Theater group Wunderbaum performs “The History of my Stiffness” at Fusebox Festival on Friday, April 20 at 2:00pm & 8:00pm, and on Sunday, April 22 at 3:00pm. More info & tickets via the official festival site.
The History of my Stiffness
The History of my Stiffness is a performance about the Dutch inability to move supplely, and investigates whether your cultural background determines how you move. Is it our descent, the cold, or our ingrained Protestantism with its question of guilt, which causes us to be so rigid? Is it Kniertje, Bint, the freezing cold or for instance the Dutch Reformed Church that influences our movements?
Why do Brazilian people move so much more smoothly than we ‘kaaskoppen’ (cheeseheads, as the Belgians call us)? Is this caused by the environment in which they grow up? Or by the tropical forests or their melodious round language? The Netherlands are parcelled out; maybe our bodies are ‘cheesed out’?
The question arises, however, whether every attempt we make to detach ourselves from our descent by going to yoga, tango and salsa classes, is actually a denial of who we really are. Shouldn’t we simply accept our stiffness? Or is it simply a yoke that we have to cast?
If there was a Fusebox Hall of Legends, Wunderbaum would have a prominent place. Their past two trips to Fusebox have created a cult-like following and years later their work is still discussed and joyously re-lived.
This Netherlands-based company makes unforgettable performances that dive headfirst into a broad range of questions (ranging from big, to small, to complex, to outlandish, to whimsical). And they do it all with their very unique, Wunderbaum sense of humor.
Ultimately, their work artfully complicates our understanding of reality as it floats between fact and fiction and back again, always inching us toward a new way of understanding the world.
What began as an underground phenomenon 14 years ago, has grown into a city-wide celebration featuring artists from all over the world. And while the festival has grown, it has kept its independent spirit front and center in all that it does. For the organizers, the act of putting on the festival is built on a deep belief in creating space for the unexpected, for disruption, for discovery, and experimentation. It’s also a powerful moment to connect, dream, and build community.
Artistically, the festival is rooted in liveness. The performances, the parties, the meals, the discussions, etc, leverage and celebrate the potential of the live situation. What does it mean to be in a space with other people and what kinds of things are only possible in this space? This feels especially needed at this moment in our country’s history. And so the festival invites you and your imaginations to join in. “Let’s spend some time together (in person) thinking about the world and our moment in it.”