Post uit Hessdalen is a young contemporary music-theatre company. In cooperation with other performing artists, and as a collective of varying composition, it creates hybrid stage productions in which several artistic disciplines – theatre, video, visual art, circus performance – coalesce to form a new and innovative performing arts idiom. Music and soundscapes play a pivotal part in each of the company’s creations. The basal and direct nature of music on stage (live or not) provides an antipode to the constructed visual language.
Post uit Hessdalen was formed in August 2014 by the film-maker and circus artist Stijn Grupping and theatre-maker Ine Van Baelen. Among the partners it has worked with so far are Muziektheater Transparant, Antwerpen Kunstenstad, Theater op de Markt, MiramirO, wpZimmer, deSingel, Oerol and KAAP.
As a pair of creatives, Van Baelen and Grupping share a fascination with events on the margins of our virtual society. Their first joint project, the circus-theatre production ‘The Smallest Family Circus in the World’ (2014), examined the virtual body. Video projection was used where the human body fell short and this made it possible to perform circus tricks that went beyond physical control. The immersive ‘Polar Night’ (2015) asked whether a virtual landscape can satisfy the need for unrestricted nature in an imaginable urbanised and overpopulated future. The circus performance ‘PAKMAN’ (2016) provided a physical manifestation of how our working lives are changing completely under the influence of computerisation and e-commerce. In ‘ECHO’ (2018), the company will seek out our memories, which currently resonate online and are stored in binary codes on servers somewhere, in Mons, South Carolina or the Pacific Ocean.
Post uit Hessdalen’s productions have been performed in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg and the United Kingdom.
Liv Laveyne on Post uit Hessdalen in Circusmagazine#48 (September 2016):
‘What makes this creative duo so interesting is that it is pursuing substantive research over a longer period than just one production, and links this to various forms and disciplines. From their debut, The Smallest Family Circus in the World, in which they employed video projection to transcend the physical limits of the circus body in time and space, to the documentary Poolnacht, in which the shimmering grey darkness and the voice of a narrator put you into a timeless trance, and now this PAKMAN, radically different in form and discipline, the content shares the same concern: how do we humans deal with the phenomenon of time? As a virtual, natural or economic factor.’
Tuur Devens at Theaterkrant.nl (April 2017):
‘Post uit Hessdalen certainly lives up to its name. … Inexplicable, fascinating, elusive in time and space. And this is the impact that the film-maker and circus artist Stijn Grupping and theatre-maker and scenarist Ine Van Baelen appear to want to create in their hybrid productions that combine a wide variety of artistic disciplines.’
In early 2000, Stijn Grupping (1986) was one of the founders of Ell Circo d’Ell Fuego, which recently won the Flemish Culture Prize for Circus. For several years he taught there, created productions and specialised in juggling with bounce balls. His experiments with the integration of video and projection into circus, at that time still unexplored territory, led him to study film at the NARAFI in Brussels. Since 2006 he has also worked as a cameraman for both theatre and film.
Ine Van Baelen (1984) made her debut as a theatre-maker and performer at the 2008 Theater Aan Zee festival with the zie!duif collective, which there won the KBC Young Theatre Prize with its production Stockholm. She studied Political and Social Sciences at Ghent University, Theatre Studies at Antwerp University and the Freie Universität in Berlin, and Audiovisual Arts/Scriptwriting at the RITCS in Brussels. She has created productions and performances for DE Studio/Villanella, Vooruit, Campo, De Werf, Brussels Philharmonic and Zonzo Compagnie and in 2015, with the support of the VAF, wrote the scenario for ‘Night Owl’.
Post uit Hessdalen relies for its business management on Klein Verzet. The productions are distributed internationally in cooperation with Vincent Company.
Those with whom we collaborate – in the past, present or future – include the photographer Liesbet Grupping, musician Frederik Meulyzer, lighting designer Lucas Van Haesbroeck, soprano Claron McFadden, scenographer Reinout Hiel, the ZWERM guitar quartet, choreographer Karolien Verlinden and soprano Els Mondelaers.