Arno Schuitemaker


30 appearances out of darkness

Mesmerizing and mysterious, 30 appearances out of darkness is a performance about disappearing — and appearing.

Arno Schuitemaker: “Maybe it is proof that I am getting older, but I feel that I am less and less resisting the vulnerability of life. When I was reading Derek Jarman’s book Chroma some of his words resonated with me: Is black hopeless? Doesn’t every dark thundercloud have a silver lining? In black lies the possibility of hope. It led me to want to reflect on the significance of this paradox, and how it can shape and define us for the better. Why do we sometimes fear what we desire most? It is a question I can’t let go of. I want to fear less. Maybe we should find enlightenment by disappearing in darkness, if only to be able to come out on the other side.”

Impressive images emerge from a pitch-black space, sometimes on the threshold of perception. Assumptions we make are challenged. A group of performers moves across the stage. Not everyone is visible at the same time, but their presence is always felt. They appear and disappear — found, lost, and sought again. As ominous as it can be, this darkness, this pitch-blackness, gradually becomes a place of infinite potential.

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Hopefulness is risky, since after all it is a form of trust,
trust in the unknown and possible.

Hope in the Dark — Rebecca Solnit

Bart Grietens

Bart Grietens

Desiré van den Berg


Between black velvet pillars the contours of naked bodies emerge one by one. (...) In this all-absorbing game of disappearing and appearing, Schuitemaker gradually creates a space for a redeeming finale. It is an impressive feeling to realize that afterward your head is glowing. — Annette Embrechts, de Volkskrant ★★★★

Movement, light, and sound engage in a perfect dialogue (...) The pivotal moment of the performance is when a voice breaks through the instrumental score. The intense humanness of a voice and a body is touching. — Heleen Westerik, Cultuurpers

Within the frame of an hour both the dancers and the audience make a journey from stillness and darkness to light and movement, from one extreme to the other (...) It is a hallucinatory experience. — Kester Freriks, Theaterkrant

Arno Schuitemaker meticulously builds his choreography of 30 appearances out of darkness in a magnificent, disorienting light design by Jean Kalman. — Francine van der Wiel, NRC


Creation: Arno Schuitemaker
Performers: Ivan Ugrin, Ahmed El Gendy, Emilia Saavedra, Frederik Kaijser, Rebecca Collins, Clotilde Capelletti, Jim Buskens, Paolo Yao, and Lucas Devroe (understudy)
Dramaturgy: Guy Cools
Music: Aart Strootman
Lighting design: Jean Kalman
Set design: Jean Kalman, Arno Schuitemaker

30 appearances out of darkness is a production of SHARP/ArnoSchuitemaker in coproduction with La Place de la Danse – Centre de Développement Chorégraphique National / Toulouse-Occitanie and POLE-SUD - Centre de Développement Chorégraphique National Strasbourg. Many thanks to the Holland Festival.

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