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December 12, 2014 at 10:45 am

Superficial Look at Nordic Dance Platform ICE HOT (completed)

Superficial Look at Nordic Dance Platform ICE HOT (completed)
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Inta Balode

I was in ICE HOT Nordic dance platform seeing „Nordic contemporary dance at its best”. On December 11 I saw 6 performances of total around 315 minutes. Mainly I came to Oslo because The keðja Writing Movement-project launched its catalogue: Expeditions in Dance Writing. Writing Movement 2012-2014, in the foyer at Dansens Hus, Oslo, on the last day of ICE HOT Oslo, December 13 at 08.30 pm. Still no surprise that dance writers sometimes go and see dance performances. On December 12 and 13 I had an intention to see around 12 more performances of total around 600 minutes. So more than 900 minutes or more than 15 hours of sitting and watching other people dance. I ended up with little less, just little. To add around 300 more minutes at least I invented I game I did and you can see bellow. I tried to figure out what dance is like in each of five countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden). I  applied five points to all the works I saw (and 2 works I didn’t see but I read about, talked about and saw some videos). I grouped all performances by country. At the end I  summarized texts to see how each country is doing and summarized countries to see how Nordic region is doing. I will get to know what Nordic is. The game got invented because of the optimization reasons – I couldn’t figure out where to find at least 9000 minutes to write short texts about all of them. But the selection of performances on December 11 convinced me that all them deserve attention. Besides I am for democracy. And DANCEPUNKC likes playing games like that.

Five points:

  1. It is not smart to ask – what the piece is about. It is smart to discuss the research done on certain subject or theme.
  2. It is not smart to say that all Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or Icelandic people are like that. It is smart to question the identity issues.
  3. It is not smart to say that they didn’t dance at all. It is smart to comment on explorations within different kinds of movement.
  4. It is not smart to say that I remember only one scene. It is smart to point out the strongest moment of the dance work.
  5. It is not smart to say like or dislike only. It is not smart to give certain amount of starts out of five. But there is some temptations to do that both between “normal” audience and dance community.

P.S. In the featured image you can see Latvian choreographers performing “wish to be Nordic” dance on the roof of Den Norske Opera & Ballet.

Lilija Lipora and Olga Zitluhina on the roof

Here comes the analytical and structured superficial look at the Nordic dance scene (includes look at performances seen on December 11, 12 and 13 plus 2 never-seen performances). First you can read my Nordic diagnosis; then diagnosis of each Nordic country (Norway has the longest text because Norway was hosting the platform) and then the initial resource material – texts that came out of five points technique applied to specific performances. In the diagnosis there are no external or general thoughts  – it is just the condensed information I got from the bellow described specific dance performances.

 

NORDIC

A day after ICE HOT Nordic Dance platform I know what Nordic is.

Nordic dance is about timeless love, clean space and hard lives of dancers. It talks about different colors and shades of life and durational passionate dedication to never-ending pointless duties. There is some fear of extinction of the humankind and there is male sex. Nordic dance is about people interacting in various ways, mostly with some sense of desperateness. It has extreme sense of group while keeping deep introvert state; it talks about states of mind and body caused by closed community, wish to be loved and impact of alcohol. Nordic also means dark and powerful side of women who have lost their ability to pretend. It is about sports horses, their complex relationship with jockeys as well as about gender and time issues in military forces. There is also a pleasure and curse of sense of flesh in urban jungles and men revealed and extended.

Nordic people spend most of their time in darkness, they are confident enough not to entertain and they are good at seeing many details at the same and still keeping sense of integrity. They wear leotards, they are very different in body types and they are sometimes with faces, sometimes without. They are workaholic but they move without sound. Nordic people are taking up the hard duty to talk about the sexuality; they sense crowd well but sometimes ignore that. Nordic people are great fans of picnicking; they are faceless and connected despite individual colors. They are intense and they form coalitions that collapse once excitement takes over. Nordic people wear high boots and move their hips very well; they are patient, little shivering and rude when needed. They are loose in their hips and knees and they collaborate well. Nordic people are ready to face the reality in all its shapes and tastes.

When Nordic people move they move both little and a lot, they move well and they crawl well and they also do dance that is recognized as dance by majority. When they move they resemble ninjas and colorful digital humanized graphics; they sweat and breathe heavily and have lots of skill and training. Nordic dance gets into bones, they don’t stop. When they move they really move a lot and create both extremely dynamic and still moments; the movement material used to express their internal stories obviously has steps from dance, but they don’t dance, they just let the dance happen from inside out and back in. When Nordic people move they have extreme sense of amplitude, intensity and taste of movement accompanied with dedicated facial expression; they use minimalistic and repetitive movement to take an audience into the terror and prose of life. They dance urban dance and when they move it is as if space is a material with resistance. At times they dance even in unison and to music.

 

 

ICELAND

Dance in Iceland is about timeless love, clean space and hard lives of dancers. Judging from that I suppose that Icelanders spend most of their time in darkness, they are confident enough not to entertain and they are good at seeing many details at the same and still keeping sense of integrity. When they move they move both little and a lot, they move well and they crawl well and they also do dance that is recognized as dance by majority.

