Working on the "Nyami Nyami" production

Fall 2018 I moved to the north-west side of Norway for six weeks, to join the company Compassion 2 Dance for the rehearsal period of choreographer Tendai Makurumbandi’s new production Nyami Nyami. This was the first time for me, after finishing school, to work in a production of a bigger scale. 

… I will continue to write in Norwegian from now, as I tend to postpone to write here on this bloggish site when I have to write in English. It’s not flowing the same way as it maybe could if I wrote in my own language, so I’ll try that for a while. Doubt there’s any international readers anyways. My goal is to write more often in the time to come, as I’m moving to Thailand in October(!!), and so Norwegian will go faster for me and be easier. But who knows, maybe I’ll switch back to English again when I move to Thailand, we’ll see (lol)! Anyways, lets continue about Sunndalsøra. 

Sunndalsøra surroundings Photo: Ingrid S: Nyhus

Sunndalsøra surroundings
Photo: Ingrid S: Nyhus

Sommeren 2018 var jeg på audition til Compassion 2 Dance sin nye produksjon Nyami Nyami. Det gikk bra og jeg fikk jobben. Min første «ordentlige» dansejobb i en større produksjon, jeg kunne nesten ikke tro det! 

20. Oktober bar det derfor til Sunndalsøra, for å jobbe der i seks uker fremover. Compassion 2 Dance er et lite prosjektbasert kompani, grunnlagt av danser og koreograf Tendai Makurumbandi. Han kommer fra Zimbabwe og endte opp i Norge via en jobb i et kompani i Sverige. I tillegg til å ha skapt flere produksjoner med sitt eget kompani, har han også startet en dansefestival i Sunndalsøra kalt In2IT International Dance festival. Så han er altså en produktiv og flink type, som det var gøy og lærerikt å jobbe med. 

The Nyami Nyami 2018 cast f.l: Mari Sofie Askeland, Sara Steen Holvik, Elisabeth Ludwig, Ingrid S. Nyhus, Eivind Linn, Tendai Makurumbandi, Othnell Mangoma Moyo

The Nyami Nyami 2018 cast
f.l: Mari Sofie Askeland, Sara Steen Holvik, Elisabeth Ludwig, Ingrid S. Nyhus, Eivind Linn, Tendai Makurumbandi, Othnell Mangoma Moyo

Vi var en veldig fin gjeng der borte, og castet forandret seg litt underveis på grunn av uforutsette ting. Sammen med meg først var Sara Steen Holvik, som er en god venninne og som jeg gikk i klasse med alle tre årene på Bårdar. Vi var der alene med Tendai de første to ukene for å utarbeide materiale. Deretter kom Elisabeth Ludwig som bor i Stocholm, er fra Tyskland og som har bodd i Molde de siste årene, og Astrid Serine Hoel. Astrid var så uheldig å skade bløtvevet i foten sin etter en drøy uke, og ble nødt til å dra hjem. Da fikk vi inn Mari Sofie Askeland som Sara hadde jobbet med tidligere. En av danserne fra Zimbabwe som orginalt skulle være med kunne ikke allikevel, så da fikk vi inn dyktige Eivind Linn, etter anbefaling fra meg. Sist men ikke minst hadde vi med oss folkemusikeren og perkusjonisten Othnel fra Zimbabwe, som spilte fantastiske afrikanske rytmer og hadde den vanskelige jobben å geleide oss nordmenn i å få en viss forståelse for disse komplekse afrikanske rytmene. 

F.l.: Eivind Linn, Ingrid S. Nyhus, Elisabeth Ludwig, Mari Askeland

F.l.: Eivind Linn, Ingrid S. Nyhus, Elisabeth Ludwig, Mari Askeland

The view from the dance studio, in the middle of Sunndalsøra. Photo: Ingrid S. Nyhus

The view from the dance studio, in the middle of Sunndalsøra.
Photo: Ingrid S. Nyhus

Vi jentene bodde i en slags hytte, «Kosebu», hvor tre av oss delte soverom og én sov i stua. Vi hadde det kjempekoselig selvom vi bodde tett. Gutta, Eivind og Othnel, bodde rett ved siden av i et fresht og nyoppusset stabbur. En 20-30 minutters gåtur tok oss både til butikken og til dansestudioet, hvor vi trente 4-6 timer hver hverdag i Tendais egene studio, midt i Sunndalsøra. Vi hadde så og si fri i helgene, og noen av oss dro hjem for å jobbe eller besøke sin kjære, sånn som jeg gjorde en helg. 

