Take root

‘Human reason can never fully grasp the nature of things. However, before we know or try to explain we sense what’s taking root.’ 

Accepting the fact that we don’t understand these intuitive impulses, makes way for new branches of thought and emotion to bloom.’ 

The creation process was an exploration of how pre-conceived ideas and set conditions form our bonds and connections, ultimately shaping who we become. In both our relationships as well as that to our natural setting. Imre and Marne closely collaborated with the dancers, to investigate the layers of our conditioning. Understanding how intuition and instinct can be a driving force in decision making and performance. Hereby creating an ever evolving emotional landscape that doesn’t seem to settle for too long and follows this stream of consciousness. Supported by the contrast of a concrete wall and the romanticism of dutch master painter Jacob van Ruisdael they create a world of opposites, contradictions and layers. Ultimately zooming in on what drives the moment and movement, for emotion to spring to life. 

Take Root was nominated by the VSCD for a swan award for ‘best dance production 2019’.


Choreography / Concept / Direction: Imre van Opstal & Marne van Opstal

Music: Amos Ben-Tal

Dramaturgy: Fabienne Vegt

Set Design: Tom Visser, Imre van Opstal & Marne van Opstal

Costume Design: Imre van Opstal & Marne van Opstal

Light Design: Tom Visser

Performers: Chloé Albaret, Meng-ke Wu, Lea Ved, Alice Godfrey, Gregory Lau, Spencer Dickhaus, Cesar Faria Fernandes, Sebastian Haynes and Guido Dutilh.

Duration: 36 minutes

Premiere: Nederlands Dans Theater 1, 2019


“In the performance Take Root, you are taken into the surreal dance language of choreographers Imre and Marne van Opstal from the very first moment. With their first performance for Nederlands Dans Theater 1, the duo immediately makes an indelible impression. (…). In Take Root’s choreography, Imre and Marne van Opstal leave logic behind and a structure is created that evokes an oppressive atmosphere. This is further enhanced by the musical composition of Amos Ben Tal. The choreographers show guts with Take Root, the jury thinks. They leave a strong impression and have their own sound which promises a lot for the future.” From the jury report of the VSCD, about their Swan nomination for Take Root

‘Take Root, for example, shows a landscape of bodies in a continuous flow without any concrete leads. The last duet is beautiful, which stretches slowly and long, in an entanglement of sliding around each other and moving on. The movement language is versatile, virtuoso and yet has a lightness. And finally that woman is there again, now dressed and in the background that world she has just left, but the subtle movement of her torso is still visible.’ – Theaterkrant