 

SWEDEN

Dance in Sweden is about different colors and shades of life, it is about durational passionate dedication to never-ending pointless duties, fear of the extinction of the humankind and male sex. Judging from that I can suppose that all Swedish wear leotards, they are very different in body types and they are sometimes with faces, sometimes without, they are workaholic but they move without sound. Swedish are taking up the hard duty to talk about the sexuality. When they move they resemble ninjas and colorful digital humanized graphics; they sweat and breathe heavily and have lots of skill and training; their dance gets into bones, they don’t stop.

 

NORWAY

Dance is Norway is about group of people interacting in various ways, mostly with some sense of desperateness; it is about extreme sense of group while keeping deep introvert state; it is about states of mind and body caused by closed community, wish to be loved and impact of alcohol; it is about dark and powerful side of women who have lost their ability to pretend. Judging from that I suppose that all Norwegians are sensing the crowd well, but sometimes ignoring that; they are great fans of picnicking; they are faceless and connected despite individual colors, because they are intense; they form some coalitions that collapse once excitement takes over. When Norwegians move they really move a lot and create both extremely dynamic and still moments; the movement material used to express their internal stories obviously has steps from dance, but they don’t dance, they just let the dance happen from inside out and back in.

 

FINLAND

Dance is Finland is about sports horses, their complex relationship with jockeys as well as about gender and time issues in military forces. Judging from that I suppose that all Finnish are wearing high boots and moving their hips very well; they are patient, little shivering and rude when needed. When Finnish move they have extreme sense of amplitude, intensity and taste of movement accompanied with dedicated facial expression; they use minimalistic and repetitive movement to take an audience into the terror and prose of life.

 

DENMARK

Dance in Denmark is about pleasure and curse of sense of flesh in urban jungles. It is about men revealed and extended. Judging from that I suppose that all Danish are loose in their hips and knees and they collaborate well. Danish are ready to face the reality in all its shapes and tastes. They dance urban dance and when they move it is as if space is a material with resistance. At times they dance even in unison and to music.

 

ICELAND

December 11, 13:00 BÁRA SIGFÚSDÓTTIR / On The Other Side Of A Sand Dune RIKSSCENEN

Research subject. It is about love that doesn’t have age limits.

National features. All Icelanders are spending most of their time in quite dark environment.

Movement type. She did not dance, but she moved a lot and well and there was variety in movement character according to the emotions or age she was depicting.

One strong moment. I remember her repeating word “mama” on top of recording saying the same.

Star system 1-5. I liked it. 3 stars.

 

December 12, 17:00 MARGRÉT SARA GUdJÓNSDÓTTÍR / Step Right To It RIKSTEATRET

Research subject. It is about clean space and moment that doesn’t exist.

National features. All Icelanders are confident enough not to entertain.

Movement type. They did not dance, but they crawled as it is the best dance ever.

One strong moment. I remember all seemed so slow but suddenly all was different.

Star system 1-5. I liked it. 3,8 stars (would be 4,4 if the café at the theater would accept master card and I would get at least something before Step Right To It).

 

December 13, 17:00 ICELAND DANCE COMPANY / HELENA JÓNSDÓTTIR / Episodes DEN NORSKE OPERA & BALLETT

Research subject. It is about the hard and glorious (more hard) lives of dancers.

National features. All Icelanders are good at seeing many details at the same and still keeping sense of integrity.

Movement type. They did dance, they did dance in different styles but not very different unfortunately.

One strong moment. I remember big amount of red fabric and spotlights shooting across the audience.

Star system 1-5. I did not like it, but I am not target audience. 3,5 stars for the target audience (this performance was a reason to think that the offer of the whole platform can be also seen as quite targeted towards specific taste and contexts, not offering much variety. The question is whether it doesn’t exists or it didn’t get into the program?).

 

FINLAND

December 11, 14:15 ANNA MARIA HÄKKINEN & JARKKO PARTANEN / Dig My JockeyBLACK BOX TEATER

Research subject. It is about sports horses and their complex relationship with jockeys.

National features. All Finnish are wearing high boots and moving their hips very well.

Movement type. They did not dance, but they had extreme sense of amplitude, intensity and taste of movement accompanied with dedicated facial expression.

One strong moment. I remember a bold guy turning knout that makes magic sounds and scares first two rows.

Star system 1-5. I liked it. 4,5 stars.

 

December 11, 15:20 MASI TIITTA / SoliderBLACK BOX TEATER

Research subject. It is about gender and time issues in military forces.

National features. All Finish are patient, little shivering and rude when needed.

Movement type. He did not dance, but he managed to use minimalistic and repetitive movement to take an audience into the terror and prose of soldier’s life.

One strong moment. I remember buttocks and torso moving in having-sex-alike waves in the square of light.

Star system 1-5. I liked it. 4 stars.

 

NORWAY

December 11, 17:00 CARTE BLANCHE / Shadows Remain Silent DEN NORSKE OPERA & BALLETT, SCENE 2

Research subject. It is about group of people interacting in various ways, mostly with some sense of desperateness.

National features. All Norwegians are sensing the crowd well, but sometimes ignoring that.