Photo: Ingrid S. Nyhus

Photo: Ingrid S. Nyhus

Det var virkelig en herlig følelse å bare bo et sted, langt unna alt jeg er vant til, hvor det eneste jeg hadde som oppgave, det eneste jeg skulle fokusere på og bruke energi på å gjøre, var å danse og yte mitt ypperste 5 timer om dagen fem dager i uka. Det førte til en innvendig ro jeg ikke hadde følt på lenge, og jeg fikk stor motivasjon til å virkelig utnytte tiden jeg hadde der til å trene hardt, slik at arbeidet med «Nyami Nyami» også førte til dansnerisk og fysisk egenutvikling. 

F.l.: Mari Askeland, Ingrid S. Nyhus, Sara Steen Holvik

F.l.: Mari Askeland, Ingrid S. Nyhus, Sara Steen Holvik

Da det ble tid for forestilling følte vi oss både klare og slitene, vi ble kjørt hardt helt frem til og under forestillingsdagene. Det var ny erfaring for meg, å måtte samle tankene og energien for å klare å gjennomføre en 50 minutters fysisk tung forestilling, med kvalitetene og uttrykkene man hadde jobbet frem under innstuderingsperioden inntakt når det gjaldt. Det var en god utfordring som jeg vokste mye på. 

From the studio F.l.: Ingrid S. Nyhus, Eivind Linn

From the studio
F.l.: Ingrid S. Nyhus, Eivind Linn

Forestillingen “Nyami Nyami“ handler om et gammelt folkeeventyr, eller sagn, fra Zimbabwe, om guden Nyami Nyami også kalt “Zambezi river god”. Denne guden, eller skikkelsen, er en av de viktigste gudene for Tonga-folket i Zimbabwe og Zambia. Den beskyttet Tonga-folket og gav dem styrke i vanskelige tider. Tendai gjorde et forprosjekt i Zimbabwe, hvor han utforsket Tonga-folkets dansestil, samt dypdykket i historien rundt Nyami Nyami. Historien handler om et vesen som blir sett på som guden over Zembezi-dalen og elven som var der før demningen som skapte den store elven Kariba kom. Kariba renner mellom Zimbabwe og Zambia. Nyami Nyami blir beskrevet som et mannlig vesen med kroppen til en slange og hodet til en fisk, eller elvedrage, som styrte livet under og over elven. Om det var dårlige tider, og folket trengte kjøtt, vendte vesenet ryggen sin til folket, slik at de kunne spise av kjøttet på ryggen hans. Om Nyami Nyami var forbannet over noe, var det kjent at ånden hans kunne vise seg gjennom besittelse av stammens eldre, eller åndelige medium. Nyami Nyami hadde også en kone, som styrte sammen med han, og sagnet går ut på at de ble splittet på hver sin side av demningen, da den ble bygget i moderne tid. Dette skal ha gjort Nyami Nyami svært fornærmet. Tonga-folket tror at oversvømmelsene og de mange dødsfallene under byggingen av demningen var et resultat av Nyami Nyamis vrede, og siden den gang har han aldri mer vist seg i menneskenes verden. Det er stadig små jordskjelv i området, og Tonga-folket mener dette er Nyami Nyami som prøver å rive ned demningen, for å fullføre hans løfte til Tonga-folket om å gi dem tilbake elven slik den var, og dermed også hjemmene deres slik de var. Det var også en fortelling om noen hvite fugler, som alltid er og var å se på noen stener i elven. Fuglene var mystiske for de forsvant aldri uansett forhold ved elven. Disse fuglene ble både sett på som Nyami Nyamis voktere og budbringere, en kobling både mellom folket og Nyami Nyami, og Nyami Nyami og folket.

The birds. F.l.: Ingrid S. Nyhus, Sara Steen Holvik

The birds.
F.l.: Ingrid S. Nyhus, Sara Steen Holvik

The birds. F.l.: Ingrid S. Nyhus, Sara Steen Holvik

The birds.
F.l.: Ingrid S. Nyhus, Sara Steen Holvik

Vi gjennomførte tre forestillinger: på Sunndal Kulturhus, Molde Kulturskole og Surnadal Kulturhus. Det var fantastisk å få danse på så flotte scener som Sunndal- og Surnadal Kulturhus! Det som er litt synd er at det er vanskelig å dra publikum til så moderne forestillinger på så små plasser. Moderne dans er nok fortsatt sett på som vanskelig å forstå og sette pris på mange steder i Norge, og vi har en vei å gå for å få «vanlige» folk til å forstå at moderne dansekunst kan være fantastisk underholdende, interessant og tankevekkende å se på! Denne forestillingen blir enda mere interessant ved at den blander moderne dans med afrikansk folkedans, levende musikk, moderne rytmer, sang og mystikk.

