top of page


30 Appearances Out of Darkness
30 Appearances Out of Darkness

Creation June 2022 © Desiré van den Berg

press to zoom
30 Appearances Out of Darkness
30 Appearances Out of Darkness

Creation June 2022 © Desiré van den Berg

press to zoom
concept, choreography

Arno Schuitemaker


performers (8 pax)

Jim Buskens,

Clotilde Capelletti,

Rebecca Collins,

Ahmed El Gendy,

Frederik Kaijser,
Emilia Saavedra,
Ivan Ugrin,
Paolo Yao


Aart Strootman


Jean Kalman

set design

Jean Kalman &

Arno Schuitemaker

artistic collaboration, dramaturgy

Guy Cools


SHARP / Arno Schuitemaker


La Place de la danse, Centre de développement chorégraphique national de Toulouse Occitanie (FR) / Pôle Sud, Centre de développement chorégraphique national de Strasbourg (FR)


Performing Arts Fund NL

thanks to

Holland Festival 2022





no problem


Season 2023-2024 and after

touring party


freight tbc

links & downloads

> performance sheet (EN)

> dossier de diffusion (FR)

> press review

> context

> trailer

> full video (password)

> HR photos (password)

> technical rider (password)

Mesmerizing, mysterious, and hypnotic, 30 appearances out of darkness is a performance about disappearing — and appearing.

Arno Schuitemaker: “Maybe it is proof that I am getting older, but I feel that I am less and less resisting the vulnerability of life. When I was reading Derek Jarman’s book Chroma some of his words resonated with me: Is black hopeless? Doesn’t every dark thundercloud have a silver lining? In black lies the possibility of hope. It led me to want to reflect on the significance of this paradox, and how it can shape and define us for the better. Why do we sometimes fear what we desire most? It is a question I can’t let go of. I want to fear less. Maybe we should find enlightenment by disappearing in darkness, if only to be able to come out on the other side.”

Impressive images emerge from a pitch-black, sometimes on the threshold of our perception. Assumptions that we make are being challenged. A group of performers moves across the stage. Not everyone is visible at the same time, but their presence is always tangible. They appear and disappear, never in the same way — found, lost, and sought again.

This world, it seems, emits its own gravity and all get absorbed into a new, borderless dimension with an ever-shifting dynamic. As ominous as it may be, this darkness, this pitch-black, becomes a place of infinite potential.

Hopefulness is risky, since after all it is a form of trust,
trust in the unknown and possible.
Hope in the Dark — Rebecca Solnit

Between black velvet pillars the contours of naked bodies emerge one by one (...) In this all-absorbing game of disappearing and appearing, Schuitemaker gradually creates a space for a redeeming finale. It is an impressive feeling to realize that afterward your head is glowing. Annette Embrechts, de Volkskrant — 4 stars

Movement, light, and sound engage in a perfect dialogue (...) The pivotal moment in the performance is when a voice breaks through the instrumental score. The intense humanness of a voice and a body is touching. Heleen Westerik, Cultuurpers

Within the frame of an hour both the dancers and the audience make a journey from stillness and darkness to light and movement, from one extreme to the other (...) It is a hallucinatory experience. Kester Freriks, Theaterkrant

30 appearances out of darkness premiered at the Holland Festival in Amsterdam on June 9, 2022.


28 May 2023 - Stadsschouwburg, Utrecht (NL)

14 May 2023, 20 hrs - ITA, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (NL)

25 April 2023 - Theater de Veste, Delft (NL)

21 April 2023 - Chassé Theater, Breda (NL)

15 December 2022 - Toneelschuur, Haarlem (NL)

14 December 2022b - Toneelschuur, Haarlem (NL)

8 November 2022 - November Music, Den Bosch (NL)

28 September 2022 - Theater De Vest, Alkmaar (NL)

19 September 2022 - Stadsschouwburg, Utrecht (NL)

14 September 2022 - SPOT / Stadsschouwburg, Groningen (NL)

8 September 2022 - Schouwburg, Tilburg (NL)

7 September 2022 - Theater Rotterdam, Rotterdam (NL)

10 June 2022 , 22 hrs - Holland Festival, Transformatorhuis, Westergas, Amsterdam (NL)

10 June 2022, 19 hrs - Holland Festival, Transformatorhuis, Westergas, Amsterdam (NL)

9 June 2022 - Holland Festival, Transformatorhuis, Westergas, Amsterdam (NL) premiere

8 June 2022 - Holland Festival, Transformatorhuis, Westergas, Amsterdam (NL)


After multiple collaborations, pioneering guitarist and composer Aart Strootman (1987) and Arno Schuitemaker will be working together again for 30 appearances out of darkness. Apart from his usually acoustic compositions, Strootman also composes and produces his electronic music exclusively for Schuitemaker’s pieces. He does this using instruments he plays and records himself. Strootman and Schuitemaker spend time together during the creative process so the final music will optimally integrate with the whole: inventive, layered and with lots of attention to timbre, rhythm and texture. It is the outcome of an intuitive workflow with lots of back and forth exchanges, and neither shies from holding what was made up to the light again and again. It is essential that not too much is laid down in advance and that their joint search is given as much room as possible. For example, one of the questions they have for 30 appearances out of darkness is: ‘How much lightness does darkness need?

