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In Baden (Bathing), the Genetic Choir was invited by artist Cathalijne Smulders to work with people who have difficulties with language, speech or gestures as a result of brain damage.


The Genetic Choir collaborated before with Cathalijne Smulders in the performance CIRCLE which also was based on working with people with a speech-handicap. ‘Baden’ is a development on the same theme, now also involving movement and dance.

In Baden (Bathing), Cathalijne Smulders works with people who have difficulties with language, speech or gestures as a result of brain damage. In her performance Smulders illustrates the sense of disorientation that occurs when words lose their meaning. Speakers suffering from aphasia or spasms describe their surroundings. Their words and actions are distorted by hesitations and physical reflexes. This distorted speech subtly influences the way in which we perceive the surroundings.

The influence of impeded speech on perception is reinforced by the presence of an improv choir and dancers reacting to the speakers. They support the speakers by mirroring or slowing down their words and gestures, or alternatively, make them sound more fluent. During the performance words make way for sounds, and the emphasis shifts to more physical, sensitive and fragile forms of exchange. When words lose their meaning, a new form of exchange originates.

BADEN was performed on location in the Amsterdamse Bos, during the Cure Park festival in Amsterdam on Friday, 7 July 2017

About the Cure Park festival:

Cure Park is a contemporary health resort that will pitch its tents this summer from June 4 to July 16 among the trees of the Amsterdam Forest. Centered around the Bostheater, Cure Park brings together over 30 artists, creatives and thinkers with audiences and care professionals in a multidimensional program, comprising installations, experiments, interventions, workshops, exercises, lectures, performances and films. www.curepark.nl