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Naomi Velissariou's HARDKOOR: a call for radical self-love

Performing from June 13th to 15th at Het Sieraad, get transported into Velissariou’s universe

In the midst of today’s cultural and existential paranoia, Greek-Belgian director Naomi Velissariou is gracing this year’s Holland Festival with her stand-up tragedy concert HARDKOOR, to remind us of the urgency for radical self-love. While Velissariou’s visual language has regularly shown an ongoing fascination with the fluidity of current-day identities, HARDKOOR is a combination of brutally honest texts, mind-fucking sound design, and grandiose ecclesiastical choral singing. In other words, a stream of self-consciousness to the sound of techno, triphop, and choir music. 

The performance follows the life of a single mom and artist, who prior to her fortieth birthday, withdraws from public life for a year. Experiencing full-on burnout, which she defines as a crisis of the entire system, she battles against the racing of time, societal images, and against her exhausting self-criticism. In the presence of the audience, she deals with personal and societal blind spots which brought her into her current restless state: her insecurity as a single mom, the bankruptcy of the family as the cornerstone of society, and the constant overstimulation of our brain in contemporary lifestyle, to name a few.

Through a personal endeavour of language, music, and movement, she carves a path towards a life with no shame, in which the endless need for validation is transformed into self-love, which nowadays, must be understood as a radical act.  And as we experience everyday reality as increasingly hysterical, Velissariou’s HARDKOOR takes us into a harmonising ritual of fulfilment in times of absolute disorientation. Performing from June 13th to 15th at Het Sieraad, get transported into Velissariou’s universe.

Words by Agata Villa
Holland Festival 
13-15th June @ Het Sieraad
Find tickets here