Folk dance, glaciers and science fiction

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January 19, 2010

At the 2010 Bergen International Festival, Hallgrim Hansegård draws parallells between lausdans, glaciers and science fiction.

The dancer became known to an international audience performing with 2009 Eurovision Song Contest winner Alexander Rybak. He also recently performed at the Nobel Peace Prize concert and has been on several European tours.

Hansegård, along with his dance company FRIKAR, has revitalized the Norwegian folk dance tradition. He brings two performances to Bergen: Snuff Grinders, a combination of Norwegian folk dance halling, capoeira and breakdance, as well as the world premiere of the solo performance JAMSÍIS that takes place on a glacier.

Glacial bliss – JAMSÍIS is a cross-discipline dance show in which I am allowed to use my background in folk dance to express what I want, as modernly as I want, cooperating with sound artist Terje Isungset og newly programmed video technology, explains the dancer.

The performance is clearly founded in Hansegård’s own background. The word «jamsíis» means «alongside» or «parallel» in his Norwegian dialect. The performance follows a survivor of a cataclysmic natural disaster in his search for happiness on a glacier.

– Both the glacial ice and folk dance are a couple of thousand years old, but have been challenged by the industrial revolution and urbanization. Both have entered the public consciousness in recent years, and are excellent ingredients of a science fiction story. The glaciers are our countdown timer, and so I am really glad that jazz musician Terje «Iceman» Isungset is part of this performance.

Snowed downHansegård has been working on JAMSÍIS for years. Both injuries and snow have delayed the project.

– I’ve tried to shoot sequences for the performance on a glacier in the Jotunheimen mountains 2000 meters above sea level countless times, but mostly I’ve just been snowed down. Last year I injured my knee before I was able to do any filming, and I didn’t know if I would ever dance again. Finally being able to perform JAMSÍIS at the Bergen International Festival is a dream coming true.

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