Photo: Tale K.Hendnes / Dansens Hus Norway
Since 2002 CODA has brought national and international dance to new audiences in Oslo and beyond, and this year is the last festival under the directorship of its co-founder and artistic director Lise Nordal.
As a festival with significant history, yet at the threshold of a new era, we have in this year’s programme particularly explored the notion of time and sharing.
Without nostalgia and backward looking, we explore different concepts of time -experienced both as measured time and personal biographical time, time in relation to tradition and heritage, and a new engagement with dance history.
At the same time we explore the concept of sharing. Dancers and choreographers rarely work by themselves. They rely deeply on the inspiration, exchange and mutual giving of others. This festival presents a number of artists who engage intensively with collaborators from other artistic forms, whose relationship goes beyond traditional divisions of labour.
The relationship to tradition and heritage runs deeply through our opening performance by Rocío Molina. Steeped in the strict rules of traditional flamenco, she breaks free in an almost rebellious act to claim her role as a 21st century female artist. Tradition and heritage is also deeply rooted in the works of the Hungarian duo József Trefeli & Gábor Varga, which take a close look at the folk dance traditions of Central Europe. By stripping their works from many folkloristic elements their creations surprise us with a fresh and honest immediacy. The duo Ådne Kolbjørnshus & Vetle Springgard gently explores personal biographies through using traditional Norwegian dance forms and improvisation.
A welcome return by Chris Haring explores his fascination with Andy Warhol’s period, which pioneered the use of cameras to control how we present ourselves. In today’s selfie-obsessed world of social media, Shiny Shiny … reminds us this older era of split screens and live images.
In Radioscopies Michelle Noiret’s combines film and live action with great delicacy, drawing us into sensuous imagery that is both cinematic and live.
Two of the most senior figures of Norwegian choreography, Ina Christel Johannessen and Ingun Bjørnsgaard, both present major works in this year’s festival. We celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ingun Bjørnsgaard’s choreographic practice in Bærum Kulturhus, which will see a new work performed side-by-side with an extract of her 1994 seminal production and award-winning Sleeping Beauty.
Ina Christel Johannessen reaches into the far depths of cosmic time through her research at Svalbard’s seed bank, which protects and preserves precious seeds from across the globe from potential destruction and disappearance.
Also from China, Gu Jiani carefully sculpts bodies in time and within an especially constructed architectural space. The four dancers perform with seductive and meditative quality. In The Moon Opera by Wang Yabin at the Opera House Chinese traditions meets western contemporary dance and fuse the two aesthetics.
On her first visit to Norway Portuguese choreographer Marlene Montero Freitas presents two works mixed with highly surreal and exaggerated theatricality. The performances are collaboration between CODA and Black Box Teater, which also includes the solo Blanks by the young choreographer Ingrid Berger Myhre.
And last not least –what happens when dance is de-coupled from time, history or authorship? Can we look at dance for just what it is? CCN-Ballet de Lorraine asks these questions in their programme Unknown pleasures. We do not know the names of the five choreographers – the dances will have to speak for themselves and our perception can take us in any direction. There is a sense of freedom and of risk here - two qualities which are present in all of what CODA this year has to offer.
Welcome to CODA 2017.
Lise Nordal, CEO & Artistic Director
Sign: Lise Nordal
Lise Nordal is co-founder of CODA Oslo International Dance Festival. In 2006 she was appointed artistic and administrative director. Since 2010 – September 2017 CEO & Artistic Director.
Eckhard Thiemann, Associate Artistic Curator of CODA 2017
Sign: Eckhard Thiemann
Eckhard Thiemann is an independent international curator, producer and arts manager. He is currently Programming Associate – Dance for The Lowry, UK, as well as Artistic Director of Shubbak, the London-wide festival of contemporary Arab culture.
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