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“Keep trying to find each other and strengthen each other. That’s what makes you powerful.” Playwright Lennie Visser’s message is a positive one. With the three creatures she is creating with her Boost Producties for Bosch Parade, she shows what happens when you focus only on yourself. “Then nothing never becomes bigger than it is, you remain a lost soul in the desert.”

Boost Producties creates performances in which it explores the boundaries between movement theatre, circus, dance and visual art. Lennie: “Our work is a crossover between image and movement. In doing so, we always work from the imagination, using a very associative approach. We tell stories.” To form those stories, she has all the co-creators respond to a theme. Lennie: “That is a very fascinating process. And super instructive because everyone looks at it with a different perspective. The performers react from what they see in movement, the composer from the music, my partner Jelle Engel from the form. This creates a joint work in which everyone recognises themselves.”

For their Bosch Parade creation, the whole company also pondered the theme: Contemporary Demons. Lennie: “But first we started looking for the connection between Hieronymus Bosch and Boost. We recognised the alienation from the ordinary, the abstract, the associative in Bosch’s paintings. But also the detailed imagination, the search for the outlandish and experimentation. We then asked ourselves what for us are contemporary demons. We quickly arrived at the great divisions that exist today, on all sorts of fronts. The lack of empathy and togetherness. The selfishness and opportunism.” 

It led to Evolutie der demonen: karakteristieken in overdrive: a trio of contemporary, exaggerated characters. Lennie: “Three beings representing our individualism and lack of connection.” The Emerger, representing arrogance and self-centredness. Lennie: “That is a moving installation that literally elevates itself, towering above the masses. But once dropped, it also takes up a lot of space, the dress spreads like an ink blot across the water – purely focused on itself.” The Toiler represents the ruthless opportunist and materialist. Lennie: Who is totally lacking in empathy, following the mob while wearing blinders, without contemplating his actions.It will be an installation with huge feet walking supremely over the water.” The Senser depicts self-interest, one-dimensional selfishness. Lennie: “A being without layers, no front or back, top or bottom, solely overstimulated. We turned it into a kind of single-cell molecule, moving around like a worm.”   

Three characters. But without unity. Lennie: “No, all three are consistently looking in a different direction, avoiding connection. They show exactly what is wrong in the world in so many places: not seeing each other anymore. That’s what we want to show with Evolutie der demonen: karakteristieken in overdrive: don’t focus only on yourself. Keep trying to find each other and strengthen each other. That’s what makes you powerful.”

Video made by Donna van West