Choreography from bed in 2018

 

21171137_10159452001245160_477717751_oFoto: Magdalena From Delis Location: @spinaecompany Stord Island, Norway

My choreographic grant from the Norwegian Union for professional dancers, choreographers and dance-teachers, has gone into investing in a creative online writing course. I will dedicate myself to this course from my bed through 2018. Fortunately my cognitive ability has some stamina, whereas my physical ability has gone from bad to worse through 2017.

2018 will be a year where I never compromise my health for anything. I will be choreographing from my bed, working on my skills through writing. And I am excited to see what new works will emerge from this! I also indulge in reading Paul Roberts phd and I recommend  this for every thinking body: An Unfinished Mindful Body Meets Live Choreographies of Solo Dance

I have also plans to perform “Please Body Follow” again as soon as my health has some reliable stamina. Wishing everyone that clicked themselves into my blog a very happy 2018, make it the best one yet!

For there to be found a cure for ME in my lifetime they say funding for research needs to go up 100-200%. (TED talk Jen Brea) You can donate to research in Norway by following this link: ME-research in Norway

 

Advertisements

A playful moment in fresh air

Fotograf: Jorunn Ingvarda Rødseth Pedersen @ingvarda

 

Folkeakademiet Bergen Sentrum Fotokurs

Improvisasjons Praksis Workshops 2019

 

Connecting to my abstract being.

mariakirkenSurrendering

A couple of minutes during a church service on the international women’s day I have been hired to dance. The priest tells me to just be, and not to focus on perfectly performing. I understand where she is coming from, and it truly touches me to have this deeper sense of understanding. I am a practicing buddhist doing a job for a christian protestant community, participating in their rituals. I get to observe the bishop, priest, prost and more; pray before the sermon, for everyone present, before it all starts. I absolutely love this moment as I pass them in the back room. I live for this practice of respect.  The task is for me to be in response to the words spoken by bishop, the sounds from the musicians, the church room itself and my own experience in the moment there and then. To surrender to being present in my body, and share through my dance what that is. I have the shoes from #millionsmissing norway with me, placed through the isles of the church and they serve as a reminder, and a statement, of where I am (together with millions over the world) at as a severe ME sick dancer/choreographer/improvisor. I have rested all day, I have rested all day yesterday and I will rest all day tomorrow. I love this moment that I have been given and agreed to give myself; to escape the ME, to be the dancer I am, and share.

Will my body manage the task? Will a full church of 180 people connect to my abstract being?

I felt I mastered the task. I had a feeling I could have dwelled longer in certain moments; that I rushed parts of my moments; however I was present in my moments, and I was supported by wonderful musicians that couldn’t have done a better job in being there with me, carrying my movements as a blanket of support.

After; my body is shivering from physical shock and lactic acid is already present. But I managed to do it, and I am happy. There is not joy without courage and no virtue without effort. (Jean-Jacques Rousseau. ) Now I will take care of this ME sick body, rest it up and hope for new days where this type of work can be done more often.

Ytre, periferisk og indre fokus. Kan vi velge?

Jeg jobber med nyere prosjekt og nyere utøvere. “Body Talks” blir et prosjekt som jager frem det ytterst personlige hos utøverne jeg jobber med. Det kan synes som at jeg lager koreografi på dem, men strengt tatt er det utøverne selv som velger og deler fra sine liv.

Det har kommet meg for øre at noen advarer mot dette, at utøveren må ta vare på seg selv. Det oppfordrer jeg utøveren om. Å kjenne på hvor langt de vil gå, kan gå, bør gå og hvor effektivt det kan være å holde igjen, fremfor å gi alt.

Det er kraft i de spissede narrativene i seg selv, jeg undrer meg over hvordan jeg får frem kroppens språk i møte med narrativene. Bevegelsen skal tale. Det abstrakte skal runge. Og du er velkommen på premieren 24 november.  BodyTalks

Så langt har vi undret oss over indre, periferisk og ytre fokus, hva dette er, hva det kan være og hvordan det kan informere materialet i narrativene. Hvordan hver enkelt forstår dette og bruker det som verktøy er fremdeles noe tvetydig. Og tvetydigheten er spennende.

