felt room is an immersive performance installation designed to conjure imagination, speculation and perception, engaging viewers in a practice of vibrant potentiality. In the darkness of felt room viewers are offered an escape from a world of constant illumination. Unfolding somatic landscapes move into and out of the darkness, transforming our perceptual field. In felt room we can practice other ways of knowing. Like human animals moving into the night, the darkness can be a cloak of protection, as the dance slowly reveals itself to us.

Through its visual absence the dance becomes heightened in our imagination. There are no handles in the dark and no ways to mark time. In its intimacy we are both hidden and vulnerable. Together we share fluid time, a space for napping, lucid dreaming, visioning, and collective imagining. 

“From darkness to dimness to light – the “felt room” was a revelation. It’s rare to confront your own physical and emotional hesitancies while watching a performance. It felt good to feel the heart pump a bit when confronted with uncertainty.” Caroline Palmer. Read the full review here.

“I’d recommend the felt room to anyone who feels like their imagination is powerful but held captive to their own mental restraints.” Carleton College dance student. Read more reviews by Carleton students here.

“Stretching between amazement, fear, and tenderness Bieringa’s piece is a dream of life at its most instinctual.”  artist and audience member Sean Smuda

“And then suddenly in a burst of clarity I could see! The room and everyone in it now completely visible. I could hear a heartbeat. Tears came to my eyes as I was awash in the feeling of being a human.” Bernie Jungle, audience feedback from the Headlands Center for the Arts


  • The Performance Arcade, Wellington, New Zealand,  March 1-4 with performers Emma Barber, Rosie Tapsell, Josie Archer, Vicky Kapo, & Olive Bieringa
  • SFMOMA in connection with Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules exhibit March 15-18 with Sarah Baumert, Arwen Wilder, Emma Barber, Julie Tolentino, Maurya Kerr, Anna Martine Whitehead & Olive Bieringa



  • Perlman Teaching Museum at Carleton College, Minnesota, 2017
  • Headlands Center for the Arts, May 2016

Core performers include Anna Marie Shogren, Sarah Baumert, Arwen Wilder, Emma Barber and Olive Bieringa with sound by Justin Jones and light by Mike Wangen.

Support for this project comes from Carleton College, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and Alumni New Works grant and residency from the Headlands Center for the Arts, an Arts Activity Grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Creative New Zealand, Wellington City Arts Council, Atamira Dance Company.

Movement developed in collaboration with Rebecca Haseltine, Kevin Dockery, Otto Ramstad, Utam Moses, Kosta Bogoievski, Josie Archer, Anna Marie Shogren, Sarah Baumert, Arwen Wilder, Emma Barber, and Carleton College dancers Thu Nguyen, Annie Richardson, Kathryn Peneyra, Hettie Stern, Alison Ball, and Erin Arntson

Special thanks to Otto Ramstad, Judith Howard, Laurel Bradley, Teresa Lenzen, Christina Chang, Wu Chen, Wes Winship, and Piotr Szyhalski.