Winter / Spring 2022
On the road again?
Cultural life, and outdoor theatre as well are ready to open up again. Allthough we did stay active and did perform during the last two years, it is great when festivals and events can happen without all kinds of (Covid) limitations soon.
Last season we presented our new project ReFlex and we performed it at several festivals. ReFlex is a short, intimate encounter of one audience member and one performer at a time. The audience reactions have been overwhelming. People were very surprised and often deeply moved by it. That is why we will continue to perform ReFlex in 2022, for instance at the international festival for object theatre Figura in Baden, Switzerland. We will also pick up our street show PolderCoaster after a two year break. With all the limitations due to Covid we considered it impossible to perform this hectic and hilarious show without losing much of it’s strenght. We expect to put PollderCoaster back on track in 2022. At this moment we are also setting dates to unleash the herd of Elander and send them off into the streets again. Check the tourlist at this website for dates and venues.
Spring / summer 2021
We will start performing again!
For the first time since September 2020 we can hit the road with our shows. Though the prospects are still unclear, festivals and events have found ways to be able to put on a program. At first we will present our new project ReFlex. In June we will perform at the Plein Theater in Amsterdam and in July ReFlex will be presented at the moderated version of the street theatre festival Deventer op Stelten. Check the tour list for all dates and venues.
During the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 we worked on a new project: ReFlex, an installation performance for one audience member and one performer at a time. It’s our reaction on Covid-19 and the restrictions as a result of the pandemic.With ReFlex we have found a way to translate this confusing and frustrating period into a short theatrical experience: an intimate encounter between performer and audience. ReFlex is funded by the Dutch Performing Arts Fund.
looking back at 2020
2020 has been a truly strange and confusiing Year. At first all bookings were cancelled one by one, due to Covid-19. Eventually is turned out to be possible to work in Belgium where we performed a altered version of Elander in Brussels (Park Poétiek) and Aalst (Toer en Koer).
Update August 2020
The 2020 season will have a happy end after all! In the beginning of July we have had our first outdoor performance. In Brussels (Belgium) the Elander roamed the streets of as part of Park Poétik. This special event was organised instead of the (cancelled) festival Supervlieg / Super Mouche.
This year Belgium seems to be good for us anyway. For this we have to be thankfull to our Belgian booking office Huis Alma. We were supposed to be present at u number of Flemmish festivals, which unfortunately were cancelled due to Covid 19. Still we have our first, and only performances so far in Belgium. In July we performed in Brussels and in August and September we can be seen in Aalst for four weekends in a row. The organisation of the (cancelled) Cirk festival put up a new event called Koer en Tour. The Elander will be set off in the Heuvelpark in Aalst on August 22nd ,23rd,2th9 and 30th and again on September 5th, 6th,12 th and 13th.
Corona / Covid 19
The Corona crisis and the government measures to fight it also affect Babok. Up till June all public gatherings are banned. Festivals and other events can not take place and therefor alle our shows in this period have been cancelled. At this moment it is not clear when it will be possible to start perfoming again. Undoubtedly public health is more important than street theatre. However, we will be back!
The 2018 season lasted longer than expected. Elander have been discovered as a Winter act. Thus we were out on the streets untill the end of December. Apart from a lot of enthousiastic reactions it also resulted in a short film going viral on Facebook (800.000 views!). After a relatively short Winter the 2019 summer season is about to start. 2018 was a succesfull first year for PolderCoaster. In 2019 we will take it abroad for the first time. In June and July we will perform PolderCoaster in Portugal (Porto), England (Greenwich) and Austria (Lienz). In the meantime we will be present at a number of Dutch festivals. Keep an eye on the tour scedule for more dates and venues.
New project: Bennie Solo
Babok is doing something new in 2019. For the first time in the existence of Babok we will make a solo performance! It is titled: Bennie Solo. In May Guido will take to the streets alone in an interactive and improvised infiltration act dealing with a man in a mascot suit. It’s a project about the difference between how we present ourselves and who we really are. It deals with the question: What will happen when you can no longer keep up appearances? At this moment Bennie Solo is primarily a reasearch project and it will only be presented as a try out.
PolderCoaster is riding! Last winter we develloped this new show and at this moment we have succesfully passed the testphase. In Alkmaar and lochem we did public try-outs. In Leeuwarden and Zwolle we went full speed. We get raving reactions on this hilarious and energetic spectacle, from audience members and passengers alike. Check the tourdates to see where Poldercoaster will roll out it’s tracks next.
