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BJÖRN SÄFSTEN

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.

BJÖRN SÄFSTEN - And so we´re gone - August 19, 2024 - Fringe Fragments, Dancebase, Edinburg, Scotland - 12:00
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  • Fringe Fragments, Dancebase, Edinburg, Scotland
  • August 19, 2024
  • 12:00
BJÖRN SÄFSTEN - And so we´re gone - August 19, 2024 - Fringe Fragments, Dancebase, Edinburg, Scotland - 17:00
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  • Fringe Fragments, Dancebase, Edinburg, Scotland
  • August 19, 2024
  • 17:00
BJÖRN SÄFSTEN - I själva verket - September 10, 2024 - Palladium, Allingsås, Sweden -
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  • Palladium, Allingsås, Sweden
  • September 10, 2024
BJÖRN SÄFSTEN - I själva verket - September 12, 2024 - Byteatern, Kalmar - 19:00
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  • Byteatern, Kalmar
  • September 12, 2024
  • 19:00
BJÖRN SÄFSTEN - I själva verket - September 14, 2024 - Sagateatern, Linköping -
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  • Sagateatern, Linköping
  • September 14, 2024
BJÖRN SÄFSTEN - I själva verket - September 16, 2024 - Gävle teater, Gävle - 19:00
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  • Gävle teater, Gävle
  • September 16, 2024
  • 19:00
BJÖRN SÄFSTEN - I själva verket - September 18, 2024 - Jönköpings läns museum, Jönköping -
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  • Jönköpings läns museum, Jönköping
  • September 18, 2024
BJÖRN SÄFSTEN - I själva verket - September 19, 2024 - Jönköpings läns museum, Jönköping -
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  • Jönköpings läns museum, Jönköping
  • September 19, 2024

Photo credits: Märta Thisner

And so we´re gone

Intricate mathematics, existential march, and artificial mundanity are set in motion in choreographer Björn Säfsten’s new work.

From intricate patterns of walking, twists, and sudden stops, the work ‘and so we’re gone’ emerges, forming a detailed yet fascinating web of movement. Central to the work lies the relation between the infinite nature of time and our own finite mortality. Who are we, in the midst of it all?

The work starts with a repeated pattern of walking and develops slowly. A choreographic approach infused with suspense, seriousness, and a dash of fantasy. Through rhythmic shifts, in the pattern of squares, geometries and rituals appear and within that an artificial mundanity is inserted, as snapshots, or are they fantasies? Chopped up intensities from a life lived and a life lost. Is it possible to embody something as abstract as the subjective experience of time? How are we stopped by a memory that suddenly attacks us? Do we understand the inexorable march of time, truly, or perhaps always too late?

Björn Säfsten continues to challenge our perception of time by exploring the abstract and the concrete in the smallest elements of movement, here together with a brilliant quartet of dancers who leave no one indifferent.

Credits
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Choreography: Björn Säfsten in close collaboration with the dancers.

Dancers: Pär Andersson, Philip Berlin, Jade Stenhuijs and Madeleine Lindh

Music: Hans Appelqvist

Costume design: Daniel Åkerström-Steen

Lighting: Susanna Hedin

Thanks to: Anja Arnquist

Supported by: The Swedish Arts Council, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, and Stockholm Stad

Photo credits: Joakim Nyström

I själva verket

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).

Credits
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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
Dramaturge: 
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

Lost Night

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.

 

Credits
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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.