a project to stage the best of unscripted performance art in the new Europe

an empty stage


is a festival of improvised performance art – theatre, music, dance, and more – that will be held in Amsterdam in 2008.

is about the primacy of the moment. Not the routine falsification of history, nor the charming folly of utopia – but the here and the now, in all its messy glory, and the people who love it.

is about opening ourselves to the other – both in others and in ourselves. Art is being made in the countries of central and southeastern Europe which is energetic, vital, and relevant. The unprepared act of creation, and especially collective creation, is moving towards centre stage in the peformance arts.

is inspired by a movement currently taking place across the new and the old Europe in contemporary theatre, dance and music, in which performers choose to create together at the very moment of performance, thereby opening themselves to chance: the unexpected, the unwanted, the dangerous, the divine – the other.

is also a personal adventure – in November 2006 I’m taking my 1974 Citroen DS Break on a 6000km, 7-week trek through Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic, and home through Germany, to find and meet as many like-minded people as possible.

the DS that will be travelling 6000km to make this possible

And here’s the route: it starts with a few weeks in Slovenia (because I love Ljubljana and Teatr Narobov’s improv festival Goli Oder) and meanders northwards to Berlin and then back home:


I gratefully acknowledge a travel grant towards the cost of this trip from the European Cultural Foundation.

8 Responses to here+now

  1. Dear Ralph

    Nice initiative indeed…and a lot of adventure to go with it! This idea is definitely a little more in your strings and far more inspiring for you that to start an “agency”. Although it will cost you quite a bit of money for sure…But this you must know.
    I will contact, in those next few weeks, a couple of culture organizations and companies I know in those countries (especially Prague, Berlin…and maybe Poland if you were interested to stretch your trip a little East). Those people may be able to put you in touch with the type of artists you are looking for and certainly to welcome you.
    And as you seem to want to mix it with Dance I can also put you in touch with a few Holland based dancers who have already started such impro dance Festivals on small scale: this could also be handy as you could maybe combine your work.
    As far as the DS Citroen is concerned, you won’t get unoticed, I know this for fact having been one of the first West European artists to drive my DS, and caravan, in those countries in 1989 with the Footsbarn. But you may have to take a few spare parts with you: in case of breakdown you won’t not find it there, and some of the roads are not in very good state. So, something to think about!
    There is another organization you could get in touch with in order to let them know about your project. Check is a network that Footsban has strated a few years ago and which is very widely spread, also in the East of Europe. You may be able to find a lot of interesting addresses and infos though them.Check also It is more or less linked to CITI .
    Okay, Well! I hope that we can meet, soon or later, but before you go on your trip, also because I have a couple of things to ask you. But this you will find on your private e.mail.
    Talk to you soon!

  2. Peet says:

    Brave, man very brave… btw: 1974 is the ultimate year! … and the DS rules!

  3. Johanna says:

    zijn twee links die misschien helpen of gewoon leuk zijn.
    Polen is ook de moeite hoor! Maar van theatre weet ik niet veel dus daar mee kan ik niet goed helpen.
    Veel plezier met de planning!

    P.S. was een keertje in A’dam in een voorstelling en heb mijn mailadress opgegeven, wij kennen elkaar niet, moet niet panikeren of zo 😉

  4. ANTON says:

    hey ralph!!
    nice to hear from you dee doodle dooooo!!
    you’re welcome. any time…
    you’ll get a bed, food, drink, music, books, warmth,
    friendship, talking testicals and a bunch of rumbabeens…
    BUT! no spare car parts and no barking spiders!!
    the rest is yours.
    AND! we moved. just for you.
    …we moved back to the bahnstrasse. just a bit up.
    number 163. the olive green house.
    so it’ll be easy to find for you.
    happyly awaiting you!
    anke anton and fat-ed!!!!!

  5. Dan Davidson says:

    Je bent een held,Wij zijn erg benieuwd naar je verhalen en hopen natuurlijk dat de DS het goed doet.Groeten Dan,Maurice,Marco,Jeroen,Rene

  6. zus says:

    Yo He Ho Me Hearty, here´s to walkin the plank and other swashbuckling adventures…
    liefs Pirate Zus X

  7. alex says:

    Have you ever seen a book called ‘AS in DS’ ? A well known english architect’s little-known paper blog about the landscape of a small island called GB seen from a Citroen windscreen interior…Dutch publisher even cut the book out to the plan of the DS. An interesting idea in a top car, but unfortunately documented in a relentlessly pretentious doggerel. But you won’t fall into that trap because you’re not an architect. So have fun. A

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