Last september the Elander travelled to Charleville, France for the world’s biggest festival of puppet and object theatre. Unannounced and off program the Elander roamed the streets of the village for three days. Despite the enormous amount of acts and shows we nevertheless arroused lots of excitement, recieved many compliments and large photos appeared in the regional newspaper. In October we closed our season with shows in Germany. In Neurenberg we performed Asiel during two weekends of the International Theatre Festival for Young Audiences ‘Lichtblicke’. One day in the historic city centre and one day in a parc in the multicultural and fancy neighbourhood Gostenhof.
In november we had two guests from the theatre school (HMDK) of Stuttgart, Germany. As part of their studies in the department of puppettheatre Marius Alsleben and Sarah Chaudon came to Babok for an internship. Together with our free-lancers André Dienske, Ilse Evers and Aat Dirks we worked for two weeks on an intensive workshop based on some of our existing material. For Marius and Sarah it was a good introduction into our working methods and for us it was a productive way look at the material from all sides and with fresh eyes. We did make good progress with our current research into imagery and meaning. But foremost we revived the plans with PolderCoaster. Together we tested ideas and developed new material. So, PolderCoaster is back on track! In 2018 we want to start try outs of this new, hilarious, interactive and highly fysical performance. Keep an eye on the website!
In 2018 there is more to come apart from the Poldercoaster take off. Last summer we travelled in China. This experience is the start of HeetHoofd (HotHead): a short performance in which we (mis)use typical objects and ingredients of Chinese culture and cooking. We expect to present HeetHoofd at the end of 2018. The last months we also bought up the inventory of recycle stores and flee markets for a research project with numerous procelain figures. Working title: ‘Stukgoed’ (‘Pieces’).
In 2017 we ‘ve started touring earlier than ever before! At January 7th and 8th we took Asiel (Border) inside the technology museum Heim (Oyfo) in Hengelo. Our mechanical animals confronted with the huge industrial machines of the museum.
The first appointments for the coming season have already been made. Last year they were still a little to timid, but this year the Elander herd will be present at the Zwarte Cross! Asiel will be travelling to Nürnberg (Germany) for a youth theatre festival. What a variation in places to perform. On top of this we are planning a very special researchproject for autumn….
The 2016 season has ended. We performed Asiel in Switserland, germany and Slovenia. With Elander we took some big steps in Holland. The herd starts to settle down, resulting in increasingly strange and impertinent interaction with the audience.
Babok in 2016
The mechanical animals of Asiel will start off the season in the department store HEMA on April 17th in Alkmaar. The Elander herd will come out for the first time this year on Kingsday (April 27th) in the Amsterdam neighbourhood Watergraafsmeer. Next to Carina and Guido, our Elander team for 2016 consists of Aat Dirks of Compagnie Mobiel and former Aardlek members André Dienske, Ilse Evers en Jacob Proyer. On top of this we might have extra youngsters every now and then: Our son Borre (11 years old) and perhaps even our doughter Minke (7 years old). With Asiel (Shelter) we will be present at festivals in Switserland (Zürich en Baden) and Germany (Magdeburg) in June. Our project Grens (Border) will no longer be performed. The transparant caravan, which was part of Grens will be given a second life in the south of the Netherlands. On campsite ‘Martinus Plak’ it will become a selling point for fruit and there is a plan to change it into a bathroom! For more performance dates you can check our tour date page on this website.
Carina directs BOT
The Winter is our time for officework and preparations for the season to come. There is also some time to do things outside Babok. Last Februari and March Carina directed the performance ‘Het geluid van Stroom’ (‘The Sound of Current’) by music theatre company BOT. Though this was the fourth time that she made a performance together with the BOT men, this project was a very special one. The venue was the electrical plant of the city of Nijmegen, which shut down only last januari. In this gigantic industrial building they made a wonderfull show in just four and a half weeks. The show was performed over fourthy times in one month. Every single show was sold out and got great reviews by press and audience!
A new season has started. Unfortunately we have had to postpone the new project PolderCoaster for a year. But with the project Elanders we have already performed the first try outs. Together with Aat Dirks (compagnie Mobil), Ilse Evers and Jacob Proyer (former members of the compagnie Aardlek) we form a nice and unpredictable herd. At special occasions we even bring our ten year old son Borre along as a youngster in the flock. Though the Elandersand the audience need some time to adjust to the new situation, the reactions to Elanders are great! In June the Elanders will turn up at events in Zwolle, Utrecht and Hengelo.
