Max Knigge: Maria Louise in het Princessehof

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The son et lumière ‘Marie Louise’ becomes a sensory experience, combining video, music and light in a new and original work of art. Marie Louise will be on display at a unique historical site in the old town of Leeuwarden, the garden of the city palace where Marie Louise spent a large part of her life. The S&L sketches a modern portrait of a strong woman from earlier times: Marie Louise of Hesse-Kassel, Princess of Orange-Nassau (1688-1765). The work consists of light and video projections on the façades of the Princessehof – the city palace – and newly for this occasion composed music….   

Marie Louise of Hesse-Kassel, Princess of Orange-Nassau (1688-1765) came from an important noble German family. In 1709, at the age of 21, she married Johan Willem Friso of Nassau-Dietz, Stadtholder of Friesland and Groningen, and Dutch Prince of Oranje. When Marie Louise was 23, her husband died unexpectedly. For twenty years she took over his duties as regent until her son reached adulthood. The continuity of the Oranje dynasty was thus guaranteed.

The refined combination of image, music and lighting will create a densification in the 15-minute work between multiple disciplines that will provide an innovative view of Marie Louise. Logic, facts and chronology will form material for a surprising and whimsical composition. We look at Marie Louise as she experienced herself and all the contradictions of the time. The video recordings are made especially for this S&L. They tell a history of the harshness of life in the 17th and 18th centuries in a modern way. A history in which, in addition to loss and loneliness, two essential aspects of Marie Louise’s life play an important part: there is room for poetry, beauty and zest for life. It will be the portrait of a strong woman who, in addition to her ruthless rigor, felt a great compassion for humanity. The music is recorded, but written in such a way that it can be performed as an independent work without the video film.

Composer Max Knigge and director Jos van Kan work closely together. Aspects of Marie Louise’s life are lit up in a new way. Objects from the Frisian museum and the Princessehof that have a direct relationship to Marie Louise and to the time and culture in which she lived are used in the film. In the video projections, the facade itself, the Marie Louise dining room that has been preserved behind that facade and the garden of the city palace will play an important role.

Performers and makers:

Ariane Schluter, actress
Noord Nederlands Orkest (NNO) conducted by Hans Leenders
Concept and direction: Jos van Kan
Composition: Max Knigge
Video art: Frouke ten Velden
Music Lighting: Koos de Vries
Curator: Marlies Stoter
Technical production and sound design: Remko Smids
Production and business management: Jojanneke Braam
Hairdressing and make-up: Arjen van der Grijn
Costume performance: National Theater, The Hague

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Max Knigge at Donemus