Events — 23, 24 Sep 2022

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Julidans, the international festival for contemporary dance, proudly present Michele Rizzo’s HIGHER xtn. A performance piece acquired by the Stedelijk in 2019 via the Municipal Art Acquisitions. HIGHER xtn. will be presented in the entry hall of the Stedelijk’s new building—endearingly referred to as “the bathtub”—on the occasion of the 10-year anniversary celebration of the Stedelijk’s re-opening.

Free of charge
Schiphol Entrance
Friday 23 september, 5 pm – 5.35 pm
No reservation needed

Saturday 24 september, 2 pm – 2.35 pm
Saturday ticket (free)

On walk-in, limited capacity, arrive on time to be assured of a spot

HIGHER xtn. is an adaptation of Rizzo’s 2015 performance HIGHER, which explores how nightclubs offer dancers a space for self-expression and communal gathering. Rizzo’s work examines how dance can facilitate states of transcendence, and highlights the close connection between dance and spiritual practice. His choreographic works make use of the cathartic and transformative power of techno, integrating repetitive rhythms into movement, in order to investigate how movement practices can temporarily blur the perceived boundaries of the body. HIGHER xtn. celebrates the nightclub as a safe gathering space for marginalized groups, one that fosters public intimacy and affinity while providing diverse peoples an environment in which they can explore their identities.

Photo during performance Michele Rizzo, HIGHER XTN. 2019
Michele Rizzo, HIGHER xtn. 2019. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Maarten Nauw

In HIGHER xtn., dancers continuously negotiate the boundaries between the self and the collective. Performing minimal, repetitive movements, pairs of dancers begin to perform in sync until all performers dance in unison. The repetition of the choreography, while reconfiguring the group as a singular body, offers the possibility to observe how each individual employs a personal way to embody the shared score. The hypnotic electronic soundtrack, composed by Lorenzo Senni, intensifies in tandem with the dancers’ movements.

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam enjoys a longstanding relationship with Rizzo. In 2019 the museum debuted HIGHER xtn. in the context of Freedom of Movement: the 2018 Municipal Art Acquisitions, and acquired this work for the museum’s collection. In 2021 Rizzo contributed the video work Rest (2021), which draws on the choreographic work of the same title (2020), to the Stedelijk’s time-based media commissions program Sketches for the Future. In July 2022, Julidans and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam jointly presented REACHING (2021).

The presentation of Rizzo’s HIGHER xtn. is part of an ongoing collaboration between Julidans and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. In addition to Rizzo’s REACHING, past collaborations include Ligia Lewis’s minor matter (2017), Alex Baczynski-Jenkins’ Us Swerve (2019), and Andreas Hannes’s Tremble (2021).

About the artist

Michele Rizzo (1984, IT) is an artist based in Amsterdam, where he studied choreography at the SNDO School for New Dance Development and visual arts at the Sandberg Institute. In recent years Rizzo produced a series of works for theatres and exhibition spaces that engage with the aesthetic translation of aspects of club culture and raving.

HIGHER xtn. (2019) has been shown extensively around Europe, among others at Zachęta National Gallery of Art (Warsaw), V-A-C Foundation (Venice), 3HD Festival (Berlin), Spazio Maiocchi (Milan), Enter Art Fair (Copenhagen) and La Casa Encendida (Madrid). Since 2020 Rizzo established his practice as a visual artist with Rest (acquired by the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo) by implementing his choreographic language in the medium of sculpture, while also collaborating with fashion brands such as MARNI, Off-White and Magliano. In 2021 Rizzo produced his performance work Reaching (2021) at KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin) in collaboration with Julia Stoschek Collection. He regularly teaches at art institutions such as the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam and HEAD University of Art and Design of Geneva.


Concept and choreography by Michele Rizzo
Music by Lorenzo Senni
Performers: Juan Pablo Cámara, Max Göran, Arad Inbar, Michele Rizzo, Antonia Steffens, Charlie Laban Trier, Júlia Vavra, Milena Weber
Supported by Mondriaan Fonds and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
Produced by Dansco
Executive producer: Michael Scerbo

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