This film shows the making process of a dance and theatre performance that exposes a complex, societal issue in the Netherlands: the (traumatic) experiences of a child living in a youth institution. The story is an expression of choreographer and director Dalton Jansen’s own personal experiences of living in an institution for many years. With actor Leandro Ceder; dancers Ruben Garcia Arabit and Jefta Tanate; and director Anne Maike; different emotions, traumatic moments and complex structures within the youth institution are being explored and experienced to translate it into a dance and theatre performance for a wider public.
As I started to research how different art expressions support in understanding and telling the stories of trauma, I encountered the work of dance choreographer Dalton Jansen. His work sparked my interest in how specifically the co-creative process of a dance/theatre performance enables traumatic experiences to unpack and then is mediated through dancers and actor with specific methods. The process of embodying emotions, narrative and experiences by actor and dancers was best to capture and research through observational cinema as I was able to document sensorial, bodily and emotional knowledge that are most revealing.
29-year-old filmmaker and photographer from Rotterdam, Marlissa Hilkmann, is personally motivated to understand the complexity of trauma and the ways of working through it. After her self-portrait photography project on PTSD, she encountered visual anthropology as the right tool for her to gain a deeper understanding within the social sciences.