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Holding Present (2023)


Première June 4, 2023
Concertgebouw Brugges

June 16, 17, 18, 2023
Centre Pompidou, Paris & Ircam

Holding Present is a new collaboration between choreographer Ula Sickle and the music ensemble Ictus. Including works by composers Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, Stellan Veloce and Didem Coskunseven, with musical instruments by artists Maika Garnica and Gert Aertsen, Holding Present examines how an individual gesture can become a powerful collective act. Weaving a fabric of existing and newly commissioned compositions, a group of eight performers, consisting of both musicians and dancers, slowly and consciously build a moment, a momentum, moving toward the breaking point where individuals become a critical mass.

The performance stages unusual instruments outside of the traditional idioms of western classical music, such as swinging bull roars, megaphones, and a uniquely designed circular wind instrument by Marika Garnica, which requires all performers to collaborate in order to be played. The performers engage with each other on new terrain, charting lines of flight in the present. And while they build over the duration of the piece, the audience integrates into the fabric. They too become part of the moment, becoming responsible for momentum. Holding Present is a powerful rehearsal for building the foundations of collectivity.

Concept, choreography Ula Sickle
Concept, musical direction Tom Pauwels (Ictus)
Composers Stellan Veloce, Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros and Didem Coskunseven
New Instruments by Gert Aertsen, Maika Garnica
Creation and performance Amanda Barrio Charmelo, Marina Delicado, Marie Goudot, Ruben Martinez Orio, Michael Schmid, Mohamed Toukabri, Tom Pauwels & Ula Sickle
Light Design Ofer Smilansky
Costumes Sabrina Seifried & Joëlle Laederach
Production Ictus & Outline
Coproduction IRCAM, Concertgebouw Brugge, Ictus & Outline