Movement type. They did not dance, but they really moved a lot and around all the big stage creating both extremely dynamic scenes and also moments of complete still image like motionlessness.

One strong moment. I remember set design elements looking like gravestones and ten people exploring their individual uncomfortable postures and moves.

Star system 1-5. I liked it. 3,6 stars.

 

December 11, 19:00 ZERO VISIBILITY CORP / Terra 0 MotelBÆRUM KULTURHUS

Research subject. It is about states of mind and body caused by closed community, wish to be loved and impact of alcohol.

National features. All Norwegians are great fans of picnicking especially when it rains outside.

Movement type. They did not dance, but movement material used to express their internal stories obviously had steps from dance put into dance sequences and framed with theatrical tools.

One strong moment. I remember the naked back of a female dancer sitting on the roof.

Star system 1-5. I liked it. 4 stars.

 

December 12, 14:15 INGRI FIKSDAL / Band BLACK BOX THEATER, LILLE SCENEN

Research subject. It is about extreme sense of group while keeping deep introvert state.

National features. All Norwegians are faceless and connected despite individual colors.

Movement type. They did not dance but let the dance happen from inside out and back in.

One strong moment. I remember shadows of full or partial human shape merging and separating, bending and raising.

Star system 1-5. I liked it. 4,3 stars.

 

December 12, 15:15 BERSTAD / HELGEBOSTAD / WIGDEL / Jordjenta (Soil girl) BLACK BOX THEATER

Research subject. It is about dark and powerful side of women who have lost their ability to pretend.

National features. All Norwegians are intense, they form some coalitions that collapse once excitement takes over.

Movement type. May be they did dance at some moments but because of special lighting effects it was not visible.

One strong moment. I remember her breaking the lighting equipment.

Star system 1-5. I liked it. 3,5 stars.

 

SWEEDEN

December 11, 21:30 GÖTEBORGOPERANS DANSKOMPANI / HIROAKI UMEDA / Interfacial Scale DANSENS HUS, HOVEDSCENEN

Research subject. It is about different colors and shades of life.

National features. All Swedish wear leotards, they are very different in body types and height and they look like Japanese warriors.

Movement type. They did not dance, but they resembled ninjas, non-dance by Merce Cunnigham called “Birds” and colorful digital humanized graphics.

One strong moment. I remember dressed in green women dancing on red surface and dressed in red women dancing on green surface. Like eye test.

Star system 1-5. I liked it. 4,5 stars.

 

December 12, 12:30 QUARTO / Beauty Of AccidentKUNSTHØGSKOLEN I OSLO, SCENE 4

Research subject. It is about durational passionate dedication to never-ending pointless duties.

National features. All Swedish are faceless and workaholic.

Movement type. They did not dance, but they did sweat and breathe heavily and the rounds of repetitive movements were obviously demanding lots of skill and training.

One strong moment. I remember the black rope always being a reason to be.

Star system 1-5. I liked it. 4,8 stars.

 

December 12, 19:00 K. KVARNSTRÖM & CO / YOUYOUYOU BÆRUM KULTURHUS

Research subject. It is about fear of the extinction of the humankind.

National features. All Swedish are sometimes with faces, sometimes without and they move without sound.

Movement type. I would say they dances because at times I felt them in my bones and also at times movement had obvious dialogue with music.

One strong moment. I remember smoke coming from bodies. Of course!

Star system 1-5. I liked it. 4,3 stars (Would be 3,3 if no tomato soup finally! Would be 4,9 if ended little earlier and without iguana costumes section).

 

December 13, 15:00 JEFTA VAN DINTHER / THIAGO GRANATO / This Is Concrete BLACK BOX THEATER

Research subject. It is about male sex.

National features. All Swedish are taking up the hard duty to tell the world that sexuality is a complex thing.

Movement type. They did not dance but also didn’t stop.

One strong moment. I remember (if I saw right, but I tried to concentrate to see if it is concrete or not) he had an erection.

Star system 1-5. I liked it. 3 stars because they seem to be very happy (though I don’t have enough expertise in male relationship).

 

DENMARK

December 12, 13:30 TINE SALLING / Entre Nous RIKSSCENEN

Research subject. It is about pleasure and curse of sense of flesh in urban jungles.

National features. All Danish are loose in their hips and knees and they collaborate well.

Movement type. They did dance this urban dance and they also move through space as if it was a material with resistance.

One strong moment. I remember a woman being as strong in street dance as a man.

Star system 1-5. I think I would like it, especially if there is gender balance in skill and energy. I have around 3.5 stars expectations.

 

December 13, 9:00 GRANHØJ DANS / Rite Of Spring – Extended BÆRUM KULTURHUS

Research subject. It is about men revealed and extended.

National features. All Danish are ready to face the reality in all its shapes and tastes.

Movement type. At times they did dance even in unison; they did dance to music as well. Even if nobody would guess before Rite of Spring is very living dance music.

One strong moment. I remember men in suits, naked men’s buttocks and “a man” on the naked back.

Star system 1-5. I like it even if I haven’t seen it. I have expectations for 4.5 start performance.

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