What moves humankind? In the multi-year art project Motus Mori, Katja Heitmann collects and preserves human movement. Since 2019, more than 1,000 people have already donated their personal movement to this embodied archive, an ever-growing foundation from which the choreographer creates new artworks.

In the ‘movement opera’ RELIQUIEM, you experience other people’s motions in the most direct and touching way possible: through your body. In an intimate ritual, you put yourself in the shoes of the archive’s many donors and incorporate their personal “movement relics” into your motion repertoire. Katja calls this ‘kinetic empathy’. Which movement would you like to inherit?

Katja Heitmann is fascinated by the human attempt to escape their own mortality. This paradox is the muse of the movement archive Motus Mori. As movement goes and vanishes, we are at the same time epi-central master of our own life ánd just a spark in eternity.

Motus Mori RELIQUIEM will premiere in May 2023 at SPRING Performing Arts Festival Utrecht and Cadance Den Haag.

Credits Motus Mori RELIQUIEM
choreography, libretto & concept: Katja Heitmann
music, libretto & production: Sander van der Schaaf
interviews & editing: Katja Heitmann, Eva Geia Huisman, Josefine Patzelt, Moene Roovers, Wies Berkhout, Eleni Ploumi, Ornella Prieto, Karolien Wauters
artistic advice: Liesbeth Groot-Nibbelink, Marijn Meijles, Jan Ruts
scenography: Taciser Sevinc [TACISER.S ART AND DESIGN]
photography: Hanneke Wetzer
partners and cities: SPRING Performing Arts Festival Utrecht (NL), Korzo Den Haag(NL), Theaterfestival Boulevard Den Bosch (NL), December Dance Brugge (BE), tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf (DE). Theater De Nieuwe Vorst Tilburg(NL)
Supported by: Fonds Podiumkunsten, Provincie Noord Brabant, Gemeente Tilburg

RELIQUIEM is part of the multiyear artproject Motus Mori.
With RELIQUIEM, Katja Heitmann takes her archive research to the next level; creating a collective shared movement heritage to secure it for the future. The archive will be transferred to ‘everyone’.
After all: doesn’t every human being want to keep moving, for eternity?

The press on Motus Mori:
The New York Times (USA): “The archive is our body”
De Standaard (BE): “Kinetic empathy at its best”
deVolkskrant (NL): “Highly original”
NRC (NL): “The beauty and vulnerability of dance in one thoughtful concept”
Museumtijdschrift (NL): “More direct, effective and poignant than any video, photo or text can ever be.”