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STEFFI
MENNEN

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STEFFI MENNEN

°1996, the Netherlands

she/her 

 

Steffi studied dance at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp / AP Hogeschool, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2017. She further developed her education there, graduating as a certified dance teacher in 2019.

 

At this moment Steffi is researching how to find relation between movement and therapy. When does movement become therapy? Is the therapeutic effect of movement a construction, a tendency or inevitable? Steffi asks these questions when movement is being executed as well as being viewed. Currently she is studying at the Masters in Dance Therapy in Codarts, Rotterdam. 

Steffi has worked as a freelance dancer for several international choreographers and companies; a.o. Renan Martins de Oliveira, Marcelo Moncada, Company Oliveira & Bachtler, Cosmin Manolescu, Tuur Marinus and Ayham Qomoq. Simultaneously she has been teaching dance is several schools, currently working for Academie de Kunstbrug. Previous experiences in the educational field were for a.o. MUDA Kunstsecundair, Retina Dance Company, LAP vzw and Oiterpe.

Outside of her creations within the context of Persona she has been asked to create pieces for MUDA Kunstsecundair and WISPER.

Within Persona she is working towards the premiere of Katharsis, in which she questions how memories contain themselves within our bodies. Katharsis will premiere in April 2023 at NTGent Minnemeers. 

© Pieter Desmet

PROJECTS

Steffi Mennen on Katharsis
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Katharsis

KATHARSIS
PERFORMANCE
2023

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Paintings by Steffi Mennen made during the research for Katharsis

 

Katharsis will be a performance in which Steffi researches time and its influence on identity. Together with a group of elderly she investigates whether one can let go through movement and dance - and other art forms. The aim is for it to be a deeply personal proces, for both the performers a the viewers. 

Daria Halprin, a somatic-expressive arts therapist and dance teacher, said that our bodies are like containers. They store our life stories, but we are not aware in what way they contain our experience, trauma and memories. Steffi aims to develop that awareness and use it as fuel to create Katharsis.

Besides the performance Steffi will shape the process through different art forms. The participants will work with movement, but also touch upon other media like painting, photography and writing a.o. Dialogue is an important component of the proces as it will grow into a shared and fluid archive of memories and experiences that can grow into different form of storytelling. 

Katharsis aims for full embracement of oneself, a celebration of the time together and of what time does to a person and a body.

CREDITS

concept + directed by Steffi Mennen

light and set design, Lars Uten

advise by Tijen Lawton

dramaturgyPieter Desmet

documentation, Jonathan De Maeyer

promotion, Anne Cornil

production, Persona

co-production, NTGent

residency, Viernulvier + Open Huis de Porre

thanks to, Vier het Leven + Tine Theunissen + Bart Jacobs

the performance will have its premiere on April 29d, 2023, at NTGent Minnemeers in Ghent.

Make Me Think Us

MAKE ME THINK US
PERFORMANCE
2019

1/5

 

They look at us

Wondering why we are

Wondering how you and I

Became us

Make Me Think Us is a performance duet in which two performers internalize the most outward layer of one's identity: clothing. Putting on different clothing items on the same body creates differences is one's being. An outfit changers your state and your presence. One can disappear and an other can stand out, all depending on the clothing they wear. 

Clothes get at target audience when fabricated. They are often specifically made either for kids, for women, men, youngster, elderly... Within Make Me Think Us the performers create personae for clothing items that do not necessarily stroke with what society would imprint on those clothes. 

What is the meaning of clothing? A wardrobe is build on choices made by the we are. How are those clothes chosen? By color, shape, size, brand, target audience? The performers start playing with these choices. What happens when you wear something that was not made for you? 

People tend to judge others based on first impressions and treat them accordingly. Clothing is huge part of that first impression. 

By dressing in a certain manner one can actually shape their behavior and affect the way they perform.

Statework was a guiding tool throughout the creation proces of Make Me Think Us. Statework -inspired by the interpretations of performer and teacher Michel Yang - is a technique in which imagination, interpretation, theatricality and physicality become one. It looks into body posture and body language by specifying one's context, situation and substance. How does the persona that is created move? How does it interact with others? While using this technique in led improvisations the performer gets a more complete picture of who or what this persona is. In Make Me Think Us statework was used to build a foundation for the different personae present in the performance. 

The first part of the performance explores how clothes affect one's being and how it can - subtly - change your body language. In the second part te performance make an attempt to continue the evolution of their personae without the necessity of clothing. 

Make Me Think Us is an exploration of two individuals pushing the bondarken of clothing and an invitation to use your own outside layer to look into your deepest self. 

© Jonathan De Maeyer

CREDITS

directed by Steffi Mennen

performed by, Jacopo Buccino + Steffi Mennen

created with, Kosta Bogoievski + Jacopo Buccino

concept, Steffi Mennen + Pieter Desmet

movement assistant, Machias Bosschaerts

dramaturgy, Coco-Noemí Jiménez

thanks to, Herman Van Drie

with the support of, CC De Warandepoort

residencies, _PLEK + Het Oude Badhuis + Campo Victoria

Make Me Think Us is part of the online archive of Platform In De Maak

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