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Hosting Opening (Improvised) Ritual at Permanent Beta Festival 2015 with Lidion Zierikzee. Objectives: set some basic principles, create good and open mood and help people to start getting to know each other and collaborating with each other. I’ve been doing this now for 3 years and and Open Up many more times.

Festival Performances

My festival contributions & concepts.

Floris Koot
Jul 10, 2016 · 8 min read
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Leading a physical experience to get the festival participants awake in their body.

All Floris act’s or performances border the real with play, content with a very lighthearted tone. He plays and excites larger audiences as well as individuals. Floris has now over 10 years the Free Role at the Open Up Festival in the Netherlands. Has designed and co-hosted opening and closing rituals for three festivals, conferences and events. Worked as announcer, festival fool, tribal wizard and offered theatrical reflections on the undercurrents of the festival and build, with scarce materials riddles to puzzle the audience towards the themes at play.

NEW! Satsang Theatre.

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A parenthood question got us 5 children spontaneous on stage, willing to play trouble. :)

This summer (2017) at the Open Up festival, Ilse Keizer, Coen Dalini, Ingeborg de Lange, Anouschka Pessy, Bahar Farshchi Jamshidabady and me, invented Satsang Theatre and gave 3 performances with it! Members of the audience (the very brave and helpful ones earned our eternal gratitude!) who dare to ask a question, will find our collective wisdom at stupidity seeking to answer it.. First we show how not to do it and then find the switch within the trouble to get a different, much more desired outcome. Or try to. While being great fun, it also will bring up real issues and confront the audience in a very lighthearted way with it. All players are more than willing to find faults within and even within their approach to a role. The method easily can operate with performances between 20 minutes and 1,2 hours. With enough trust those that asked questions may be invited on stage to be themselves.

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Our audience. What more needs to be said?

There’s influences of family constellations, forum theatre, theatre sports, Satsang (Guru teachings) and Commedia Dell’ Arte.

The festival/conference/corporate Fool.

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Mirroring statements from the Forum at stEFFIE conference in Vienna 2014

You have traditional fools in suits, and there’s the festival fool, that switches roles and functions faster than a chameleon color. He jumps into gaps, mirrors behavior of both staff and visitors, plays with opportunity’s and helps creating moments that seem needed for the overall balance. From funny parking assistance to smart interventions that can make a huge difference. Think huge banner ‘Welcome to the Miraculous Reality’ at the entrance and at the end of the festival above the exit. Think audience experience when an artist is late to the podium. Think audience request scene’s commenting proceedings by forum.

Ritual and Audience involvement

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Initializing an improvised Haka, boosting male morale after complains ‘it was all too soft’.

Was involved in or led for 4 summer camps/festivals the opening and or closing in 2017.

For Floris rituals must involve participants, have their add their juice, ideas, fire, insights and work from there to something that makes the core experiential. Whether it’s to connect people who just entered to send people home with an intention in their guts, he’ll add to the ideas. Most rituals are, by the way, a joint venture bringing all aspects of the festival or conference together. Yet to prevent stifling seriousness, boredom and way to heavy meaning sending, Floris often adds a tone of lightness and fun.

The Announcer

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With or without mike (Floris can reach about 300 people without mike, when there’s no wind) Floris knows how to speak to an audience, mixing flavour, content, and sharp jokes keeping everyone present. He might even add little exercises or actions to increase participation. From simple messages to essential viewpoints, he can be the voice of a festival. (works best at artistic, spiritual, community festivals or idea and vision focussed conferences)

Storyteller

The concept: an improvising storyteller, inventing stories on the spot as answer to life questions; from children’s stories to mature tales. The stories often offer the ambiguity of life and fundamental principles at work. Because people have dreams and human psychology and the world other ideas. Can de done from the individual magic to large group performances.

Can also do (slam) poetry on the spot, inventing new poetry based on calls for themes and aspects from the audience.

NB: Easy to implement, works in any circle from around fires into hot tubs. The only thing it needs is enough silence around the be easily heard. Although Floris is famous for his strong voice.

Has been offered on small stages, around camping campfires and at several festivals.

Counter for Life’s Questions.

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Children run the Counter independently (with some distant help if needed ;)

The Concept: Behind a counter sit children, most often age 8–12, to answer your life questions. The result impresses every time. Children get a boost in confidence and feel they matter. (Some) Adults are stunned, children are not empty vessels you pour knowledge in to get adults. They have a mind of their own and see way more than most adults are aware.

