Oortocht is a performance collective, based in Ghent (Belgium). Our main object of inspiration is the human being, and what being human means. We look at it from a physical side: we explore the effect of slow movement and endurance, or transform and de-humanize the body through masks, costumes or physical restrictions. We also like to dig into the mental processes that trigger physical actions. How does the human brain work and how does it affect us? We like to explore themes such as madness, psychosis , sexuality, sensuousness and bare emotions. But we also look at the human being as a social animal: how can it feel empathy and altruism as well as selfishness, racism and killer instinct? We explore these themes to get to know ourselves, in order to understand the human realm of feelings and actions a bit better. We use the outcome of our research in interactive performances in which we confront ourselves and our audiences with that what we sometimes fear most: the Other. By surpassing this fear, we want to share an experience as a group. So that for the moment of the performance, we let go of our boundaries and open up to sharing time and space with each other. To share a joint moment in the here and now.

In our creation process we like to obtain an open structure in which we can co-operate with artists from different fields. We want to encourage each other to break out of our own mind-sets and neutralize the borders between different media. By forcing ourselves out of our comfort zones, we each become equally vulnerable and equally powerful. We learn from each other and discover new possibilities. This ongoing process gets crystallized in artistic work that surpasses the talents of the individual makers and lets the borders between each artist’s individual language fade.

Oortocht’s artistic core consists of Brecht Hermans, Isabelle Stockmans and Marieke Breyne.

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