This year we will perform Asiel (Shelter) both in Holland and abroad. We start with two festivals in Germany (Erlangen and Holzminden). Then we go to Nijmegen and Utrecht. At the end of the summer we will take all the animals to England (Bristol).
For us winter is a time of research, development and office work. Currently we are working on two new projects. Elanders is an infiltration act with a herd of antler wearing creatures. PolderCoaster is the theatrical version of a rollercoaster. We expect to do try outs of both shows in Holland this coming spring. Information on these projects you can find on the BaBokBak page on this website.
In 2015 we will also continue with our shows Asiel (Shelter) and Grens (Border). For upcoming dates and venues, check our playlist!
A long season has ended. In 2014 the first performance took place in the beginning of March and the last one on november 1st. We performed three different shows at festivals in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switserland. We even did two different shows (NAP and Grens) at one single festival (Figura in Baden, Switserland)! Our newest show Asiel (Shelter) we performed at outdoor festivals, but also at indoor venues: A shop in Utrecht, a church in Leuven (Belgium) and a museum in Amsterdam.
You might have noticed; our brand new website is online! More photo’s, films and up to date information.
It is to early to tell you exactly what we will be doing in 2014 and where we can be seen. We will be presenting three different shows. We will perform ‘NAP’ and the caravan version of ‘Grens’ (‘Border’) at the international puppet theatre festival Figura in Baden (Switserland).
We will also present our new show ‘Asiel’ (‘Shelter’). In the summer of 2013 we only performed ‘Asiel’in a try out version at three Dutch festivals. Since then we nurtured the orphaned machines and worked on the performance. Coming spring, all the machines will be fit and ready to go out again. Then it will be your turn to come and visit these extraordinary animals to pet, feed and play with them.
In a small corner of our new website we will open BaBokBaK soon. This is the container for all Babok’s unfinished projects, unripe plans and future promises. What is filling BaBokBaK at the moment? ‘De Uitzit’ (‘Sitooterie’), a small structure for outside privacy, untill now it has only been used at the ‘Night of the Dead’ at NDSM in Amsterdam as a ‘confession unit.’ ‘Marmotor’ the racetrack for mechanical guinea pigs awaits further development. You can also catch a glimpse of ‘Poldercoaster’ our latest research project. With this theatrical ride we hope to find the missing link between theatre festivals and amusement parks sometime this year.
A long and often hot summer is coming to an end. With the ‘Imaginary Friends’ we performed for a huge crowd in a beautifull park in Porto (P) and a week later in the city centre of multi cultural Bradford (UK). Next we crossed the Border with our transparant caravan for the very first time. 80 km / hour across the German autobahn to perform ‘Grens’ at the puppet theater festival of Pforzheim. On the way back we performed for three days at the ‘Zwarte Cross’. This is a huge and hectic festival where 150.000 people enjoy a long weekend of music, motor cross, theater and stunts.
More than anything we used the summer of 2013 to make and try out our new project ‘Asiel’ (‘Shelter’). At the festival Buitengewoon in Doetinchem (NL) people had the first opportunity to get to know the ‘animals’ of the Shelter. With a couple of adjustments we went to Rotterdam to perform at ‘Duizel in het Park’. Two very nice festivals and four days of good and usefull experiences. The last try outs of this summer on festival Spoffin (Amersfoort) will surely benefit from it.
In many ways ‘Asiel’ feels like a sequel to Baboks very first show ‘IGLO’ (2006). The same two characters occupying a different little shed. After seven years of adjusting to Dutch life and culture Aish and Babrina do not yet have a legal status, but they are busy and enterprising as ever. They are now running a shelter for discarded and shelved domestic appliances. With the help of audience members ‘Asiel’ evolves into a lively, mechanical playground..
Currently we are preparing 2013. This coming season we will tour three shows: The popular show NAP, the international collaboration Imaginary Friends and a new version of Grens (‘Border’). The setting of this show has had a major remake; a transparant theatre venue and illuminated object. This special and striking structure is somewhere in between an cutaway caravan, a chips shop and a market stall.