F.l.: Sara Steen Holvik, Elisabeth Ludwig, Ingrid S. Nyhus, Mari Askeland, Eivind Linn

F.l.: Sara Steen Holvik, Elisabeth Ludwig, Ingrid S. Nyhus, Mari Askeland, Eivind Linn

F.l.: Elisabeth Ludwig, Mari Askeland, Ingrid S. Nyhus, Sara Steen Holvik

F.l.: Elisabeth Ludwig, Mari Askeland, Ingrid S. Nyhus, Sara Steen Holvik

Så, for eventuelle nye publikummere, «Nyami Nyami» settes nå opp igjen i høst, 2019, under Bergen Afro Arts Festival 22. september, i Bergen, og under In2IT International Dance Festival i Sunndalsøra 28. september. Det skal bli skikkelig gøy å ta opp denne forestillingen igjen, og jeg gleder meg til å danse med mange fra det gamle castet samt bli kjent med nye dansere som skal være med i år!

Atmosphere Dance camp in Kiev, Ukraine

From Berlin, my travel led far more east, to Atmosphere dance camp in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. I was a bit nervous traveling to this big eastern country by my self, but for no reason. The travel went smoothly and suddenly I found my self in the middle of Kievs city center. My cheap hostel was maybe the strangest most shabby place I have ever stayed, but at least I had a privat double room, with a shower. A big plus was that the hostel was placed right next to the sports palace, where the dance camp was situated. I was very curious of what this dance camp would be like, would I meet some new friends, would the dancing be hard or easy and what would the styles be like? I expected this week to be very different from Berlin, and also from what I normally do at home. More detailed choreography and more urban contemporary. 

The first day came, and I will say my expectations were met. It was even more different from what I imagined actually and a very big and interesting contrast to the workshop in Berlin. I would say the styles were more in urban hip hop land than what I thought, thus also even more challenging for me. It was also many participants, mostly from Ukraine, and some from Russia and Belarus. Luckily for me, most of the choreographers was international, so they spoke english. Thats also how I found my friends, while staying there. We were only a few people from other countries, who had to speak English, or be spoken English to, so we found each other the first day when we needed a translator, and became good friends quickly. The two girls I was there with the whole week was Hanako from Japan, currently based in Barcelona, Spain, and Viktoria from Slovakia. After some days we also met Hannah from Sweden and Anna from Estonia. 

Photo: Hanako Nakajima My two lovely new friends Victoria and Hanako.

Photo: Hanako Nakajima
My two lovely new friends Victoria and Hanako.

All of us ‘internationals‘: Hanako, Victoria, Anna, Hannah and me. I hope I’ll se you all again!

All of us ‘internationals‘: Hanako, Victoria, Anna, Hannah and me. I hope I’ll se you all again!


And oh how much I learned from being there! Not only because many of the styles were so different from what I’m used to, but there is a whole community I knew nothing about. This community it seems to me is much more in to watching dance videos on youtube and instagram then what I’m used to, maybe from known dance studios in LA or New York, and everyone knows everyone of these choreographers, and some of them are like superstars. At the dance camp they were very focused on filming small groups, the «best» three or five and also the choreographers by them selves. I’m not necessarily a huge fan of all that, but it was absolutely interesting to be a part of this kind of commercial dance community for a short while. It was also fun to take classes with so many different dancers in age and level. Many kids tok all the professional classes and just did their best, probably most excited for watching the amazing dancers from Ukraines «So you think you can dance». And there was teenagers aspiring to become dancers, curious of what we, the international and professional, did, which schools we’d gone to etc. I hope I was able to inspire some of those kids or teenagers with my own individuality and way of interpret those choreographies. 

Choreography - Cat Cogliandro at Atmosphere Dance Camp, Kiev, Ukraine. Here I am in the front. Cat really pushed me and I’m thankful for that. I’m not the best daring to stand in the front when I’m not 100% comfortable with the moves, but when will I ever be? As you can se, I really need to practice relaxing more in those “hiphop-ish” moves!

We danced in a big sports hall, with no mirrors, huge floor to roof windows and a small stage for the teachers in front. It was very hot also here, but it was ok in such a big hall. Some times it was so hot it became steamy in there, like there was a layer of mist over the whole area. The sports palace is located right next to the big football stadium, the olympic stadium, which was used under the European Football Championship in 2012.

The week consisted of five 1,5 hour classes a day, with a break on the Wednesday. I went to almost every one of the classes, except from the last three days when my boyfriend arrived and stayed with me for the last weekend. I hadn’t seen him for two weeks, so I was very happy to see him again, and also to show him the vibrating, cool and exotic city that Kiev is. So, the three last days became a bit amputated because I wanted to see as much as possible of Kiev, but I still got two or three classes, which I’m happy for. Daniele Sibilli (IT) for example, who was one of the choreographers I went there for in the first place, only had classes the last days, so I only got to take 1,5 classes with him because the classes was delayed and I had an appointment.. to take tattoos! Hopefully I get another opportunity to take classes with him, cause he is amaaazing! It was the last chance to take a tattoo there before we left, so we just had to take advantage of the opportunity. It costs much less than in Norway (off course, everything is very expensive here) and the tattoo artist was very talented and kind. He drew sketches for me when I couldn’t quite make up my mind the first day we were there, and I ended up choosing an abstract dance sketch that I absolutely adore. I have thought about taking a tattoo to represent movement and dance for over ten years now, and finally I have taken one that I love. It’s, to me, not cheesy and not too concrete, but a bit abstract and artsy and different and to some probably weird, just as I would like it to be. I’ll post a picture of it. The tattoo studio is named Yo space tattoo, and the tattoo artists name is Egor Strelkov, or 32_40_tattoo on instagram. I also took a random small and simpel flower, just because I felt like it :) 

