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Are we the last generation that dies in the body it was born in? Due to medicine, surgery, beauty ideals and technology, the opportunities to alter our bodies are rapidly growing. “You aligned your physical reality with your mental impression of yourself. Wouldn’t it be a good thing if we could all do that?”, Victor Stein asks transgender Ry Shelley in Jeannette Winterson recent novel Frankissstein

These are no sci-fi questions in a world where bodies are not only manipulated with photoshop and filters, but actually undergo surgery to look like Ken or Barbie, where robots not only look more and more like humans, but where artificial intelligence makes these robots act like humans as well. And a world in which we will be able to upload our neural activities and consciousness.

What does this mean for performance in which the bodily presence of humans has been the centre of attention for millennia?

In this practice-led seminar, we want to experience and discuss the implications of posthumanism, cyborgs and robots on performance. What is the value of the human body on stage and in the audience? What role will robots and cyborgs play in the theatre? What is the future of performance if the human transcends itself?

Dries Verhoeven (visual artist) will share about the process of creating Happinessin which a humanoid sells artificial happiness. In addition to Dries, we have invited Maaike Bleeker (professor in theatre studies at the University of Utrecht) to reflect on current developments.

The seminar takes place during Moving Futures Festival in Arnhem.

Moving Futures

Moving Futures Festival takes place at Stadstheater Arnhem and Theater a/d Rijn 25-27 March 2020. With performances, pop-ups, movies, workshops and (after)talks you get the chance to meet the makers of nowadays dance- and performance art, brought to you by five Dutch dance houses: Dansmakers Amsterdam, Dansateliers Rotterdam, De Nieuwe Oost, DansBrabant and Random Collision. Read more about the festival and the program at movingfutures.nl


Students of ArtEZ, Radboud University, HAN and NCPA-partners register for free. (Registration mandatory)
Professionals and practitioners: €5,00 incl. one free drink.


Orbach, Susie. “Will this be the last generation to have bodies that are familiar to us?” In: The Guardian. 

Winterson, Jeanette. Frankissstein. London: Jonathan Cape, 2019.

Made possible by:

The post\human in performance is a practice-led seminar organized by De Nieuwe Oost and ArtEZ Bachelor of Dance in collaboration with Moving Futures, ArtEZ Creative Writing and the NCPA.


Do you have any questions about the seminar? Don't hesitate to contact Nienke

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