Ivana Müller - PARTITUUR
Created for children, Partituur invites kids to run, jump, and play as they participate in this inventive performance game. Given headphones, instructions, and a box of props, it’s up to them to determine the work’s direction and their role in it.
Partituur is suitable for children ages 7 & up.
in collaboration with
Jefta van Dinther,
Sarah van Lamsweerde,
design of the monster costume
Albane Aubry, or
Sarah van Lamsweerde, or
Ivana Müller, or
Gerco de Vroeg
Martin Kaffarnik, or
Ludovic Rivière, or
Jérémie Sananes, or
(François Maurisse &
Gerco de Vroeg)
Tweetakt Festival, Utrecht (NL)
with the financial support of
Performing Arts Fund NL
duration one session takes approx. 45 minutes; possibility to program several sessions per day
existing languages American English, French, Dutch, Flemish, Croatian, Norwegian, Italian, Czech, German, Slovenian, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese / new translations on request
performance space flexible, in consultation with the company
touring party 2 pax
freight 1big suitcase (wireless headphones + two senders either hired by the company or by organizer)
Partituur (meaning ‘score’ in Dutch) is the first and so far the only project by Ivana Müller made for children, commissioned in 2011 by the Tweetakt Festival in Utrecht. It is a performative system/game for participants from age 7+, a social choreography in which there are no spectators and performers in the classical term of the word but in which everybody ‘simply’ takes part.
The roles of the participants shift constantly, the borders of where the show begins and where it ends, move according to who is ‘watching it’ and who is ‘doing it’. Everyone participates in the creation of a unique score each time the game is running.
‘To play by the rule, or to invent my own strategies?’ ‘Am I now fictional or real?’ ’Should I do it like everybody else, or should I find my own way?’ ‘Am I now allowed not to tell the truth?’… Questions of identity, personal and collective choices, representation, engagement and desire are constantly being proposed through the playful set of instructions / suggestions coming from the headphones that every participant receives on entering the space of Partituur.
Every participant gets a fictional name and some individual tasks that will get the show going in a new direction. In other words, Partituur takes a new shape depending on choices, reactions and positions that each member of this instant community, made of children and adults, make.
Partituur is one of the rare conceptual pieces of choreography essentially made for children that manages to create a playful environment for reflection. The ‘play’ is made for 15-25 participants and it lasts for 30 minutes. It has been performed so far in 11 languages*, by more than 200 different performing communities.
* The piece is always translated to and recorded in the language context in which it is performed. So far, Partituur exists in Dutch, Flemish, Croatian, Norwegian, Italian, French, German, Czech, American English, Slovenian and Portuguese.
THINKING INSIDE BOXES AND OUTSIDE OF THEM (Brian Seibert in The New York Times, 6 October 2014)
"(…) In a third-floor studio of New York Live Arts on Saturday, a dozen or so children, along with the adults who accompanied most of them (and this lone, interloping critic), were outfitted with headphones and name tags. For the next 35 minutes, in a space furnished with numbered cardboard boxes and shapes outlined in tape on the floor, we listened to fun, kitschy music and friendly voices asking questions and issuing instructions.
Most of the questions were about us. What do you like? What would you like to be? And the answers took the form of motion: take two steps forward, jump, run. Since everyone was listening to the same directions and watching everyone else, the answers were public. Everyone would know if you would rather do theater or construction. One segment of instructions was explicitly about looking at others and making judgments: Guess who is the youngest, who is the teacher’s pet. Or, unimaginably, who hasn’t seen the film “Frozen”? (…)"
MLADI LEVI FESTIVAL: "The title of the play is suggestive, because the performance is indeed a score, though not a musical one. Using audio instructions, it guides the participating children (and occasionally an adult or two) through performing and at the same time watching the performance that they are creating themselves according to the "musical score". All leitmotifs of children’s social games, which are almost absent from today’s courtyards, resonate in the play, as well as the emergence of certain statuses within groups; when groups are being formed, when common interests are being found, when it is necessary to make decisions: what are we, where do we belong and who is with us, whether we are scared of monsters or do not believe in them, what is our attitude towards the world – humor, cooperation, observation?"
NEW YORK LIVE ARTS / CROSSING THE LINE FESTIVAL: "Müller’s only project made for children to date, Partituur presents a performative, systematic game for participants from the ages of seven and up. A social choreography breaking the classical terms of “spectator” and “performer,” the work includes participation by all. In Partituur, the roles of the participants are constantly shifting, and everyone takes part in the creation of an individual score unique to each performance. Using headphones and a list of instructions as tools, each “partituurist” assumes decisions, reactions and positions that inform the overall shape the specific performance takes. Commissioned in 2011 by the Tweetakt Festival in Utrecht, Partituur is a rare conceptual piece of choreography, essentially intended for children yet creating a playful environment lending itself towards reflection."