MaisonDahlBonnema is the name adopted by the duo Hans Petter Melø Dahl (N) and Anna Sophia Bonnema (NL).
Composer and performing artist Hans Petter Dahl has been a co-founder of, and for many years a performer with the Norwegian cult group Baktruppen. Writer and theatre maker Anna Sophia Bonnema staged several plays and also wrote a great many before in 1995 Dahl and Bonnema set up Love & Orgasm. Since then they work in a continuous dialogue and have created a great many performances as a duo or with other artists, at the meeting point of composed music, visual art, literature and theatre. Dahl and Bonnema are constantly redefining themselves: from Love & Orgasm through L & O Amsterdam to MaisonDahlBonnema, which opened in 2003 as a virtual concept house that launches new collections of ideas in the form of performances, clothes, music, video and writing. Their shows display a radical preference for the autonomous juxtaposition of the various means of stage production. The audience itself has more than once also become part of the overall setting. DIY: Dahl and Bonnema work out everything themselves: the writing, the music, the design and the acting. Even though their performances have a very distinctive tone and vocabulary you could characterize them as intangible, they are playing with the imagination and the imaginary instead of representing reality.
In 2007 MaisonDahlBonnema made their first opera/song-situation: ‘The Ballad of Ricky and Ronny – a Pop Opera’, followed by ‘Ricky and Ronny and Hundred Stars – a Sado Country Opera’ (2010), and ‘Analysis – the Whole Song’ in 2011. From the beginning, this opera trilogy has been on tour on three continents and fourteen countries with more than 80 performances. Audience has seen their work from Norway to Calgary, over Tokyo, Skopje and Sweden to Belgium, Croatia among many other national entities.
In 2014 “Rhythm Conference feat. Inner Splits” was realized. This rhythmical-performative-ritual stated a ‘goodbye’ to anthropocentrism and placed all the ‘things’ in the universe as a monstrous ‘too-much’ while preparing to leave the planet earth.
The Moon (2016), the last work of MDB was a perforated opera-synthesis for 4 singers conceived as One Big Song shared and sung together by everyone. In this live-group-installation the body becomes the centre of a ritualized universe; the performance practices a physical belief in abstraction, beyond the behavioral laws of social contact. If you sing the hole, it will appear.
Dahl and Bonnema have since 1999 played an important part in the stage productions of Needcompany (B) .
In 2006, MaisonDahlBonnema was part of the side program of The Theater Festival in Antwerp with the show "Not The Real Thing". Their first virtual theatre piece.
In 2008 MDB was selected for The Theater Festival in Belgium and the Netherlands with "The Ballad of Ricky and Ronny - a pop Opera"
MaisonDahlBonnema explores the concept of opera in a contemporary format: If it is true that in opera, everybody sings and then everybody dies; MDB says yo.