Utøverne har gått gjennom 2 timer lange intervjuer foran kamera, og nå begynner utforskningen fra et objektivt sted, med undring over egne narrativ og hvordan disse møter bevegelsen.

Foto: Øyvind Toft

“Den abstrakte formen og bevegelsen i bilde er hentet frem gjennom improvisasjon rundt mitt eget spissede narrativ. Dette narrativet får komme frem gjennom et indre fokus; tanker og følelser rundt narrativet, godt blandet med et periferisk fokus på kroppen, formen og bevegelsen. Jeg vil si at det ytre fokuset er mindre i min bevissthet, men det trenger ikke være en sannhet. Fotografen er der, gangen jeg beveger meg i er kald og assistenten som holder blitzen påvirker alt i det ytre. Men det ytre er mindre i mitt fokus, enn det indre. Og det periferiske er mindre enn det indre, men det er sterkere i mitt fokus enn det ytre. ”

ben

Dance as artivism

I am one of the #millionsmissingnorway 

I don’t need your pity, sympathy is nice, but I don’t need it. I need you to take action.Do you know anyone with ME? You can support us by becoming a member of the ME union, this is a link to the Norwegian union:  ME foreningen

Its not ok that 1000s of people in Norway, and millions world wide lives with an illness that in the most severe cases are more debilitating than AIDS, and we are not being believed. If there is to be found a cure in my lifetime we need an enormous increase in funding for research. (Check Interview with Jennifer Brea

If you know someone at Stord or nearby, you can invite them to see my performance. We bring all the shoes from #millionsmissingnorway to Stord with us. Press the link below for information:

Please Body Follow at Spinae Company, Stord, Norway 27th of August

Foto: Øyvind Toft

hodeløs

For the social media savvy it might look like I am very much alive and well.  I use my art to be visible, and it looks like I am not missing.

How am I missing? 1. I am missing from being active outdoors 2. Visiting family and friends 3. Living with my husband and kids 4. Seeing performances and concerts 5.Attending all sorts of social gatherings. 6. Dancing 7. Travel 8. Eating all types of food

I lie in bed, or on the sofa, 20-23 hours a day. If I don’t, I get the flue and muscle aches and more. I am not depressed. I insist on being absolutely happy and its possible through accepting my limitations with ME. Nevertheless, I am human and miss having a more normal life. I have so many things I want to do if I got back a body that would match my inner life-force and love for life. I manage to work cognitively from bed, and perform once in a while. It comes with a price physically, that as far has been worth it mentally.

 

 

 

Why improvise?

Improvisation practice workshops in Bergen!

“Performance Improvisation is an arts practice, with its own potentials, with its own artistic intention. Not just to be the over-used tool kit, supporting other art forms.”

This quote is taken from “Dancehouse”, Melbourne´s instagram account. I repeat it here because I think its a perfect way to put it. 

I have had the pleasure of attending workshops with a few pioneers of movement improvisation through the years. One of them asked: Do you really want to be an improviser? Do you want to go through all the embarrassment needed in order to attain the skill?”

What this teacher refers to as embarrassment I understand to be the humble act of  evolving in the meeting with an audience. And from this intention: to evolve in the meeting with an audience, you take in the audience´s energy, and allow this energy to influence the choices you make in your performance, truthfully. I could elaborate on this in great detail, but for the sake of making this a short and readable blog post I stop myself here.

To be able to use improvisation in performance you need training with an audience. You need courage to allow yourself to trust your instincts, and efficiently be able to “hold” your audience captivated. And you need to do it again and again in order to learn how to trust your skill. I would compare this learning process to how much time a dancer use to practice the pirouette or similar. It is the: same, same but different.

In the workshops I teach and facilitate, I strive to create an environment where you safely can develop this skill with the positive feedback as a strict and valuable tool. I try to prove my old teacher wrong. You don’t need to go through all the embarrassment, you can actually enjoy it…. You are most welcome to join my workshops this autumn. Click here and find out how to join: Improvisation practice workshops in Bergen

Foto: Øyvind Toft

20707690_1428974840483300_917451505_n

 

Creating Art=Value

Please Body Follow/#MillionsMissing at Stord

I was once in love with a man that didn’t reciprocate my feelings. He was the object of my affection for a good long time.

I am now happily married with another man that I also fell deeply in love with.

