Profound dancer and performer Sabine Molenaar presented her first solo award-winning production That’s It during manipulate 2015. Her latest solo performance can be described as a climax in this year’s festival. The European premiere of Belgian company Sandman’s Touch Me has to be a favourite, questioning the boundaries of intimacy, desire and touch.
Four duvets zipped are together alongside sheets that drop down onto the stage; Molenaar is zipped up inside a suitcase, in an intimate hiding space with another set of covers. Her costume changes from a nude bodysuit, into a dressing gown style dress, into fishnets and heels, then hardly anything at all. Her nudity throughout the piece alternates between making her feel confident and free, prancing and turning across the stage, and feeling vulnerable, isolated and self-aware. There is someone knocking, wanting an invitation into her private domain. She is sexy, courageous and a little bit freaky, yet her quivering body gets tangled in the sheets – very lonely, begging to be touched.
There’s limited use of words in this piece, but at one point she says “When I put my black wig on, you fuck me better” and starts to sing a song. These moments are amusing, but it’s as if she is trying to impress – can’t we just be ourselves? Molenaar’s performance is absolutely amazing and her contortionism allows her one body to create two, as if it was someone else’s hand touching her body. The piece is dream-like, but turns a little bit frightening when she screams a microphone. The strobe lighting emphasises her vulnerability, turning the dreaminess into more of a nightmare. Molenaar is flexible, courageous and inspiring and has created something truly beautiful.