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©_Lars Jan

Holoscenes [2020]

Lars Jan

People sitting in a giant aquarium in the middle of Place des Festivals cope with cyclical flooding. An extraordinary visual and visceral experience, Holoscenes questions our ability to respond to chaos.


Sweet, hypnotic and vital, water can also flood, devastate, drown. An extraordinary aquatic performance, Holoscenes floats between dream and reality, between the world we know and the catastrophe that looms. An impressive living installation where Lars Jan strikes the imagination by questioning our ability to respond to chaos. An urgent SOS and a call for resilience.

A giant aquarium sits imposingly in the middle of Place des Festivals. A succession of scenes from daily life: someone tunes a guitar, someone else sells fruit or reads the newspaper. In less than a minute, they are submerged under fifteen tonnes of water. Their gestures are transformed yet they pursue their activities; humans adapt. Fascinating and terrifying, this mélange of dance and physical theatre, a living sculpture by a multidisciplinary American artist, holds up a mirror to passersby of the impacts of climate change. An extraordinary visual and visceral experience.


Produced by Lars Jan – Early Morning Opera
Conceived and Directed by Lars Jan
Choreographed by Geoff Sobelle
Performed by Benjamin Kamino + Annie Saunders + Lua Shayenne + Geoff Sobelle
Show Control and Lighting Design Pablo N. Molina
Sound Design Nathan Ruyle + Mikaal Sulaiman
Sound Engineering Duncan Woodbury
Costume Design Irina Kruzhilina
Technical Director Eric Lin
Project Manager Christopher Pye
Company Manager Alexandria Yalj
Hydraulic Design Larry McDonald
Automation Design Erich Bolton

Originally produced by Mapp International Productions
In association with Aurora Nova

Created with the support of Robert Rauschenberg Foundation + MAP Fund + Surdna Foundation (New York) + NEA

This engagement is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts + Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Co-presented by Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles with the support of The Cole Foundation

Written by Elsa Pépin
Translated by Neil Kroetsch

Premiered at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto, on October 4, 2014

Copresented by

With the support of


© Kawai Matthews

Lars Jan (Los Angeles)
Early Morning Opera

The American artist Lars Jan is the son of immigrants from Afghanistan and Poland. Multidisciplinary in his approach, he is a director, writer and visual artist and the founder of Early Morning Opera, a laboratory that combines live performance with new technologies and unique experiences. His work deals with questions about the private and collective spheres, and are marked by striking, enigmatic imagery.

Full biography