Yggdrasil is a piece of dance and movement theatre for children, inspired by performance artist Joseph Beuys and Debussy’s Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune, about the bond between nature and mankind and the myth of the tree of life.


People and nature are inextricably linked, but cannot live together without destroying each other. That is one of the core principles that comes from Beuys’ work. And from that idea, combined with the fact that Beuys surrounded himself with myths and riddles, I started to envision a dance. Sound, a soundscape and Debussy’s Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune came into the mix shortly after. It is somewhat modern, somewhat ballet-like, somewhat alienating. It is a wordless performance for children, in which the senses are stimulated and there is more than enough space for the work of the audience’s own imagination.


The story of Yggdrasil is about a dancing tree, the tree of life, primal mother of the forest, who feeds everything that lives and keeps out everything that does not belong. She lives a quiet life and everyone obeys her will and power. Until one day a boy wanders into the forest and accidentally tramples and overturns everything that lives. You don’t treat nature that way. And that is a lesson the tree of life will only be too happy to teach him.

Yggdrasil was part of a series of short performances, called Ja, ja, ja, ne, ne, ne and was played at the Toneelacademie Maastricht in December 2019. Movement by Talla Dirkzwager, Max Gruson and Emma van den Elshout.