Yet life is a complex thing. Sometimes the scars of a love lost can revisit the mind, particularly when you have to lie still 20 hours every day with a fatigue that never leaves the body.

How does a love lost and a love found connect to me being cronically ill?

Some people say they have found the cure for this illness. Other people have been sick for decades. Some say we shouldn’t call ourselves ill. But how else can I explain that I need to lie a minimum 20 hours a day in isolation otherwise I get the flu? 

In my work; I move, I howl, I talk and I even sing a little. This is my life, my performance, and my way of attempting to create value of an illness that arguably must be the most unpopular illness of all: ME What is ME? (In Norwegian) You are most welcome to see my work of art about it all 27th of August: Please Body Follow/#MillionsMissing at Stord

Kissing knees_0099

Choreographic grant+ME sick=(im)possible

Here´s four words you wouldn´t think to put in one sentence; “ME sick ” and “choreographic grant”. I live with a seriously debilitating chronic illness: ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). I also received the only choreographic grant for 2017 from the Norwegian Union for Professional Dance Artists. (Norske Dansekunstnere) This is somehow unfathomable.

Living with a chronic illness should not have anything to do with me, or anyone else for that matter, receiving this honour. If anyone can make or do work that somehow has relevance to what’s going on in the world, they should, in my humble opinion, be considered for any type of prize, reward, job…whatever it might be. It could seem however that society’s need for a cynic realism, time efficiency and deadlines can lead to a dangerous sometimes subtle type of judgement. This subtle (or not so subtle) judgment can easily lead to a stagnation of creative flow, and subsequently we can miss out on valuable work, in any field. It can also lead to a devaluation of humanism. A devaluation of humanism leads to quantitative work.

The symptoms I have from the ME illness on a daily basis are severe. Receiving a choreographic grant is an achievement I therefore allow myself to take pride in, on perhaps a different level than most people would know.

I would have been extremely proud getting this grant as a person with no illness at all. But I think I am prouder than ever, because I know what it takes any person with ME to do anything physical at all. And surely, most might think, being a choreographer entails being physical in a way that makes this profession impossible to pursue for someone with a serious degree of ME like myself? Shouldn’t anyone with a sound mind change his or her career path if so unfortunate to be given this diagnosis? In choosing a cynically realistic view of life I would agree. And if being a choreographer were all about time efficiency I would agree. And if being visible at any time, promoting work and producing work several times a year, then again, I would have to agree.

I have managed to work creatively from bed. I have planned, written and calculated portions of my energy. I can’t work in conventional ways. I can’t produce work efficiently, I can’t work long hours and I therefore need to use a long time creating work. I can however work creatively, hopefully qualitatively, and I hope I create work that is full of purpose and value. Just the fact that this blog post has taken me months to write says a lot about my constant lack of visible efficiency. (Don’t confuse this with me lacking in discipline; it has to do with grasping the moments where the fatigue of the ME doesn’t “steal” my mind. In this way I would like to say I am very efficient, and very disciplined in how I manage to use those moments of clarity).

For me, my choreographic practice is a passion I live for. It is choreography I see in everything around me. Choreography is life, and the relationship to life. Even if, and because, I live with a serious degree of ME. There is an enormous physical and mental sensitivity that follows this illness. I think this has become my strength in my use of method when developing work. The strength is that it allows me to relate to other performers with great concern and sensitivity when developing certain aspects of the work. Yet it is as much a weakness when it comes to finishing a production, and having to adapt to society’s premises (like setting a date for a finished work, writing a funding application with a deadline, sending in reports with a deadline, talking to journalists promoting the work etc.). This is however life. I accept, roll up my sleeves those few hours I can be out of bed each day, and work slowly but steadily with my biggest passion: Choreography.

It was pointed out by a critic of my latest work that I made work so personal that it was impossible to critic it. I choose to see this as a compliment, however my self-critic would argue that I failed. But if I don’t manage to make it personal, it doesn’t matter to me. And if it doesn’t matter to me, how will it matter to anyone else. Really.

This choreographic grant is a very joyful experience for me, particularly because it comes from a very qualified group of people. I am grateful to the union. I cannot run with this honour, and work more efficiently in terms of producing and touring with work. However, I have more than ever confidence in the fact that my work is developing in a very exciting way, however slow. Thanks again to the union, I really appreciate it.

