Hush Hush Hush

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All Ethnic Minorities

All dancers are nomads and very often non-indigenous in their work situation. This applies to the dancers in Hush Hush Hush, but in different dimensions. When nearing the final phase, the group rehearsing in Rotterdam comprised the following: Yada Van den Hoek, a Dutch dancer who has studied contemporary dance (Dance Academy, Tilburg), but whose heart lies in breakdance. Alain Vyent, a very young (black) Dutch breaker. Lima Lalitha. Born in Bombay, she grew up in Belgium and studied contemporary dance in Tilburg. Boiana Anguelova originates from Bulgaria. And finally, Mohamed Benaji, Khalid Benaouisse (who has danced in all Hush Hush Hush productions) and Abdelaziz Sarrokh, who were born in Morocco and live in Belgium. This diversity is nothing out of the ordinary here. Each individual must more or less integrate into cultures and subcultures that are new to him. Everyone must struggle to be accepted, to find a place within the community and to find appreciation, love and respect, or for whatever one does struggle. Sarrokh is very aware of the fact that it is not the same for everyone. Tupac had to survive as a black American within a cultural structure dominated by whites. He and most of his dancers have had parallel experiences.

There are the small and large injuries to the soul, which are invisible to the outside world but which can nevertheless have an important effect on the behaviour of the person who bears them. Lima Lalitha for exemple alludes to plans involving suicide which are never explained. Suddenly you find yourself understanding here behaviour in other scenes far better. You see it in a new light.

There is a fusion of reality and fiction in this dance theatre. But it is clearly all about ‘real life’.

The problem of the necessary verbal communication is quickly solved and soon a mixture of Dutch, French and English is used. After a few weeks of intensive rehearsal (also in Rotterdam where the first performance will be), you hear the Dutch-speaking members using “ça va?” as a greeting, and the Belgian Moroccans and the Spaniard calling out “Doei!” when they take leave of one another. And in time everyone knows what ‘Turtle’, ‘Ninety-six’, ‘Six Steps’, ‘Scissors’ and ‘Wind Mills’ are.

Understanding one another’s dance language and facilitating possible integration does at times require the greatest patience and perseverance on the part of the dancers. Of course, the idea is not for contemporary dancers to break as well as the breakdancers and vice versa, but a reciprocal awareness can develop between the two that is theatrically effective and highly stimulating. And it is this is that mainly interests Sarrokh.

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