You wear VR glasses and headphones, and you’re alone in a darkened room. A woman appears and reaches out her hand to you. Music starts. The woman begins to sing.
Eight, which the composer and director Michel van der Aa has developed with the singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke and the Nederlands Kamerkoor, is a breath-taking fusion of music-theatre, virtual reality and visual art. The most up-to-date technologies are used as never before to create a completely new artistic experience. To experience Eight is to move for 15 minutes through a range of fantastical scenes without leaving the real space.
As if in a dream, Eight tells the story of a woman’s life. As an old woman she takes the visitors back into her past. They enter her memories, in which she appears as a young woman. They hear a-cappella voices, while the surrounding landscapes change. Finally they encounter an eight-year-old girl, familiarly close. At the end of the journey there is silence.
Eight is a look into the future, not just of music-theatre. In overwhelming images we experience an imaginary past in which the flow of time is reversed.