My new little tattoo.

My new little tattoo.

On our day of we went out to Topone Dance Studio to check out a concept called contemporary duell. Oh hello how inspired I got by watching that! I have never been to urban dance battles before, but I imagine this was very similar to that, just with contemporary improv in sted. The dancers were so cool and talented, and the environment so friendly and chill. Everyone cheered for everyone, and they danced their asses off. We watched kids duells to, and it was the same here. Super talented and strong kids, daring to go out there in the circle and dance alone, showing off, and hugging it out with the one who didn’t make it to the next round. Of course the kids had a bit more focus on overly flexible backs and legs, but it amazed me how mature they seemed in their movement language overall. Also here there were dancers from So you think you can dance Ukraine, who appeared like hipster super stars, dressed like the new hipster rapers in Norway, who really seemed like good and inspiring role models for the kids. I must say I loved this concept, the warm and welcoming atmosphere and what a great arena this was to explore improvisation in contemporary dance, and making it more available for a different type of audience, highly entertaining and inspiring! Maybe I’ll dare to join if I ever go to Kiev again, or maybe I’ll one day work on putting up the concept in Norway, we’ll see about that.

Contemporary Dance Duel in Kiev at Topone Dance Studios. Please, if you know these dancers feel free to contact me so that I can name and credit them.

Other international choreographers we had was Cat Cogliandro (US), Stephen Aspinall (UK/NL), Jeremy Lepine (BE), Iker Karrera (ES), Anita Sawicka (PL) and Raymond Naval (US/ES). We also had a few Ukrainan choreographers who spoke Ukranian. I learnt a lot from every one of them, each with their different approach to, what I call, urban contemporary/ commercial contemporary. In some of the classes I was challenged because I felt weird and uncomfortable with the style, wether that it was much more hip hop ish than I’m used to or like hot and sexy, and I had to push myself trough it and try to get rid of some of those boundaries. In other classes I was challenged because it was a lot of smal detailed guests and moves and long choreographies in which I had to train my focus, memory and keeping my head cold my tongue in my mouth, as we say in Norway. I loved all these challenges, and I am certain that I came home with a brain that learn choreography a little bit faster than before and a body more adaptable to detailed moves. I’m gonna keep on practicing this cause I think they are necessary skills also in the contemporary dance world that I usually find myself in.

Dancers: Anna-Maria Laius, Lisa Ingrand Loustau, Ingrid S. Nyhus. Choreographer: Iker Karrera. Maybe I need a little practice dancing in front of a camera like this ;)

I will absolutely recommend Kiev as a city to travel to! It’s cheap, fun and different, and in my experience totally safe. A little side track tip; my boyfriend and I went to a marked a bit outside the city core. Such a cool experience! It’s named Lesnaya market and is located next to the Lisova metro station. The longer in there you get the more piles of second hand clothes appear. It may seem a bit shabby and dirty, but we found it very exotic and exciting and ended up with five bags of cool second hand clothes. There’s also a big food market there worth checking out. 

My boyfriend and I continued our journey after Kiev to Riga and Liepaja in Latvia, went back to Berlin and ended in Prague, Czech Republic. We had a very nice journey and it was good to get back home after a month of traveling. Next I will write about staying in Sunndalsøra, Norway for six weeks, for my first payed job as a dancer in a bigger production. Until then!

A month of traveling, starting with a zen week in Berlin

The last week of July it was time for me to turn outwards again and head over to my favorite place; Kreuzberg, Berlin. I was attending a one weeks Ultima Vez workshop at Tanz Fabrik Berlin with Rob Hayden. Again I didn’t get the travle funding from FFUK (Fond For Utøvende Kunstnere) so I had worked double shifts throughout July to afford the long journey I was about to start. And I have to say, the second I stepped out of the air plain, my shoulders released and my head became lighter. After such a stressful month it was a pleasure knowing that all I needed to focus on the following week was my self getting to and from the workshop and my body moving and interacting with others in those many hot and sweaty hours in the studio. I totally released, for example I noticed my self walking really slow just breathing an takin in all impressions from my surroundings. 

Clearly the workshop it self was a big part of the reason behind the zen mode I found my self in over there. Not only because Rob himself is a very calm and collected human being, but also because of all the tasks we did. I had a beautiful week in Berlin at the Tanz Fabrik studio together with a range of different people, both in age and background, and I can absolutely recommend Ultima Ved workshops with Rob Hayden. You get many tasks for center stability, a lot of improvisation and challenging acting tasks, time flies an Rob gives the classes a flow of continuation that keeps you going for several hours every day without giving it a thought. In the clip below you get some glimts from the workshop, captured by Sanja Tošić.

Glimts of a five days Ultima Vez workshop with Rob Hayden. Captured by Sanja Tošić

My journey then continued from Berlin over to the east, to the exotic, big and intriguing capital of Ukraine; Kiev. Still traveling alone, I entered this journey a bit more thrilled, and at the same time nervous, not knowing quite what laid ahead… stay tuned, a post about my stay in Kiev is coming soon.

Fun under the rainbow! We didn’t get to the lake, but we found something else to chill us down.

Rob and Rob. Rob Hayden to the right and Rob the student to the left.

Beautiful sunset over Tempelhof.

Zen walks absorbing the atmosphere of Kreuzberg by the river.

The ladies and me. Beautiful humans attending the workshop.

The big and charming studio at Tanz-Fabrik Berlin

Met my lovely friend Cassandra, from the Bårdar academy in Norway, randomly in Berlin. Hadn’t seen each other in ages!

Met my lovely friend Cassandra, from the Bårdar academy in Norway, randomly in Berlin. Hadn’t seen each other in ages!

2018 spring came and went with a blast

For new years I gave myself some goals to reach for 2018; do a new solo project, do a collaborative project, get a job through audition, travel somewhere international to dance.. When I sat these goals I didn't have any idea how 2018 was gonna turn out and I thought to my self that if I fulfill just one of these goals, I will be pretty satisfied. Now summer is here and what have I accomplished? Well, more than I could ever anticipate actually.. 

First I started on a new solo project in January. Me and my boyfriend sat and listened to some African psychedelic fuzz funk one evening, and suddenly I (read we) got super inspired to do something with this music in the contemporary dance area. I later dug deep in to the history of the music, and got even more inspired. I entered an application to this dance concept called Vin&Valsen, arranged by Dansekollektivet, and the next evening I got a mail saying they would like to have my piece performed on their first event early in March! Full of excitement and joy, knowing someone else also liked my idea, I started an intensive creative prosess, making my second solo project: Psychedelic Fuzz. I could never have done the project in such a short time periode without the help from my old ballet studio KGB Dans og Ballett, which provided me with their great studios to rehears in. This project was so intense and fun, and I am very pleased with the outcome. Hopefully I can perform it again and also develop it even further in the future. You can read more about the projects background etc. and se a recap here.

Meanwhile I was working on Psychedelic Fuzz, I also worked on a collaborative project with my friend and gorgeous dancer Aurora Itland . We were inspired to work with each other after we met on the former project Trofast. Also inspired by the campaign #metoo we made the piece Overmann. Overmann means superior man in Norwegian (more information about the piece under 'Projects' coming soon). Not knowing where to perform this new piece and with a shared interest of moviemaking, we decided to contacted my cousin Torfinn Rønning Sanderud, who is a professional cinematographer. It turned out he also was both interested and excited to work on a creative project with dancers! And then, in early June, we found ourselves running around among tall grass and birch trees out on the country side outside of Oslo, surrounded by millions of mosquitos, dancing and repeating as the sun set. And home we went with a thousand mosquito bites and a lot of movie material. This way of working is new to all of us, so we decided to call this a test project to learn from, and then maybe do something again i the future, with Torfinn with us from the beginning. We are now at the end of the prosess, where Torfinn is editing the movie in between all his other jobs and duties, very excited to see the final result! And while we are waiting, here are some stills. 

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After I had performed Psychedelic Fuzz at Kulturhuset in Oslo, I was contacted by one of the girls in Dansekollektivet, running the event. She wanted to apply with a piece for Oslo Jazzdansfestival, Oslos first festival for jazz dance, and she wondered if I would like to join! Super happy that someone had seen me and wanted to work with me because of a previous performance I off course said YES, and in one two three, over a couple of days, Caroline Blomqvist had gathered a group of five dancers. We learnt some material og made a short video to send with the application and ..Oslo Jazzdansfestival said yes, they would very much like to invite us to perform both days! The piece was called MOTUS which means movement in latin. And on we went with the process of creating the piece, which I must say, is the smoothest most fun process I've been in so far! All of us get along so good, and Caroline has been so creative, efficient and smart leading the process. This resulted in a beautiful and playful piece which got a lot of great feedback from the audience. We were all very satisfied with our performances, AND Oslos first jazz dance festival had full house both days, HURRAY! A lot of creds to the two hard working ladies Ingvild Vaagsether and Natalie Dahl who started the festival, may it continue for many more years!  

We are now talking about developing 'MOTUS' due to the good respons and smooth collab we had. I'm crossing fingers for that to happen, and are looking forwards to hopefully working with the girls again this fall. 

In between all this, I also got to perform Kapittel X again at a charity event for WWF, go to 'projects' or 'videos' to see a recap of that performance.

So there we are, summer is here, I'm waiting for an answer from an audition I attended, this summer i'm going to a five days Ultima Vez workshop in Berlin and then a one weeks dance camp in Kiev. I'm going alone again and I'm am very excited! And suddenly I realize that I have accomplished so many of my 2018 goals already, and life just keeps on rolling.. it's funny how it is like that. And it is good to know that as long as you work hard, it will always work out, in some way or another, and it will keep on rolling.

Motus by Carolin Blomqvist Photo: Jan Khür

Motus by Carolin Blomqvist
Photo: Jan Khür

Motus by Carolin Blomqvist Photo: Jan Khür

Motus by Carolin Blomqvist
Photo: Jan Khür

"En kveld på Scenehuset til inntekt for Amnesty International"


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The night, December 10th, was finally here, Trofast, now called De Trofaste (the faithful ones), was performing at Scenehuset, near Majorstuen in Oslo. I was also lucky to get to perform Kapittel X as one of three solos at the same show. This was a show with free entrance, where the audience could choose to donate money to Amnesty International. More audience than we’d expected showed up, it was a great evening and we managed to collect 2500 NOK to give to Amnesty. Again I was overwhelmed by how many of my friends and family who showed up! I am so grateful for that 'cause it makes performing on stage a bit extra exciting, nerve wracking and fun, and it makes me happy to see that they care about what I’m doing.

Before December 10th, De Trofaste got to perform short versions of the piece at both Teatertreff 2017 and Mind the Gap 2017. At Mind the Gap the concept is to practice with a professional mentor who gives his/hers constructive thoughts on the project where it is in the process, the projects work on it as they please, and then perform the work in progress in front of an audience. Afterwards we all gather in a big circle and the projects get new feedback from their respective mentors and the audience in plenary. This, I think, was very useful to our group, many thoughts appeared and the piece changed quite dramatically during this process.

De Trofaste eventually became a 30 minute piece with a comical twist where R Kelly played a certain role throughout the whole thing, and the audience was conflicted as to when they could laugh or not. The if they could laugh or not- concept turned out to be both difficult and very interesting to work with, which I quite liked, and was one of the elements that caused a lot of big changes during the last part of the creative process. In the end the audience, it seemed, was digging it and found it both funny, weird and interesting which also sums up the whole experience working on this project. I have learned so much from the process and it will be exciting to see if and how Anette and Sunniva, the two girls running the project, will proceed in 2018. This piece was filmed, so hopefully I will be able to put together a little something to upload here.

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Kapittel X opened the whole evening and this time the stage lay out was perfect! The projector was set hight up, on like a balcony, so that the whole back wall became the movie screen, and no shadows occurred when I danced in front of it. Unfortunately something happened with the videocamera/camera man, so I didn’t get it on tape.. but at least I have some photos of how it looked. I don’t know what next chapter for Chapter X will be right now, but it has been a great experience and I hope I get to perform it again some time. In the meanwhile I’ve started on my second solo project and I am super inspired! I will write more about that later :)

Kapittel X, realizing a dream

Soooo, a long time since this happened, but my first solo project "Kapittel X" premiered at the Passion for Ocean festival in Oslo the 26th of August, and it went very well! I can almost not explain the extremely overwhelming feeling I got just as a result of actually putting something out into life that I have been working on for so long. I am so proud of myself for accomplishing this.. and it has been a long prosess, from this being an idea in my head, to finding music material and mix that, to finding someone who wanted to show it, to film the background video and editing it, to creating choreography and structure and to finally put it all together and perform it. Wow, I have learned so much! 

First of all, the realization that if I want to create something, it's all in my hands, I can do it my self, was an epiphany as well as a deliverance. You have always heard that with hard work and a strong belief, you can accomplish most things, and now I know that´s true. In the beginning I thought that I had to get funding from somewhere, I had to get someone professional to film and edit and I had to perform on a stage where the audience was used to see contemporary dance. When I realized that all of this was almost impossible to achieve without any money, prior professional experience or contacts, I chose to find another way, in stead of giving up.

I contacted untraditional arenas and platforms who was in to creating attention around the environmental challenges from different angles. I also thought to my self that -Hey, it can't be that difficult to create a cool video my self? My boyfriend is a very creative, art interested graphic designer and art director who is all in to developing him self in different new areas, and he was eager to help me make a movie, although he'd never done it before, and also pushed me to just go for it. So, we borrowed a SLR camera from my dad, and we went for it. 