His musical intelligence and frank, fresh view on music genres and styles justify a most prominent position in the music scene. He studied classical guitar and composition at Conservatory Fontys & Zuyd and at the University of Utrecht he obtained a MA in Musicology. Currently he is a PhD candidate at the university of Leiden via the DocArtes program.

Since 2009 Aart Strootman teaches music history, (advanced) ear training, analysis, philosophy and performance studies at the Fontys School of Arts in Tilburg. He is artistic leader of contemporary music ensemble F.C. Jongbloed. In 2012 he found his band TEMKO. As a core member/guitarist of ensemble s t a r g a z e he worked with Laura Mvula, John Cale,Terry Riley, Bill Frisell, Philippe Jaroussky, Shara Worden, Nils Frahm and many others.

In 2012 Aart Strootman was awarded “Brandstof” talent by the BKKC, followed the next two years by MuziekLab’s “New Arrivals”. In 2014 Aart was granted “Nieuwe maker” by the Dutch Fund of Performing Arts. With this support he follows masterclasses composition with Nik Bärtsch in Zürich. In September 2017 he won the prestigious Gaudeamus composition where the jury described him as a 'complete original: a performer, an improviser, an inventor and a unique composer.’ In May 2018 he won the 1st prize at the prix Annelie de Man composition competition and in december of that year the 1st prize at the International Viola Congress. In 2019 he received the most important composition prize of The Netherlands, the Matthijs Vermeulenprijs.

He has played solo with Britten Sinfonia, the HR,WDR, SWR, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. As a soloist he played recitals at the most diverse venues: from local museums to the Barbican Hall, from Amsterdam to Wellington. Most of these concerts are played on homemade instruments developed via elaborate collaborations with composers or in depth research.

Aarts music has been performed by F.C. Jongbloed, DissonArt Ensemble, TEMKO, KLANG, Storioni, Slagwerk Den Haag, Axolot, Bang on a Can, s t a r g a z e, Kaleidoscope ensemble L.A., Nora Fisher, Ramon Lormans, Jacqueline Hamelink, Jane Chapman, Sandbox Percussion, Vincent van Amsterdam and many others.


Schuitemaker has also worked regularly with lighting designer Jean Kalman. This collaboration goes further than just the lighting: as with the previous two pieces, they develop the look of the set together. For this new piece, this consists in essence of a black box, though in this case it is more a ‘blackest’ box. They look for ways they can keep influencing the feeling this space gives off during the performance.

Jean Kalman was born in Paris in 1945 and since 1979 he has created the lighting for countless theatre and opera productions in France, Japan, Great Britain, Holland, and Italy. He has worked with numerous directors including Peter Brook, Hans Peter Cloos, Pierre Audi (for whom he created the lighting for several productions at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and, more recently, Iphigénie en Aulide and Iphigénie en Tauride at La Monnaie in Brussels as well as Attila at New York’s Metropolitan Opera), Robert Carsen (Nabucco, Alcina, and Les Contes d’Hoffmann among others at the Paris Opera), Nicholas Hytner, Tim Albery, Zhang Yimou (Turandot at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), Jean-Louis Martinoty (Le Nozze di Figaro at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées), Francesca Zambello (Dialogues des carmélites and Boris Godunov at the Paris Opera), Jonathan Miller, Tim Supple, Adrian Noble, and Deborah Warner...

He created the sets and lighting for the Deborah Warner production of Fidelio at the Glyndebourne Festival as well as the lighting design for the world premiere productions of Dionysos (Wolfgang Rihm) at the 2010 Salzburg Festival and Gisela ! (Hans Werner Henze) at the Ruhrtriennale (September 2010). Jean Kalman received the 1991 Laurence Olivier Best Lighting Design Award for Richard III at London’s Royal National Theatre and the 2004 Evening Standard Award for Festen at the Almeida Theatre. More recently, he created the lighting for John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer at the English National Opera (Tom Morris), Orlando at La Monnaie in Brussels (Pierre Audi), La Traviata at the Vienna Staatsoper (Deborah Warner), Wolfgang Rihm’s Dionysos at the Berlin Staatsoper (Pierre Audi), Charpentier’s Médée at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (Pierre Audi), Die Zauberflöte (Simon McBurney) and Guillaume Tell (Pierre Audi) at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, the world premiere of Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream at the Welsh National Opera (directed by and with sets and costumes by Pierre Audi), and the world premiere of Julian Anderson’s Thebans (Pierre Audi) at the English National Opera. 


For the cast, Arno sought out a group of performers who together form a cross-section of diverse personalities. Besides Ivan Ugrin and Emilia Saavedra, with whom he has worked for some time already, Ahmed El Gendy, Jim Buskens, Rebecca Collins, Frederik Kaijser and Clotilde Cappalletti will take the stage as well.

Jean Kalman
Arno Schuitemaker © Renate Beense
bottom of page