His idea was simple, difficult to realize, to hold on to in all its power: The child to be born will be a boy, even though it is a girl.
Tahar Ben Jelloun
A house and a book. A text and a context.
In a new house with white rooms we meet the sand child. The Sand Child, is the recurring figure in Hotel Pro Forma’s new performance. A child of sand is no fixed creation. It is formed by the outer world but retains is basic material as substance.
In the writer Tahar Ben Jelloun’s two books The Sand Child, and The Sacred Night the same life story is portrayed in many guises. A child is born as a girl but, in accordance with her father’s will, is brought up as a boy among seven sisters. As an adult, the actions and personality of the main character change via alternating narrative voices that provide different versions of the same life.
In the performance The Sand Child, Hotel Pro Forma adds other narrative voices, all of which relate the story of the sand child in their different ways. The new narrators are the sand child’s seven sisters, who appear in the performance as seven present-day women – seven living talents. They are presented via their CVs and brief personal statements. They blend with the sand child, colouring and emphasising her life story. Other narrators are three male singers, who with their distinctive voices sing the poetic track.
Altogether, the texts and songs tell of a lived life, of possibilities and destiny, of talent. Of how everything is part of a context. The context is a field of possibility and a conceptual framework. The Sand Child tells of the experience of adaptation and change as a life-condition in modern life.
The Sand Child, is a performance and an art installation rolled into one, specially created for the Mogens Dahl Instituttet venue, where the audience can move freely between two rooms: the music room and the text room. In the text room three female performers offer three personifications of the sand child and also appear as the seven sisters. Film, images, sound and gleaming objects constantly alter the nature of the room. A female narrator links the text room with the music room.
The composer T.S. Høeg has created the 135 minutes of instrumental music for the performance as well as 11 songs for three voices: a countertenor, a soul vocalist and a rapper. They sing both separately and together, alternating with short and long instrumental passages. They perform in the music room, but their voices can also be heard in the text room – as music from a different world where ethereal beauty, meta-pop blues and hard-groove unite.
Duration 135 min. no intermission