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June 4, 2015

Talk to: art director Daniel Liddiard

Art & Cult

This man has Creative written all over him. Daniel Liddiard (35) worked for several hotspots like Pacific Parc, Club 11, Studio 80 and Trouw. Next to being one of the figureheads at Supperclub Amsterdam, he’s in charge of the night programming at Doka, the cocktail bar in Volkshotel’s basement. Time for a chat about transformation, body control and the magic of the night: “As long as you can touch brains or hearts, you are on the right track.”

Let’s go back to the beginning. How did you get involved in the world of performance art?
“I was lucky enough to organise my own gay minded clubnight ‘BAF’ at the former club Trouw. Performances with an edge were part of the concept. We wanted to create something memorable for the eye. “We are now, we are free, we are anything we want to be” – that was our motto. The themes varied from blood and funeral to primary colors. Later on I also combined them with visuals edited by VJ Heleen Blanken. Looking back this was my first step into becoming an art director.”

Darkraum - aids tribute               DarkRaum - Boystache

Now you’re also working at Doka. What can people expect to see/hear/experience there?
“Nadia Duinker and Thijs Timmers, founders of Doka, wanted to create a special night bar for a creative crowd. Next to high quality cocktails, they aimed for alternative performances that would fit the grown up, obscure vibe of Doka. They asked me to help them realise this concept. The performances are influenced by elements from opera, burlesque, cabaret, art, fetish, poetry or circus. Each act creates an absolute reality for a moment.”

Do you think Amsterdam is ready for such a night concept? After all, it’s a small town.
“Good question. I do think Amsterdam needs an extraordinary location like Doka. Next to the late closing hours at 7am; it’s a spot that actively invests in performance art on a weekly base. Amsterdam was lacking a proper stage for performance talent and I’m glad it’s finally here. The fact that it’s not a club – no heavy lights or extreme loud music – makes it a place where you can enjoy a drink and intimate conversation while seeing new things. There’s definitely a crowd for this.”

DarkRaum - regarding oyster bay lo res

Being a performer yourself, what does it take to create an act to remember?
“If you’re a dedicated artist you know exactly why you claim the stage, otherwise you’re an entertainer. In my opinion, it is important to address subjects that are relevant on a cultural, emotional or social level. As long as you can touch brains or hearts, you are on the right track.”

Do you have some extra inspiration for us? Must-see-performances?
“Sure! First of all the transfiguration performance by Olivier de Sagazan. Simply because of the alienated and slightly morbid character of his work. He makes it seem like a deceptively simple concept, but it asks for finesse and more practise than you could imagine. Furthermore, I really appreciate plainness. Combine a great choreographer and a talented dancer like Diana Vishneva with something as simple as a mirror and you see magic. Her body control is out of this world!”

Doka is located in the basement of Volkshotel and open Thursday to Saturday, 23.00-07.00. Find your way in… 

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