Stairs of Connectedness

Discontinued as of January 15, 2022 due to all corona developments.
With this show I and my fellow screenwriter and Sjiek Literature Prize winner Wim Heijmans want to tell the story of Rolduc and its founder Ailbertus, in a historical as well as contemporary/timeless context.
The form we have chosen is a collage-like film with live music (wood and brass ensemble, organ, children’s choir, male choir and soprano):
various storylines in music, images and words.

Producer: Jos Smeets (composer, board member of the Limburg Composers Foundation, co-screenwriter and filmmaker) in collaboration with Stichting Ailbertus, Stichting Limburgse Compoisten, Canta Young, Kiek, and many others.

Here’s the trailer:

On 13 November 2021, a local newspaper De Limburger devoted an extensive article to my project. (In Dutch only)

Some principles that led to this project:

– connection/we-feeling: creating together among both participants and the public;
– language/dialect: Euregional connection ->
default language Dutch/German/French vs. common “Ripuarian” dialect: Kerkraads/”Rheinisch/Westfälisch” (DL: Herzogenrath tot Keulen to BE: Gemmenich) dialect.
Kerkraad/Ripuarian dialect:
1. as a connecting, cross-border factor,
2. as a literary language,
3. as identifier,
4. as cultural heritage;
– cultural heritage: Rolduc abbey complex, Duchy of Limburg (up to the Vesdre, Limbourg);
– identity: Kerkradenaar/Limburger/European/World citizan;
– historical awareness: e.g. duchy of Limburg, historical Ailbertus, borders, mining, “bokkenrijders”;
– religious/spiritual experience: from personal to communal;
– contemporary music (Stichting Limburgse Componisten): in an accessible form (film) for a broad audience (from young to old), as a listener and as a performer;
– social relevance: partnerships (Kerkraadse) musicians*, associations, primary schools and/or organisations) and cross-fertilization (from acting/making music to producing);
– promoting young talent: actors (Kiek) and singers (Canta Young).

* including soprano Kim Savelsbergh, organist Jo Louppen, conductor Charles Steffannn, bassoonist Monique Deitz, trombonist Leon Janssen, violist Guus Ghijsen, trumpeters Wilbert Lennartz and former HUB director Ralph Henssen.