In the spring of 2022, prior to the creation of PINK PORTAL, Cecilia Moisio conducted the research in the forms of laboratories and interviews with women of different ages and backgrounds. During the laboratories, the participants tried different theatrical exercises and talked about their experiences, stories and ideas about their bodies and sexuality. Together with playwright Eva Maria de Wit, Cecilia interviewed each woman individually in order to get a deeper insight into their experience. These conversations and real stories have become the inspiration and the the basis for the performance: a political statement about how the female body is viewed in 2022. 

The special footage taken by Paul Sixta during these sessions, interviews and rehearsals of PINK PORTAL was used to create a documentary about the creation. On the 6th July – the day of the try out – the documentary has been shown for the very first time! It will be presented along with every performance during the tour of PINK PORTAL in 2022-2023. 

CREDITS:

Concept, direction and choreography: Cecilia Moisio

Filming and editing: Paul Sixta

With performance and participation of: Katarzyna Sitarz, Yulia Kalinchenko, Gwen Langenberg, Kadri Tegelmann, Daria Titova, Bianca Casaburi, Renee Hijl, Katya Vershinina, Laura Leino, Diana Roos, Daphne Agten, Vera Witleer, Kelly Hirina, Shelmith Oseth, Sophia Wuerz

Guest speakers: Marjo van Lijsel, Daphne Agten, Janneke Wittenkoek, Mirjam Kaijer

Text: Eva Maria de Wit
Music: Joni Vanhanen
Costumes: Dorine van IJsseldijk
PR and marketing: Marjo van Lijssel, Danielle van den Berg, Daria Titova
Management: Hedi Legerstee
Production manager: Lynn Meijer

Producer: Stichting Cecilia Moisio 
In collaboration with ccAmstel & ICK Amsterdam

Made possible by The Performing Arts Fund NL, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, VriendenLoterij Fonds, Stichting Imperium, Fonds 21

Special thanks to Arnica Elsendoorn

Meet the cast

Yulia Kalinchenko (Russia, 1996) completed her professional training as a dancer and performer at the Modern Theater Dance department at Amsterdam University of Arts in 2018. She started collaborating with Cecilia Moisio in Mum’s The Word (2015), during her internship. Since then Yulia has been continually working with Cecilia on different projects, including Victory (2018), Juffenballet (2019-2020) and REVOLT (2021).

While working on PINK PORTAL I learned a lot of new things about how the female body was mistreated throughout history and how it affected our psychological and physical confidence as women. That was pretty shocking, but very liberating to finally understand. I wish that we all would have conversations about our body differences more often, to understand that we are all OK and it is not shameful to share your experiences. This process gave me more energy and confidence to be involved in the difficult conversation about womanhood.

Gwen Langenberg (1976, Netherlands) graduated as a dancer from the Amsterdam University of Arts (AHK)  in 1998. Since then she worked in many dance projects, theatre, opera, musicals and films. In 2011 Gwen became one of the cast members of Jakop Ahlbom Company. In 2015 she worked with Cecilia Moisio for the first time in ‘This Is The End’ and, finally, after 7 years they meet again for PINK PORTAL. Next to being a performer, Gwen is a mother and a yogi (and a yoga teacher). After many years of side study she opened her own practice as a therapist and coach.

“It is still quite shocking to learn about the female position in society. Our female body, our sexuality, strength and beauty, ability to create life has such a minor place. Still, in 2022! Working on PINK PORTAL with a group women of different ages, with different backgrounds and strong personalities makes me feel proud of being a woman. I love our little sisterhood.”

Renee Hijl (2002, The Netherlands) is an 18-year old performer living in Amsterdam. She was a part of Korzo’s young dancers program Crosstown in The Hague for 5 years. In 2021 she came all the way to the final of ‘Kunstbende’ with her own solo piece. This is Renee’s first time working with Cecilia Moisio. Next to being a performer, she has just finished her first year of Criminology studies at the VU Amsterdam.

During the PINK PORTAL journey all involved women – from a plethora of different ages and backgrounds – openly shared their personal stories and experiences. This gave me an insight in what the female body has to cope with and how women overcome what is being thrown at them. PINK PORTAL challenged me and my comfort zone. In the past months this work has enabled me to see my body as an actual human rather than a social framework.

Daria Titova (Russia, 1999) is graduating from the Dancer/Maker department of ArtEZ University of Arts this summer. Before moving to the Netherlands, she has completed the training program with Vertigo Dance Company in Israel. Daria has already performed in a few recent pieces by Cecilia Moisio: ‘REVOLT – The Manifest’ (2020), ‘My Arms are Tired’ (2021) and REVOLT (2021).

PINK PORTAL showed me how many facets of femininity I had no idea about or used to hide in myself. In addition to many physiological and historical facts about the female body, it was very important for me to explore the ancient, mystical and mythical female energy. It allowed me to discover the new depth and immense power, new joy of being a woman.

Katarzyna Sitarz (Poland, 1985) is a freelance dancer, performer, improviser, choreographer and voice and movement researcher. She studied Dance and Choreography at the Rotterdam Dance Academy, Slavic Philology at the University of Wrocław, Experimental Performing Arts at SMASH Berlin and voice at the Lichtenberger Institute for Applied Voice Physiology in Germany. Since 2014 she works with Cecilia Moisio staging strong female characters in “Juxtapose” (2013), “Mum’s the Word” (2015), “Victory” (2018), REVOLT (2021) and now in PINK PORTAL.

Tracing the history of the female body and how the myth of the goddess has been lost in the western culture made me look deeper at the implications of this process in our present society. What generally surprised me is how much there is still to investigate and explore about female nature. I have tapped into the ancestral sources, traces and ingredients from which my womanhood derives from. I have reconnected with the feminine power that lives in me and manifests herself in multiple ways.

Bianca Casaburi (Italy, 1997) is a freelance contemporary dancer and performer based in Rotterdam. She is graduating from the Dancer/Maker department of ArtEZ University of Arts in Arnhem this summer. From 2016 until 2018 she trained and performed in Rome, working with choreographers from the Dutch professional field as well. Since 2021 she has began working with Cecilia Moisio and performed in “My Arms are Tired” and REVOLT.

While working on PINK PORTAL, I learned that female sexual organs are more complex than it seems. I realized that the studies conducted to discover more about them are incredibly fresh, which shows how little importance this subject had until recently. I learned that us – women – are still a huge land to fully discover and understand. I wish for such topics to be properly included into our culture, education and social life. PINK PORTAL made me embrace my femininity for what it is, without shame. It made me realise that there’s still a lot of prejudice towards women, and that I have to and want to stand up for myself as one of them.”

Kadri Tegelman (Estonia, 1983) grew up in the Estonian countryside – a place of folklore, nature and abandonment. Being a classically trained mezzo-soprano, she has worked alongside musicians in the field of baroque, romantic, contemporary and folk music and is praised for her versatility and expression. 2021 saw the release of her CD “LAULA!”: a fusion of Estonian folk music, baroque and jazz. This is the first time Kadri is working with Cecilia Moisio.

The most surprising information PINK PORTAL gave me was from the historical timeline: all true facts, some really jaw dropping moments. What I also never knew was that our magical body part – clitoris – never ages and has 8000 nerve endings.
Being a part of PINK PORTAL has been a wonderful experience; working among these women who are so open about themselves, their bodies and experiences is truly inspiring. Also because am currently pregnant with my 2nd child, it is a journey that I will carry with me forever.

Film stills and portraits by Paul Sixta