Marc Oosterhoff / Cie Moost

© BAK / Charlotte Krieger

Marc Oosterhoff / Cie Moost

Eclectic virtuosity

June Johnson Newcomer Prize

Marc Oosterhoff was born in Yverdon-les-Bains in 1990 and creates remarkable pieces at the crossroads between contemporary circus, magic, theatre and dance. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre degree at the Accademia Dimitri in 2012 before studying martial arts in China and working as an actor. In 2014, Oosterhoff was admitted to the first Bachelor’s degree in contemporary dance at the Manufacture in Lausanne, which he completed in 2016. He founded his company Cie Moost in 2017. His first one-man show Take Care of Yourself won the Junior Jury Prize at the MOMIX Festival in France in 2020. In 2021, Oosterhoff won the Fondation Vaudoise pour la Culture’s prize for young artists. As part of the cultural heritage project Choreographers at Work!, Mona de Weerdt and Michelle Ettlin documented the creative process behind Oosterhoff’s Lab Rats.

Marc Oosterhoff has created a handful of pieces to date, starting with the solo work Take Care of Yourself (2016), which he performed as part of Les Quarts d’Heure at the Théâtre Sévelin 36. The 15-minute piece is based on bodily risks and was selected for the Tanzfaktor tour organised by Reso – Dance Network Switzerland in 2018 and presented at the Sélection Suisse en Avignon in 2021. Oosterhoff staged two outdoor performances in 2017 and 2018: Palette(s) and La Caresse des pavés together with the breakdancer Cédric Gagneur. He created Lab Rats with the circus artist Owen Winship in 2017 and Natures Mortes as part of a trio with circus artists in 2021. He was given a carte blanche in 2022 for the opening of the Plateforme 10 arts quarter in Lausanne and staged À l’Échelle with a group of international artists. He is currently working on a new piece for large stages, Preparation for a miracle.

Marc Oosterhoff stands on one side of a seesaw and lobs sandbags onto the opposite side until they balance out his weight. It takes a while. He has time, as does his audience. He teeters on a chair, a line of upward-pointing blades beneath him. He cannot afford to slip. He lurches and wobbles around the stage, totally at the mercy of his dance partner, a banana skin left on the floor, as is his audience. Samuel Beckett wrote, “First the body. No. First the place. No. First both.” With Oosterhoff, body, stage and time are as one. First all three. Clown, poet and explorer of the last remnants of an analogue world somewhere between disaster and magic. Wonderful.

Ursula Frauchiger, Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation