Vocabulary: “Playfulness”

A term that denotes a way of organizing events in a temporal structure. It thus belongs in the same category as Journey. Productions that are described as playful do not follow a linear narrative or spatial trajectory, and can be considered as whimsical, with rhythmic and/or melodic movement being the main element providing coherence. A repetition of an activity, continuously moving away from, and returning to, a beginning point, forms the base of these productions.

Case 1: Duality

‘Duality’ (2014) by Xavier Roberti and Robin Van Mieghem

Filmmaker: Robin Van Mieghem

The visual movement of both characters is influenced by the art of choreography, as the images were motion-captured from a real-life dancer. Although the characters move according to a pattern (which defines the style or genre of the dance) there is nevertheless room for improvisation and unexpected occurences. This adds energy to the performance and brings the spectator in a flow-like state.

Music composer: Xavier Roberti

The same whimsical energy can be found in the music, which contains many surprising changes in tempo and intensity, while at the same time never moving too far away from the main motif.

Case 2: F = m.a

‘F = m.a’ (2014) by Melanie Kellens and Anouck Vaessen

Filmmaker: Melanie Kellens

The visual dialogue between the characters, whereby both are teasing and triggering one another, is at the heart of all movement in this film. Whereas both regularly move away from one another, they always return to the initial stage of unity. The tension between diverging from, and returning to this beginning state presents the spectator with a continuous narrative conflict.

Music composer: Anouck Vaassen

The music instruments are searching their way around the main melody line: sometimes completely moving away from it, at other times playing it in a different register. At moments only one instrument returns to the main melody while the other is moving in another direction, and only in the end the harmony between both is restored.

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