Sunday morning. 4am. I hear a chill wind off the Gulf of Finland. But I’m warm and content here in my 6th floor room, surrounded by Christmas gifts for family, muffins and strawberry juice and MY NEW PROGRAMMING IDEAS. No no, I am still officially done with that chapter. I’ve just moved it back a few months!
I’ve shared the reason I am here. To find the Scandinavian dance company that will, along with American (Reggie Wilson) and African (Boyzie Cekwana/Panaibra Gabriel Canda) companies, end Global DanceFest/JOURNEYS. Previous target date, fall 2013. NEW target date, WINTER/SPRING 2014.
And here is why. The last show of the last night of ICE HOT was Gunilla Heilborn’s This is Not a Love Story. It IS how I feel about Gunilla’s work however…a love story…I love it. So full of gentle sarcasm, everyday humor, ordinary questions, tiny history lessons, elegant easy dances. Just two performers, all alone but filling a big stage with their low-key friendly funny presences. So I think This is not a Love Story must come to North Fourth. The company was part of Latitudes North a few years ago and Johan Thelander bought the very cowboy boots he is wearing on stage in icy Helsinki in sunny New Mexico.
The night before, Winter Guests/ Alan Lucien Øyen’s new work Flawed was performed. Not such an easy work. Not at all. The lanky, very white Norwegian and the sleek muscular very black dancer from Guadeloupe/Paris just put it all out there. The prejudices and practices of xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic sexual physical acting out. Did I say that right? At first I did not like this piece. Too much in my face. Then it surrounded me, sunk into my psyche so to speak. But, I thought, wow, I cannot put that on stage in Albuquerque. Then I thought…I must. Alan may be one of the smartest writers and thinkers around; Léo Lerus the most compelling dancer…they’re like mad angels… mean and beautiful.
So I cannot have one of these works without the other I think. But I’ve only covered SWEDEN and NORWAY so far. Remember Tero Saarinen opened ICE HOT’s first night. Tero has already performed his technically attention-grabbing solo Hunt in Albuquerque; he could bring it back with a new solo just being finished now…and represent FINLAND.
Once you start down this slightly obsessive path you must go all the way with it? Yes, I think so. DENMARK. Granhøj Dans perhaps. Just looked at a bit of the vimeo of 2men2mahler. Looks funny and silly and smartly danced! Granhøj was in New Mexico before also. It would be nice to finish with all of these friends and their new work.
For ICELAND, an exhibit curated from all of the photos Bob, Teresa and I took this summer. And how about a film of some sort from GREENLAND. I realize it is officially part of Denmark but surely won’t be for much longer?
Obviously an excellent plan. Perfect way to celebrate my mumble mumble (big one) birthday and STOP programming. There is time and money to consider but that’s for when I get home and feel like worrying.
Would be nice to partner with Albuquerque’s contemporary theater festival Revolutions in January 2014 or later in the spring on the unmentionable birthday. And be funded by IKEA! Before my sons take me on out Central American bus trip. A celebration of my Norwegian/Scandinavian heritage and love of idiosyncratic dance. THE END.