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The Last-0180-Edit.jpg


Performance and installation (ca. 4 hours)

Premiered at Gamla Skofabriken, MARC in Knislinge August 2023


The Last is a quasi dys/utopian Gala Des Étoiles staged in a former shoe factory. It is a celebration of dancing, dancers, and personal dance histories. It is the ‘last’ in a series of ‘lasts’ for six dancers dispersed, alone, and simultaneously together, bound by an immersive soundscape seeping through the cracks in the floor, out the windows, and beyond to the small town that sits in the building’s ever-present shadow. Through six solos crafted for experienced dancers with different backgrounds at different stages in their careers, The Last asks:


Who has the right to be celebrated, where are they celebrated, and who bears witness?


Gala’s are usually the fodder of the wealthy and privileged - reserved for the La Scalas, Paris Operas, and American Ballet Theaters of the world, and the elite ticket holders who can pay the price. What occurs if we frame an experimental dance performance as a gala and replace the pomp and circumstance with attention to time and the wherewithal to sustain? What if it is staged in one of the most iconic and historic buildings in town? What if instead of touring the world’s stages and grand opera houses, it occurs and re-occurs like an ever-present grinding, steaming locomotive - always chugging, always insisting in one place with many corners to travel to? What if the audience has never ever seen contemporary dance before? 


The Last is the final exploration in a series of conceptual frameworks by Tess including the choreographies Any number of sunsets… (a performance framed as the last sunset you will ever experience 2018-2019) and Last Dances (a four-hour installation for museums created with and for Danish Dance Theatre 2020-2021). The question,“What is the last dance you would ever do?,” catalyzes the risk in the process, for the performers, and subsequently for the audience. The questions could just as easily be: 


What do you expect from the last dance you will ever witness?


It also begs the question: 


What expectations do we have for dance? 




How would we spend time together during this last act of dancing?


and more broadly, 


If you never saw dance or danced again what would that be like?


Concept and choreography: Rachel Tess 

Written with and performed by: Clyde Emmanuel Archer, Oisín Ó Manacháin / Oisín Monaghan, Anna Pehrsson, Isaac Spencer, and Thomas Zamolo

Music and Sound: Ulrich Ruchlinski

Costume: Jesse Lackowitz Crozier

Scenography: Samuel Norup


The performance was created with support from Konstnärsnamden, Kulturrådet, and Region Skåne

​Photo Credits

Thomas Zamolo / Kajsa Rolfsson

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