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Children choose who and how many are behind the counter.

This can only be run in the following conditions: Participating children are enthusiast to join voluntarily and run the experience themselves. Beforehand they get a workshop on how to do it. Core of the workshop is to keep questioning clients until the child fully understands the question. Counters are set up in such a way that conversations are more or less private, there’s a counter between children and adult and what’s happening is visible for everyone else. This works best in enclosed environments like festivals, school events, conferences on the power of children. Organization may build, organize materials for counters for a reduction of the fee.

NB: Has been offered at festivals, events and few schools.

Mind & Soul Restaurant

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The Concept: Here we serve food for the mind and soul. Bring in your theme with a question and order a dish fitting to your needs. To make your choice you’ll be handed a menu. On it you may find courses such as the ‘Youcando Dish’, served as friendly neighbour’s pat on the shoulder. Or the ‘Campbell’s Menu’ served as your personal heroes journey story. Or ‘Wizard’s Choice’ served as whatever twisted idea the chef comes up with to help you find your next step. We found, the more serious the question, the more people invest in getting an answer that matters.

NB: Organization may build, organize materials, a few small tables, chairs or pillows, for a reduction of the fee.

Has been offered at festivals, events and as small side event at the opening of a gallery.

Collective Boost Market.

The Concept: At your festival one round there are no workshops or speakers at all. Everyone offers there own best self bit, to help others take a step and or advance a project. So you either go around, or sit and offer personal help. Help may be 5 minutes or an whole our, you decide. Market people may offer anything they’re good at, from logo design to massage, from marketing strategy tot tarot cards. In short all the collective participants of the festival have to offer. You can also come up with very creative stands, like the Questions Offering, Silent Disco for two, Mindmap illustrator, Personal song massage, Free Hugs, Poetry writing, Personal reading based upon your wallet, etc.

We can help with preparation, framing towards participants and to fit the main theme of the festival or conference, organization, getting participants in the mood and keeping the mood up. The event can reduce costs for speakers, while at the same time, boost empowerment and use the collective power of all participants. :)

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Coen Boot is a great inventor of exactly that assignment that helps break through happen.

Counter for Heroic Challenges.

The Concept: You have a problem and want to overcome it. Thus at this counter you’ll find help. After explaining your issue, you’ll receive an awkward mission from the counter workers. A mission that in executing it, will help you see, how to tackle your issue, and how you already have the solution. The designing of these missions is a very special skill. To direct (you’re shy, so speak to an audience) doesn’t work. To unrelated (you’re shy, so find a birds egg) and it makes no sense. The results can be profound or even very touching. Like a small boy returning with his own brother, which which he didn’t want to get into fights any more. His brother told him, in his presence and that of their mother, he loved his brother. So perhaps the lesson was, fighting can happen, but love is more essential and present.

NB: The inviting organization may build, organize materials, a table, counter or just attractive corner, for a reduction of the fee.

Has been offered at festivals, events and as small side event at the opening of a gallery.

The Nymdal or ‘Touchstone of Seekers’

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The Concept: The small cult of the Water Brothers (and sisters) makes no sense at all. Visit the ‘Nymdal’ (or touchstone of the seekers within their crazy ‘cult’) and discover your ‘here and nowness’. He doesn’t give you a koan to meditate upon, he is a koan, or riddle. This master of crazy wisdom is guaranteed to separate your festival between ‘those that have been there’ and ‘those who missed it’, thus adding to the magic of the whole.

Anyone who wishes can step into the cult and receive the ‘teachings’.

NB: New, will this summer be play tested at Open Up festival.

Techno Shaman

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Nobody understands his instruments, not even the shaman himself.

The Concept: WTF? Indeed. The Techno Shaman is an act bordering on the insane. Who understands a shaman anyway? He’ll impress you with rhythms, crazy rituals, smoke and mirrors. Is there truth in here? Who knows. The strange thing we found after many years of similar acts: people project their own story of meaning into whatever happens. We’re just happy to oblige them with a story.

Still some things do have content. If the visitor is serious, and or open, so can we be. Then we have a whole collection of small events like: marriage to yourself, mini vision quest, crazy wisdom koan, hugging assignment, non catholic confessional, wish granting and helping people to meet the right people.

NB: The Techno Shaman can both be a traveling wizard or the host of a small dark tent. The inviting organization may build, organize a small dark tent or just an attractive corner, if they prefer this act stationary.

Practical ideas and approaches to work with groups

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