With my man as my personal camera man and me as our own director we spent at least eight hours over two days, filming outside. And I´ll tell ya that water was cold. And not especially welcoming either.. I think some people don´t even let their dogs swim in that pool. But I did. All for the art is all I can say! Well, it all payed off because the result was great, and it turned out even better than what had in mind. With that said, three full days with editing from sun rise to sun set is much of the reason behind. I got to use my boyfriends professional editing program, which he had not used before, and started by learning some basic stuff. I had to choose a few effects and tools that I could manage and understand, and stick to those. From there I worked my way through eight hours of material, and carefully selected clips that would fit the background concept and the story. This prosess was really like navigating through a jungle, killing darlings and keeping my head over water at the same time, and it ended with a result that I'm very proud of, as well as a gain of a lot of new experience and useful knowledge. When the video was a reality it felt like I had taken a big step in this creative prosess, and the rest just fell in to place. 

I had choreography that inspired my work, thoughts and movement during the filming, and the result of the film prosess inspired me even further when finishing the choreography and composition of the piece. 

Suddenly all of my assumptions about this being impossible was blown away, and I had actually realized my own thoughts with very few means!

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Then it was time to perform. I did not get to have any rehearsals at the location I was gonna perform, and all the prior training and rehearsals had been in my own living room. Thankfully I got to at least see the location, and plan where to dance and make sure the sound and video was good to go in advance. In addition to that the sight was outside on solid asphalt ground, and the performance area had a bit difficult layout with one area in front of the small scene platform in the middle, and one area in front of the big screen where the video played, WHICH was too fare away from the audience to dance in front of. So you can safely say that I was a tiny bit nervous before I went on, but despite these small location challenges it actually went very well, and I felt so good after I had delivered. 

I was moved by how many of my family and friends that came to see the performance, that means more to me than they maybe understand. I was also moved by all the positive reactions and feedback the background video (find it on the video page) got when I put it online. It means a lot to me to be able to create something that touches people and makes them react and think about an important subject.

I want to send a big thank you to the people behind the Passion for Ocean festival for letting me show my work, creating awareness and for creating such an important happening for the precious ocean life. A big thank you also to Karoline Hestnes who was in charge of the Passion for Fashion section of the festival, and who in the end were the one who made sure my project got the best possible performance location at the festival. I hope our paths meet again, maybe at next years festival. 

// Ingrid S. Nyhus

Project Trofast, second rehersals

Photo: Left side Aurora Louise Haugen Itland, right side Ingrid S. Nyhus, from rehersals at TRAFO.

Photo: Left side Aurora Louise Haugen Itland, right side Ingrid S. Nyhus, from rehersals at TRAFO.

August 14th to august 18th project Trofast had a week of rehersals each day from 09 to 16-17. It has been a long time since I have practiced that much every day for so many days in a row. It felt very good, we pushed hard, and created a lot together. The group now consists of six people, and its a very good crowd to work with. Now we are all looking for opportunities as to where to show the piece, and we are hoping that after the first planned performance in December, we will have more performances to come in 2019. We meet again at the end of September, and it is gonna be exciting to see how fare we will get then. Until next time!

Photo: From the right: Eivind R. Scheistrøen, Ingrid S. Nyhus, Aurora Louise Haugen Itland, Helle Storvik, Sunniva Øverland og Anette Tømmerholen

Photo: From the right: Eivind R. Scheistrøen, Ingrid S. Nyhus, Aurora Louise Haugen Itland, Helle Storvik, Sunniva Øverland og Anette Tømmerholen

Project Trofast, first rehearsals

This weekend Project Trofast (faithful) started of with the first rehearsals for a performance in December 2017. I was so lucky to get to be a part of this after an audition in March, and I'm so happy that I get to work with this talented and cool group of dancers. The project is driven by two crafty and vigorous girls; Anette Tømmerholen and Sunniva Øverland. 

The view from our rehearsal studio at Trafo Kunstnerhus, Oslo Teatersenter, Tøyen

The view from our rehearsal studio at Trafo Kunstnerhus, Oslo Teatersenter, Tøyen

The rehearsal took place in this beautiful building from 1915 at Tøyen, Oslo, that used to be a substation, 'transformatorstasjon', thereby the nickname Trafo. It was such a good feeling to move in this bright room with a view over Oslo, and it created a really good atmosphere. 

The projects theme is about faith, belief and religion which has already proven to be very interesting to work with and reflect around. How this is going to be reflected in movement and dynamics is going to be even more interesting.

 

I am really looking forwards to the next time we meet, in August, and to see what the rest of this creative prosess brings us. I'm excited to see the result of the project and I'm positiv this experience will help me develop even further as a dance artist.

