In 2019, the floating staircase Triomf by visual artist/architect Rob van Dam was part of Bosch Parade, the procession of floating artworks inspired by Hieronymus Bosch. In 2022, Triumph will return as an exciting stage for a poetic dance/circus performance in the open air: The Weight of Water.
Tightly designed in white and looking imposing, the staircase provides a precarious balance. Only one of the people on board has to move to the other side and the whole thing tips over.
Choreographer Pia Meuthen, whose work combines dance and circus with architectural scenography, was immediately fascinated by the object and its theatrical expressiveness. “The floating staircase is a beautiful work of art that has countless possibilities for being played with. It invites to dance and acrobatic use, both on top and on the sides. The tip towers six metres above the water surface. The enormous impact of the tilt creates a great physical challenge for the performers. The threat of falling off is real, the instability reinforcing both the vulnerability of the performers and their changing power relationships.”
The Weight of Water is a short performance in the open air by a cast of experienced dancers/acrobats and talented interns. The stakes are high in the dance on the floating and tilting staircase: the six performers must respond immediately to the movement of each other and the object. It thus shows a striving for power, but also reveals the dependence – on each other, and on larger uncontrollable elements.
Every movement on the stairs demands a reaction from all the dancers, so something has to happen everywhere at once. An interesting challenge for choreographer Meuthen, who has succeeded well in uniting the tension-building of circus and the eloquence of dance in this three-quarter-hour spectacle. […] The six’s collaboration allows Triomf to move wildly up and down, come into perfect balance, lift or make someone fall. Each moment of ‘unity’ gets a careful build-up, so that you always get that fine ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ feeling when something has succeeded. (Theaterkrant)