre
supported by Opera Ballet Vlaanderen - Vonk
made possible by the generous support of Fonds Podiumkunsten Den Haag, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, Fast Forward, AMMODO, stichting DOEN (Vriendenloterij), Fonds 21
with thanks to Neal Powless (words that come before all others), Joao Dinis Pinho (rehearsal director), Nicole Geertruida (outside eye), Alexander Nieuwenhuis (survival training), Nicholas Kraemer (inspiratie), David Wendt (technisch textiel), Beathe Weckesser, Eva Villanueva
for my parents and our daughter Sophie Luca Shepherd