The violent injuries Sedje Hémon sustained in her youth abruptly ended her career as a violinist, but at the same time shaped her understanding of physicality and its relation to music making. Until the end of her life, she used this knowledge to teach others how to relieve and prevent pain though seemingly simple exercises and bodily manipulations. Maruyama learned the movements in Hémon’s RSI (repetitive strain injury) prevention courses and transformed those exercises into musical and choreographic instructions. She then taught those movements to Ensemble Modelo62’s musicians. In The Assistants, the musicians expand their roles as music performers to fully become subjective bodies in transformation. The title is inspired by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s essay of the same name, and deals with the specific physical and emotional relationships musicians have to their instruments and to each other. The piece also playfully problematizes teaching methods and the wish to help.
Premiered by Ensemble Modelo62 in Korzo, The Hague, May 3, 2018 in a 6-city tour with performances in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Apeldoorn, Utrecht and Rotterdam. Choreographic advisor: Astarti Athanasiadou. Read a short text in Dutch by Brechtje Roos here. Listen to an excerpt here. Watch the full performance here.
Generously supported by Performing Arts Fund NL, Gemeente Den Haag, Gemeente Rotterdam, Stroom Den Haag, The Mondriaan Fund, Fentener van Vlissingen Fonds, and the Sedje Hémon Foundation.