Since the beginning of this year, Hannah Rogerson, Bavo De Smedt and Pieter Visser of TeaTime Company are in residence at Panama Pictures. As associated artists, they are being helped with the development of their circus and dance company. “This is a very big opportunity for us, it’s an honour. Managing a company is different than performing.”

They studied together, at Fontys in Tilburg: Hannah modern dance, Bavo and Pieter circus and performance art. They became so interested in each other’s disciplines that their friendship resulted in TeaTime Company in 2017. Hannah: “It started out very open and pure. We didn’t want three disciplines next to each other, but to create something new. A hybrid, interdisciplinary overlap. Moreover, all three of us like to investigate and discover. We like to improvise, to try out new forms.”

This is how Stick-Stok, an exciting, fast-paced balance act with sticks, was created. The coach of the performance was Pia Meuthen. Pieter: “Our language was partly shaped by Pia. She has twenty years of experience and we are big fans of Panama Pictures. So when Pia asked us to become associated artists, we were super enthusiastic. This is a very big opportunity for us, an honour.”

What do they ‘get’ as associated artists? Bavo: “Managing a company is different than performing. There is a lot involved: production, communication, contracts, personnel management. What obligations do you have? What does it mean to have a team? How do you form a network? Where do you apply for subsidies? We used to find out all these practical things ourselves, and that cost us a lot of time and energy. Now that we are working together, we can discuss it with the whole Panama Pictures team.”

Pieter: “We also have a lot of physical questions. The performers of Panama Pictures are wonderful. By working together in the studio and receiving analysis on our rehearsals, as well as workshops, we can learn a lot from them.” Hannah: “But we also submit the development of our artistic vision. How can we make our company grow? Which way do we want to go? And how do we structure that? With the advice and knowledge of the Panama Pictures team, we can make TeaTime Company more stable, more sustainable. In these two years as associated artists, there is the potential to learn more than in ten years of searching on our own.”