Man Strikes Back

Post uit Hessdalen
Picture of Man Strikes Back Post uit Hessdalen

Five triangles, one juggler. Bouncy balls take long leaps back and forth between them. The dancing balls create a choreography of lines, their bouncing sets the rhythm. The musician at the side enters into dialogue with this rhythm on his drums. Together they make one combined musical composition: the juggler, the musician and the bouncy balls. The perfection of the execution depends both on the juggler’s precision and strength and on the drummer’s speed of reaction. All parties are essential to its reaching a positive conclusion, but at the same time any of them may cause it to fail.

But what if the triangles start moving and determining their own position on the stage? They take up new positions so that the patterns of juggling and the musical harmonies change. As a result, a new balance of power develops between the triangular robots, the juggler and the musician. Who is controlling who? Who needs who? The more wilfully the robots behave, the more the juggler starts to resemble the machine.

As in PAKMAN, a great festival hit, the musician Frederik Meulyzer here too is the perfect musical sounding board for the juggler Stijn Gruping. Ine Van Baelen is again the director. This top team is also assisted by the choreographer Ugo Dehaes and by Edwin Dertien, a professor of robotics. Together they have made an exciting, futuristic musical performance that symbolises our ignorance of robots and artificial intelligence.

Man Strikes Back is a musical circus performance by people and robots, for people and robots of 6 years and older.

It was the Czech writer Karel Čapek who first introduced the term ‘robot’; it was in his 1920 play RUR (Rossum’s Universal Robots). Now, 100 years later, Post uit Hessdalen is presenting Man Strikes Back, a musical juggling performance that explores the symbiosis between man and robot.


A creation of Stijn Grupping, Frederik Meulyzer and Ine Van Baelen Performance & live music Stijn Grupping and Frederik Meulyzer Choreography Ugo Dehaes Robotics Edwin Dertien, Teun van der Molen, Nick van Lange, Gertjan Biasino and Ugo Dehaes Lighting Lucas Van Haesbroeck Costumes Sarah Demoen Management Klein Verzet Coproduction MiramirO, Tweetakt, C-mine and Theater op de Markt With the support of de Vlaamse overheid and de stad Antwerpen Thanks to hetpaleis and Zonzo Compagnie