Performance and installation (ca. 4 hours)
Commissioned and produced by Danish Dance Theatre (DK)
Premiere at Wanås Konst within the context of Anne Hamilton’s installation Lignum, July 2021
The question I posed to the dancers, “What would your last dance be?” is very personal. We set up a safe space for the dancers to explore that question. And found a frame in which their interpretations of the tasks I proposed could encompass their individuality and criticality”, says Tess.
With their answers, Tess and the dancers began to develop movement for the performance that was brought forth from their viewpoints and the outcome of mutual encouragement. The performance is based on each dancer’s exploration, rooting from their answers and producing a group narrative as they shared with each other. In their solos, they sought to be as generous as possible, work with rhythm, interrupt, avoid the “big solo”, get lost in space, and divide their body into small parts. In addition, each dancer’s “Last song” was recorded and became a movable soundscape playing from tiny speakers inside handmade amplifiers.
Last Dances was crafted through attention to sensation and physicality. If we close our eyes, how do we sense the space around us? If we stand close to someone, how do we sense that person without seeing or touching them?
Detailed costumes by the artist Peter Linde Busk include both hand-painted shoes and lashes that partly obscure the dancers’ vision. With Last Dances, Tess continues her work outside the traditional stage and her interest in various meetings with audiences. The audience becomes sensitized to the room through the dancers’ movements and personal stories.
Pontus Lidberg, artistic director of Danish Dance Theatre describes the initiative with Last Dances:
“Contemporary dance is a collective concept, it can be anything from physical theater to movement-based performing arts and installations that approach the visual arts. Danish Dance Theatre embraces the breadth and with this work wants to meet an audience that might otherwise not find us, or we them.”
Peter Linde Busk (b. Copenhagen, 1973 where he lives and works) is educated at the Slade School of Fine Art, London; Hunter College of Art, New York and The Royal Academy of Arts, London. In 2008 he studied at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf with the artist Peter Doig. He has exhibited extensively internationally and in Sweden and had a solo exhibition at Borås Art Museum, 2017. Linde Busk is represented in the collections Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Saatchi Collection, London; Holstebro Art Museum and ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj. In 2020, he was awarded the New Carlsberg Foundation’s Artist Scholarship.
Choreography: Rachel Tess with Danish Dance Theatres dancers
Date and time: July 3–4, 12.30 pm – 4.30 pm
Place: The Barn, Wanås Konst
Dancers: Merete Hersvik, Jessica Lyall, Lucas Threefoot, Edward Pearce, Bradley Waller
Sound: Uli Ruchlinski and dancers
Costume: Peter Linde Busk
Tailor: Maria Ipsen
Artistic Consultant: Isaac Spencer
With support from: Augustinusfonden, Bikubenfonden, Knud Højgaards Fond, Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond
Tickets: firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive a confirmation email showing that you have been offered a seat. The performance is included in the admission fee (maximum 30 people in the room).
Since 2014, Wanås Konst has actively incorporated dance and performance into its program as a long time investment in live art, art that must be experienced in the moment and requires your presence in the here and now.
Photo credit LAST DANCES
-Wanås, 2021, by Thomas Zamolo