(And to those who read this: I don’t consider myself a proficient writer of any kind, but I allow myself to try to get some valid points across.)

 

 

19987397_10155357670850915_455506991_n

Hva er personlig?

Hva er personlig?

Hvor går grensene for hva som er for personlig å dele?

Finnes der slike grenser?

Hvorfor finnes der eventuelt slike grenser?

Vil det være nyttig å tøye disse grensene?

Jeg skal lage et ferdig dansekunstverk.Med en kort presentasjon under Slipp arrangementet på Cornerteateret ble jeg meg selv veldig bevisst på at nå er det på tide å ta tydelige valg. Jeg kan ikke lenger dvele i alle mulighetene. Nå skal helheten spisses mot et dansekunstverk som formodentlig vekker litt interesse utover mitt eget behov og lidenskap for metodisk forskning. Jeg er tilbøyelig til og si at jeg ikke kan fordra og gjøre noe ferdig, jeg liker å dvele i forskningen, lekingen og mulighetene. Men så overasker jeg meg selv med at jeg liker faktisk denne biten mest av alt. Spesielt siden der er ganske mye kjøtt på beinet. Jeg ble ikke koreograf i går, og jeg utdannet meg ikke i koreografi for ingenting. Men for all del, det trenger jo ikke bety noen verdens ting.

Med 4 dedikerte, dyktige og vidt forskjellige utøvere skal ”Body Talks” manifesteres. Mitt ønske er at vi går over streken i personlig deling. Med det formål om å komme under huden, og inn i hjertet på tilskueren, med den abstrakte bevegelsen som ledende i uttrykket. Narrativene vil sprike, mens det overliggende tema er det personlige. Klarer jeg å dra verket til performativt høyt nivå? Kan det i det hele tatt snakkes om et “nivå” når tematikken er det personlige?  Det er ikke lenger en visning, nå skal vært sekund av dansekunstverket være ferdig.

Hva annet kan jeg si enn at du får komme og sjekke om jeg klarer denne oppgaven jeg har laget for meg selv. Og kritisere vilt. Viss du liker det.

Følg med her for informasjon om Body Talks

19578230_10155326314550915_1704816174_n

Please Body Follow – MENiNs 25-års jubileum

Kristine Nilsen Omas Please Body Follow  vises under MENiNs 25-års jubileum – pasientorganisasjonen for ME-syke og pårørende.

Dette er et gratis arrangement for offentligheten, og det er også mulig å komme til kun forestillingen som starter ca 19.15.

 

DATO: Torsdag 20 oktober

TID: Kl 18 (forestilling ca 1915)

STED: Grand Selskapslokaler, store Sal

GRAND BERGEN Nedre Ole Bullsplass 1 5012 Bergen

 

Link til facebookarrangement: https://www.facebook.com/events/339923043013527/

(MENiN´s oranisatører sier følger)

VELKOMMEN TIL MENiNS 25 ÅRS JUBILEUM

MENiN er en pasientorganisasjon for ME-syke og pårørende og i år fyller organisasjonen 25 år!

Vi ønsker i den anledning å invitere alle som ønsker å bli med oss på denne dagen, både for å markere MENiN`S 25 års dag og ikke minst for å dele vår kunnskap om en vanskelig sykdom. Vi har MYE spennende på programmet og håper på å se DEG der!

Det er fri entre og det vil være mulig å kjøpe drikke etter eget ønske i baren.

Program

På programmet har vi med oss studiekoordinator for Ritux-ME studiet på Haukelanduniversitetssykehus, Kari Sørland. Dette er et banebrytende studie ved avdeling for kreftbehandling og medisinsk fysikk. Studiet fokuserer på kliniske studier som omhandler mulig medikamentell behandling for ME/CFS og studier som undersøker de biologiske mekanismene bak symptomene.

Vi har også fått med oss musikeren Carl Espen (Thorbjørnsen), som vant den norske finalen i Grand Prix i 2014, med låten «Silent storm».

Vi avslutter kvelden med en fantastisk forestilling av koreograf og dansekunstner Kristine Nilsen Oma, som selv har ME. Hun har laget en meget spesiell forestilling om hvordan det er å leve med ME. Forestillingen tar ca. 45 minutter og er vel verdt å få med seg!

Velkommen!

menin