MOMO X Amenti

Motel Mozaique and Gil the Grid have been working together for 4 years already. But starting from this year, they decided to take their long-standing collaboration to the next level and engage in a 2-year long partnership that started with Gil The Grid and Harry Hamelink meeting in Prague. This is a partnership between people with a similar mindset and motivation. It is a partnership defined by innovation in the arts, diversity, inspiration and co-creation.

Gil the Grid & Harry Hamelink 

The year is 2017: Gil the Grid is performing with Sevdaliza in Prague, and Harry Hamelink, founder of Motel Mozaique, came to watch the performance. Harry was astounded by Gil’s performance, and an immediate connection was established between the two. Harry invited Gil to perform at MOMO as soon as possible, and so Anima Animus, a duet between Gil and Wesley Rommy, was already part of Motel Mozaique’s 2018 edition.

This was the start of an ever-increasing important role of Gil as part of the festival’s programme. A series of notable performances, workshops and photo exhibitions carrying Gil’s signature were hosted by MOMO Festival 2019 and 2021, such as the Elemental Exchange at Schouwburgplein, Ayahuasca and the Cacao Ceremonie (2019), and Kali (MOMO Fabrique 2021). 

Gil the Grid “knows the power of dance like no other”. Dance helped Gil heal and overcome a dark period in his life. He toured the world as a permanent dancer and choreographer for Sevdaliza and won the finals of Holland’s Got Talent in 2017. A strong believer in the idea that dance helps heal trauma and facilitates self-improvement, he founded Amenti. 

Gil and Harry have a very fruitful relationship, and both hold very special perspectives on creation that challenge them to step out of their comfort zone. It is sometimes indescribable what comes about during their sparring sessions. And with the help of MOMO’s team, their ideas have become beautifully rounded end products.

Amenti Theater Company's first performance @ MOMO Festival 2018

The “Why”: Motivation and inspiration

Motel Mozaique’s philosophy calls for “innovation in the arts”, they strive for creating “a place where artists at all levels are given the space and the challenge to take on new projects”. The individual development of artists is quintessential for MOMO’s motivation to be the context for new art developments, guidance and art showcases.

In line with what MOMO can offer, Gil the Grid strives for a stronger dance company “that is internationally recognized as one of the few professional Black companies in the Netherlands”, all the while developing himself as an international theater maker and giving voice to unheard stories.

Gil the Grid and MOMO, especially Harry Hamelink, share similar motivations and mindset. This drove them to embark on a long-term journey together.

Goals for the future

Motel Mozaique’s team will facilitate the evolution of Gil ‘the Grid’ Gomes Leal in his individual creation process, as well as the further progress of Amenti Theater Company. The 2-year development trajectory is underpinned by Gil’s unique way of questioning the reality and society’s status quo, while bringing people together through rituals and mythical stories.

Motel Mozaique will be assisting Gil and Amenti every step of the way, from financial advice to exciting programs at special locations, and new collaborations between artists of different disciplines.

A few performances are already being brought to life, guided by the values and aspirations of both MOMO and Gil. Lilith, the theater performance premiering at MOMO’s upcoming April 2022 edition, is a story told through the eyes of a woman, symbolizing suppressed female energy and sexuality, an energy that has the power to turn the world around if let loose.

Amenti Theatre Company door Mark Engelen - header
Amenti Theatre Company – Lilith @ MOMO Festival 2022

Later on, a research trip to Senegal and Mali will have the purpose of connecting to Gil’s roots, a history of enslaved ancestors, which has been warped and burned by past conquerors: “For Gil as a maker, but most importantly as a human, it is of utmost importance to write his-story for him-self. That is why we go to the Motherland, before stepping into the making process of Nom.Nos which we will co-produce with Ulrike Quade Company.”

Make sure to keep an eye on all the innovative, exciting projects that this partnership will bring to life! We are sure proud to be working with Amenti, and we can’t wait to share our results!

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