Het Beest



set design by Milica Topalovic



The Polyphonic Stage took place in ‘Het Beest',

Located next to catholic primary school Jacobus, Lengstraat, Hoogvliet. Architect: Alex van de Beld, ONIX

The ‘SchoolParasite' with the title ‘het Beest' (the Beast) in the Rotterdam post war suburb: Hoogvliet, recently realised within the program of the International Building Exhibition Rotterdam: WiMBY!, functions as an open space between school and neighbourhood. ‘Het Beest' is a prototype for alternative structures, meant to solve the problem of space that schools are facing. There are several prototypes realized called ‘Parasites' for their characteristics of being small independent structures, which depend for their ‘life line' on the logistics of the main school building. ‘Het Beest' is placed on the open area just outside the schoolyard of a primary school, the Jacobusschool. The school decides on the program in this multifunctional space, but its placement gives it an independent position, enabling it to function as a link between the school and the surrounding area.

The interior of the ‘Parasite' is designed as a flexible space for performances or presentations. One enters the building on the side of the ‘stage'. An audience can place itself on three areas, each one step up until it reaches the back ‘wall', which is a large window, facing out towards the street.



interior, plan and section of "het Beest" without the set. (www.wimby.nl)


Set: The location is used as a film set, production and editing room, and projection screen: a performative space, which turns the process of making into the already made.

To bring ‘a certain brazilianess' to the set we first turn the Parasite into a model for the spatial and social concepts, which were found in the House of Tia Ciata.

Onto this space, we transposed the cultural values we had subscribed to a certain brazilianess so far. We tested the possibilities of polyphony, simultaneity and a social dynamic within heterogeneity, and propose productive actions and acts of renewal and invention.

The space was thus arranged that several activities, ‘scenes', take place at the same time. These moments were initiated, registered (video, photographs and sound recordings), edited, mixed and projected ‘live' by a video projection onto the big window, towards the street. The projections acted as the attractor for guests as well as the direct presentation form.





Three zones, for three scenes :

• the middle zone was for the main scene: a jam session with rap and beats, based on a mixture of brazilian sounds, brought material by guests, initiatives from the participants etc. Two members of the crew / cast (Scep and 2Dope) lead the session with some prepared tracks or worked out raps. An invitation to join the session went out to target groups, found in Hoogvliet. We expected already experienced rappers and MC's who have different language usages, and were willing to play with this; and perhaps beginners who would like to learn through joining. The main theme for the raps will be related to the understanding of a certain brazilianess as an antropofagious spirit of adopting, digesting and using musical forms and language codes in a culturally changed way. Since rap is based on strongly coded languages, it brings us to the field of subjectivity and social dynamics specifically. Self-glorification is one of the codes and a battling spirit the expression of this. There could be suggestions for lyrics from the crew/cast stemming from earlier stages of ‘a certain brazilianess', or initiatives for beats and spontaneous lyrics coming from the guests.




The idea was to allow for mix and change to happen; to initiate it and give it a chance, using all available qualities of the crew / cast and guests.

•  a conversation zone: Maria Moreira and Ari Versluis invite the guests, but also the other crew/cast members into dialogue. Here conversations took place, which were party initiated by existing text, but could also be in relation with the activities taking place. One of the forms took was that of interviews with the rappers who already have hip-hop as a lifestyle, and can converse about their relation to this, bringing out the subtle versions of themselves. The conversation could also be between Maria and Ari, or with anybody else in the room.





•  the kitchen: the editing and mixing and projecting is an active process, taking place in another part of the room. This zone is literally used for all the mixing: also for the food, which is there for everybody to enjoy.