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. We aim 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.

The operations of Säfsten Produktion is 2018 made possible with generous support by the Swedish Arts Council, Stockholms Stad and the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

contact: info@nordbergmovement.se

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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”. Swedes also use it as an expression saying ”I praktiken” meaning literally ”In the practice” saying “in the real world” or “In the actual”. The title contains and projects the 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.

Säfsten has developed numeros formats for conversations, workshops and performance-lecture to find an adequate meeting ground with a general audience. During the last 8 years he has continually toured around Sweden with this type of projects. An experience that has made him 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” he attempts to talk and dance, sometimes simultaneously, to show, visualise, explain, question and juggle the complicated issues at hand.

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?

It’s of course impossible to answer all questions or to give a certain, fully or even a broad understanding of a whole artfield within an hour, but maybe it’s possible to give a little insight to some questions that echo in the audience. The piece is not attempting to give clear or easy answers; it’s rather feeding of the complications of the themes being brought up. Some answers will be spoken, others will be danced, some will be questioned, others left hanging, but many will be touched and attempted. Hopefully the audience will be stimulated in both mind and body and leave the theater with helpful thoughts to continue exploring the vast and interesting field called contemporary dance.

Production Säfsten Produktion, Nordberg Movement and Riksteatern. Co-production between Säfsten Produktion and Riksteatern

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 Produktion, Nordberg Movement and Riksteatern. Co-production between Säfsten Produktion and Riksteatern

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Online viewing trough Riksteatern

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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.

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.

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Upcoming dates

THIS THAT UNRAVELS (2022)

This That Unravels is a meditation on patterns based on an idea by choreographer Björn Säfsten. Something appearing and disappearing, being relocated and displaced. All intertwined, on a journey where things occur and take shape, develop into different situations, sink away like a long chain where the end is hidden in the mist. Sprung from a mutual pulse, shifting between five people, This That Unravels creates moments of cacophony and exponential progressions.

“I’ve been fascinated by patterns ever since I was a child. By how different elements can be joined together in various ways to shape different formations. By how the elements that make up a pattern relate to each other and decide on the chain of logic that will be repeatable. From such a decision, logic can be repeated indefinitely.” Björn Säfsten

”A pattern has no clear beginning or end, and perhaps this sense of a constant continuation is what fascinated me? It seemed as if I could experience an eternity within a pattern. At the same time, I found it enjoyable to trace the logic, understand it, and break down the mathematics. When patterns are embodied, they approach being or acting as behaviors. Therein lies many risks as well as a potential for how bodies can take shape within collective systems. At this current moment, there is a desire to both awaken and narrate these notions and to challenge them towards a kind of hopeful critique.” – Björn Säfsten

Björn Säfsten has invited five dancers to the process, all new acquaintances – Pär Andersson, Yared Cederlund, Daniella Eriksson, Bambam Frost, and Maia Means. The performance is developed during the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022, in close collaboration with the dancers in the studio,

Costume design is by the acclaimed Danish duo KasperSophie. Original music is composed by KABLAM. In this work, Björn Säfsten is once again working with lighting designer Susanna Hedin.


Choreography:
Björn Säfsten, in close collaboration with the dancers
Dancers: Pär Andersson, Yared Tilahun Cederlund, Daniella Eriksson, Bambam Frost and Maia Means
Music: KablamKablam
and “The Fabolous Song”, text and music by Yared Tilahun Cederlund
Lighting design: Susanna Hedin
Costume design: KasperSophie

Production: Säfsten Produktion and Nordberg Movement

Co-production Säfsten Produktion, MDT and Rum för dans.
Made possible with support by Kulturrådet/The Swedish Arts Council and Stockholms Stad