This winter we also want to work on new shows. We are not short of plans! Before the end of 2013 we hope to be able to show the first results of ‘Asiel’ (‘Shelter’); a sequel to our first show IGLO from 2005 and of ‘BoX’; object theatre for and with pre-schoolers.
The caravan on NDSM
Last October we spend a lot of time in our workshop in the North of Amsterdam, working on the transparant caravan. It will be the new venue for our show Grens (‘Border’). A small, somewhat crooked construction on the base of a folder caravan, covered with transparant corrugated polyester. In the night of November 1st the caravan had it’s first appearance during ‘Night of the Death’ on the NDSM shipwharf in Amsterdam. here the caravan served as a reception desk and a counter for handing out candles.
2012 in retrospect
Last september we ended our season in Slovenia. We performed NAP on the international puppet theatre festival LUTKE in Ljubljana. On the city’s central square we had a enthusiastic audience consisting of passers-by, dutch inhabitants of Slovenia, bookers and fellow theatre artists. During the summer we toured NAP along the Dutch coast for three weeks as part of festival Karavaan. Imaginary Friends, the collaboration with Whalley range All Stars, was succesfully performed in the Netherlands, France and England.
Instead of devising a new show, we spend the last months on research. The ideas and material that came out of this will be the core for new projects in the future. The first results will be presented in autumn….
The kick off for this season will be in Amsterdam. We will perform Grens (Border) on The Bredeweg Festival, one of the nicest places to spend Queens Day! The week after we will travel to England to wake our ‘Imaginary Friends’ from their hibernation. With the whole team we will work on the show for a week. In June Imaginary Friends will be performed in France (Amiens) and the Dutch province of Overijssel for the ‘Kunsten op Straat’ festival (The towns of Zwolle and Oldenzaal). Furthermore we will resume the show NAP and take it to several towns on the North Holland coast (Karavaan festival). Later this year we will perform NAP on the International Puppet Theatre festival LUTKE in Slovenia.
At the moment we are working on the new project Imaginary Friends. This is a collaboration with the English company Whalley Range All Stars. Imaginary Friends will be a mobile streetshow for ten performers and ten life-sized dummies. The preparations are in full swing. Babok are travelling back and forth to The Lanternhouse in Ulverston (UK) to work with WRAS and seven extra performers from England. Together we are devising the ten dummies and are creating the show. We will start performing Imaginary Friends in May. Throughout the summer the show can be seen at a number of English festivals. In June we be part of the Oerol festival on the Dutch island of Terschelling. For dates and venues, please check the playlist on this website.
Spring / Summer 2010
This year we also perform our show NAP abroad. In May we were present at La Fira del Circ de Catalunya “Trapezí” in Reus, Spain. It is a very nice festival with one of the best audiences in Europe!
This summer we take our new show Grens out on the streets. After try outs in Apeldoorn and Amsterdam, we performed Grens at The International Puppet Theatre Festival of Dordrecht. We will also present Grens at the Onderstroom festival in Vlissingen and festival Boulevard in Den Bosch.
Grens is object theatre with your personal belongings. Everyday objects are placed in unusual situations. Grens is a short, interactive show about the deviding line between private and public, between intimate and inappropriate.
Preview 2010: New show Grens
The coming winter we start working on a new project. Grens (Border) will be an exciting and challenging street performance dealing with control and safety issues. Object theater with lots of improvisation and interaction between performers and audience members. In 2010 an encounter with Babok will involve safety precautions. Babok wants your attention and reaction, and your belongings as well!
NAP in Jerusalem
Last August NAP was performed at the International Festival for Puppet Theater in Jerusalem. It was the first time Babok performed outside of Europe. For this occasion Aat Dirks was part of our team. In 2008 he performed NAP during Carina’s pregnancy.
In Jerusalem the NAP tower was placed on the courtyard of the beautifull, historic Khan Theater. During five days we gave close to fourty performances for a mixed audience. It was a big succes and a wonderfull experience. At the end of the show, when it started snowing, lots of people put their hand inside to try and cath the falling frothy flakes.
Looking back on the season
For Babok 2009 was a interim year. Instead of creating a new show, we decided to recapture our existing shows. IGLO we performed in Spain and Germany. NAP we performed in Germany and Israël. In Holland we performed IGLO in Arnhem, Delft,Venlo en IJlst. NAP we performed in Vlissingen. Coming December we will perform IGLO for four days in München (Germany). Considering the weather conditions just before Christmas these promise to be special shows.