Vanja Rukavina (1989) studied at Maastricht Theatre Academy, The Netherlands and graduated in 2011. Besides his work as an actor at Toneelgroep Amsterdam, he has made his own performances, such as The Rukavina Method and From Russia With Love. Studying Japanese gave him a fascination for Japan and South Asian popular culture. Together with three colleagues, who also arrived in The Netherlands as children with refugee status, Rukavina made the well recieved theatre performance Nobody Home, with which he is touring at the moment.
Karel van Laere (1988) makes both video art and live performances. In his work, a central theme focuses on opposing human movement with mechanical movement. A body being dragged using electric hoists became a recurring theme. From his work one can distill the ambition to amaze the viewer with new perspectives and different ways of seeing.
After graduating as a performer from the Maastricht Theatre Academy in 2012, Van Laere continued his education at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan. Currently he works from his studio in The Hague on several video art works and live performances.
Rukavina and Van Laere’s first production together was Dance Dance Revolution and they are now touring with BOKKO.
BOKKO is an explosive dance performance with whipped up music and video animation. These two theatre performers are so interested in the influence of Asian media culture on reality that they decided to make a show about it.
It looks like everybody can determine how to react on media and to use it the way he wants. But gradually media are more and more ruling our behaviour. With BOKKO, Karel van Laere and Vanja Rukavina have translated the reality of media overload into a performance. The audience gets swamped with a paradox of emptiness and fantasy. Explosive, fast and powerful, just like how the media communicates with people.
When Karel and Vanja saw the videos on YouTube of the Bokko dance and realised its impact they knew that had to be the form of the show. Frame by frame they taught themselves this popular South Korean dance so they could use it as a basis. They made new choreographies and together with newly composed Asian disco music, video and Japanese manga they have created a total experience where the audience has no time to breathe.