The Dancing Public
Tonight, is for dancing
Tonight, we’ll be dancing …
Movement of crowds on the streets in Europe was always deemed suspect, as the story about dance ‘crazes’ tells us. Yet ecstatic outbursts of relentless dancing, bodily jerks and convulsions, and uncontrollable gestures could spread and grow from one body to several hundreds pulsating in mass movement for days and months. As recurrent incidents over a long period from the medieval to modern times, the dancing manias attracted a host of explanations – from possession by evil spirits and curses of saints to neurological disturbances and the medical invention of hysteria. Contagion by imitation earned these outbreaks the suspicion of a dance ‘disease’ without a definite cause. Behind the dangerous image of public disorder lurked a body dancing to relieve itself from the stress of epidemics, natural disaster and poverty, a body dancing in dissent.
Evoking collective moments of dancing manias from the past, Mette Ingvartsen explores movement ecstasy within a social gathering in the aftermath of a pandemic. Her solo explodes the solitary confinement of 2020 with an intense mixture of unstoppable movements, incessant music and high-paced rhythms of words and chanting. A dance feast, a concert of spoken word poetry or a physical frenzy until exhaustion, this shape-shifting piece incites questions: Can a dance hijack and reshuffle the social corpus of the public? What is the need for excess and movement we might feel in our bodies today? Are we ready to be high on life again?
… The sky will be dancing
The moon will be dancing
The planets will be dancing
The stars will be dancing …
is a Danish choreographer and dancer. Her work is characterized by hybridity and engages in extending choreographic practices by combining dance and movement with other domains such as visual arts, technology, language and theory. An important strand of her work was developed between 2009 and 2012 with The Artificial Nature Series, in which she focused on reconfiguring relations between human and non-human agency through choreography. By contrast her series, The Red Pieces (2014-2017) inscribes itself into a history of human performance with a focus on nudity, sexuality and how the body historically has been a site for political struggles. In 2019, she premiered Moving in Concert, an abstract group choreography, that focuses on the interlacing between humans, technological tools and natural materials. Ingvartsen holds a PhD in choreography from Stockholm’s University of the Arts and graduated prior to that from P.A.R.T.S in Brussels. Her work has since then been shown throughout Europe, as well as in the U.S, Canada, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia. She has been artist in residence at the Kaaitheater in Brussels, Volksbühne in Berlin.
Concept, Performance Mette Ingvartsen Lighting design Minna Tiikkainen Set design Mette Ingvartsen, Minna Tiikkainen Musical arrangements Mette Ingvartsen, Anne van de Star Costumes Jennifer Defays Dramaturgy Bojana Cvejić Technical direction Hans Meijer Sound technician Anne van de Star Company management Ruth Collier Production, administration Joey Ng Music Affkt feat. Sutja Gutierrez, Scanner, Radio Boy, LCC, VII Circle, Kangding Ray, Paula Temple, Ron Morelli, Valanx, Anne van de Star Production Great Investment vzw Supported by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès within the framework of the New Settings Programme, Bikubenfonden. Coproduction PACT Zollverein (Essen), Kaaitheater (Brussels), Festival d’Automne (Paris), Tanzquartier Wien (Vienna), SPRING Performing Arts Festival (Utrecht), Kunstencentrum Vooruit (Ghent), Les Hivernalles (Avignon), Charleroi danse – Centre chorégraphique de Wallonie-Bruxelles, NEXT festival, Dansens Hus Oslo With the support of Kunstencentrum Buda (Kortrijk) Funded by The Flemish Authorities, The Danish Arts Council, The Flemish Community Commission (VGC)