In the work and practice of choreographer Björn Säfsten, the body and the mind and its connected actions are scrutinized, dissected and exposed. The focus is often to research how different methods of thinking patterns can alter the way we move. The choreography at hand is seen as a result of a dialog between each performers movement heritage and the choreographic proposition. The physical practice exposes images that result from a certain physical action, often attempting to transform it´s possible representations. The work takes visual twists and turns, often moulding itself while being performed, establishing itself anew each time for each audience encounter. He aims to expose physical dilemmas, deliberately creating situations where the performer’s thoughts are revealed, opened up to the viewer. The work fools around with the notion of language – striving to confuse and divert the viewer from the regularity of bodily reading. The body is seen as a multiplex of wills, desires and directions, moving away from the notion of a bodily and mental entity. The exact texture of the singular movement stands at the core of the work.


In an abstract existence, three individuals come together in an attempt to talk and share a listening coexistence. They form a choir, a flock and at the same time are three different people who talk about what happened before. Together they process a multitude of emotions and attempt in different ways to categorise their impressions, actions and thoughts. Some emotions become embodied and wander away, others enable a physical space to serve as an outlet.

In Lost Night Björn Säfsten and dancers Sophie Augot, Alexander Gottfarb and Marianne Kjaersund attempt to approach the feeling of loss. It´s a puzzle of fictional situations whose building blocks process what it means to lose something or someone. In the performance, the dancers use words, sound, song and movement to take in and sing out the choreography. Composer Hans Appelkvist has created soundscapes, compositions and songs together with the dancers who perform them.



Idea and choreography: Björn Säfsten in close collaboration with participating performers.
Dancers: Sophie Augot, Alexander Gottfarb, Marianne Kjaersund
Music: Hans Appelqvist
Light design: Susanna Hedin
Production manager: Anja Arnquist
Production: Säfsten Produktion and Nordberg Movement

Made possible with support by the Swedish Arts Council, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Stockholms Stad. Residencies at The Swedish Arts Council and Arbeitsplatz Wien.


BJÖRN SÄFSTEN - May 7, 2024 - STHLM DANS, Scenkonstmuseet, Stockholm - 17:30
  • STHLM DANS, Scenkonstmuseet, Stockholm
  • May 7, 2024
  • 17:30
BJÖRN SÄFSTEN - May 8, 2024 - STHLM DANS, Scenkonstmuseet, Stockholm - 17:30
  • STHLM DANS, Scenkonstmuseet, Stockholm
  • May 8, 2024
  • 17:30

An autobiographical and arbitrary all-knowing performance about something everybody does but no one knows what it is: dance!

The title “I själva verket” could in Swedish be read in two ways within this context. As a saying it would translate to “In fact”, but it can also be understood as “In the actual piece”. The title contains Anja Arnquist and Björn Säfstens ambition with this performance. It comes from a strive of wanting to answer and open up conversations that Säfsten has had the last 8 years with audience members regarding contemporary dance, theories of dance practices and why some work might look or be read in a certain way.

Björn Säfsten and Anja Arnquist has developed numerous formats individually and as collaborators such as inter-active perforamances, workshops and performance-lectures to find an adequate meeting ground with a general audience. Both has continually toured around Sweden with this type of projects. An experience that has made them notice patterns in what type of questions and worries that puzzles the audience when it comes to contemporary dance. The questions vary but a number of themes tends to come back. In “I själva verket” Björn attempts to talk and dance, sometimes simultaneously, to show, visualise, explain, question and juggle the complicated issues at hand, always with humour and gentleness.

Where does the movements in contemporary dance come from, how can they be interpreted and is there a right way to understand dance? Is dancing a sort of sign language, where movements have certain meaning? It often seems rather self-centered? And how can I relate the dance to the outside world, the artist or my own history?

This piece is available in several different versions, including a Swedish and an English version (available from June 2024).


Choreography: Björn Säfsten and Anja Arnquist
Performer: Björn Säfsten
Rehearsal director: Anja Arnquist
Set designer: Joakim Nyström
Lighting designer: Anton Andersson
Sound designer: Hans Appelqvist
Gunilla Heilborn
Artistic expert in voguing: Fredrik Quiñones
Conversation partner during the process: Chrysa Parkinson
Extra thank you to: Aviance and Frida Selander

Production Säfsten ProduktionNordberg Movement and Riksteatern. Co-production between Säfsten Produktion and Riksteatern


And so we’re gone is a choreography about emptiness, created out of a sense of frustration and nostalgia towards the ongoing. An expression of the sense of despair and futility that can strike you when you see everything going on without clear direction, progress, or real meaning. A sentiment stemming from the question: what is the meaning of it all?

The work presents four people walking, marching, and strolling through an evolving pattern. They walk concurrently and at the same pace, yet they never really meet. They appear similar to each other since they walk along similar paths. At the same time, their respective variations create intricate patterns, constellations, and formations, which turn into different geometries, rituals, and choreographies. Here, a complex mathematical system emerges, and eventually, other images, like memories, or perhaps fantasies, or pieces of a lost life?

Most of the patterns move toward the center of the room, but there is one place that can never be entered. A place where all the patterns curve around. A place they keep moving towards and relate to but never dare to cross. They step past it and walk around it as if the floor would burn there. It is a place where they could meet – if they dared to – and maybe that is why they try so hard to avoid it?

The work is mainly abstract but, through its ongoing character, carries several possible readings. It is an invitation to be fascinated by its mathematics, while the marching can be perceived as something existential. The work also offers a sense of community as the four people, without meeting, still seem to move around the same problem. They create something bigger here; a pattern and images emerge from the group’s organic movement through the space. What is it that we all share but have a hard time understanding when we are all busy with our lives? And what is the real meaning of this endless ongoing?

Opening October 26th 2023 at Dansens Hus, Stockholm


Choreography: Björn Säfsten
Dancers: Pär Andersson, Philip Berlin, Madeleine Lindh, Jade Stenhuijs
Composer: Hans Appelqvist
Lighting design: Susanna Hedin
Costumes: Daniel Åkerström-Steen
Production: Säfsten Produktion & Nordberg Movement
Photo: Märta Thisner Hedberg

A special thank you to Anja Arnquist

Made possible with support by Kulturrådet/Swedish Arts Council, Stockholms Stad and the Swedish Arts Grants Committe