 

// Ingrid S. Nyhus

Interplay summer intensive in Berlin

June 1th to June 4th I traveled alone for the very first time in my life. The trip went to Berlin where I was to attend a summer intensive with the beautiful dancer, choreographer and video artist, Andrea Hackl. I had rented a room through AirBnb in a flat close to vibrant Kreuzberg and was very exited when I stepped out of the air plain. 

I didn't quite know where to go, or what to do when I arrived, and the last turist bus had left, so I just looked at the map I had bought and decided for an area. I managed my way on the u-bane, and ended up in beautiful Viktoria Park, which was a very good choice.

Waterfall in Viktoria Park

Waterfall in Viktoria Park

After some time in the park, I found an Italian place and ate alone for the first time. It was a surprisingly good feeling to sit there alone and enjoy the surroundings and the atmosphere, and of course a glass of red wine. With a full stomach I took a stroll down the river towards my current home, and got a taste of the vibrant and chill Kreuzberg. Since it was such good weather people had poured out into the street and just sat on the ground drinking beer and enjoying each others company..

Day 2 in Berlin, and the interplay summer intensive was coming up. Lasting from 1100 until 1530 ish, with a 30 minutes break, it really was intensive. The course took place in a beautiful studio/ stage place called Laborgras (<-- check it out) and we were only five people attending the first day, three the second day and two the last day. I was the only one who was there all three days which only made the experience more intensive and valuable to me. This is the first so called intensive i have attended after finishing school, and it felt very good to push, work and concentrate for so long hours again. Andrea Hackl (<-- check her out), who was the teacher, had many interesting tasks to solve while improvising as well as master classes with a main focus on release technique and floor work. It really was a deliverance to get to challenge myself with this kind of work again!

The entrance to the backyard that led to studio Laborgras

I have to say that the place I stayed at was exceptional, and the two girls who lived there was so lovely. My second evening in Berlin they took me to a culture festival in Kreuzberg, which was awesome, and Mariela, the hostess, even asked me to join her little dinner get together with some of her friends before I left for the airport the last day. I really couldn't have asked for a better place to live in Berlin, pluss; it was only a five minute walk down to studio Laborgras! 

After the second day, we got to see Andrea Hackls own solo performance 'Wild horse run' (<-- get a sneak peak here). It was a great performance with a lot of power and movement that was inspired my the words freedom and courage. The performance also had a lot of creative artistic elements which made it an art performance as well as a dance performance. For example were the audience given a piece of paper where they had to answer a couple of questions before it began, which later became a part of the performance. This made the performance feel even more relatable to the audience as well as emotional and real. I think the piece was inspirational and beautiful and it was interesting to be able to connect certain elements and parts of the performance to what we had learned so far during the intensive.

Andrea Hackl during her performance 'Wild horse run'

Andrea Hackl during her performance 'Wild horse run'

I am so happy that I joined this summer intensive. I really pushed my limits, both by traveling alone and by attending something alone where I didn't know what to expect. This also allowed my body movement to travle new places and open up to new patterns and abilities, which was the main ambition with this trip. We played with giving and receiving weight, leting go and taking control and some very eye opening and interesting tasks. One of these tasks was one we called 'the birth'. Laying on the floor with the back up, everyone attending laying on top of you, pushing you down, you were supposed to try to push your self up end fight free, which was impossible and exhausting. On the teachers signal, everyone on top let go and spread to the sides in the room and you, the person underneath, was free. You were now going to improvise with this sensation in you body, and just do exactly what you felt like doing. And I'll tell ya, for me it was quite a sensation! I got the same feeling you get when someone pushes your armes down, and after a while let go, and it feels like your arms fly by them selves upwards. Except for me, after this, it felt like the whole body wanted to fly upwards, and I don't think my body has ever felt that light and at the same time stable before. It really was a fascinating and fun way to find new ways to move end feel the body. We also did 'the shake' where we shaked or trembled for 20 minutes with eyes closed, only increasing, never decreasing and then stoped. This also created a new sensation in my body. I felt very grounded and attached to the floor, and at the same time my limbs and joints felt loose in a good way and there was a lot of space in my body. All this created a nice flow, and made it feel very good to move afterwards.

INTERPLAY DANCE INTENSIVE | RESEARCH LAB @ Studio Laborgras [Berlin / De] June 2017 - dancers in the video: Julia Kathriner [Germany] & Ingrid S. Nyhus [Norway]

I want to send a big thank you to Andrea Hackl for holding the interplay summer intensive, to all the wonderful dancers I got to meet and interact with, and to Studio Laborgras who let me move in such a beautiful space. This experience has expanded my horizon, and is hopefully the first of many more to come.

// Ingrid S. Nyhus