Masterclass – Choreographer Ingun Bjørnsgaard based on her work The Sea

Choreographer Ingun Bjørnsgaard has loosely based her work The Sea on Henrik Ibsen’s world famous The Lady from the Sea (1888). Ibsen’s text revolves around the theme of one of the first “modern” women – a woman who in the crossfire between conventions and a burgeoning independence is ensnared by drives that are simultaneously dangerous, repulsive and alluring. There are basic themes here, which also characterize Bjørnsgaard’s expression: boredom, yearning, the need to disappear, obscenity and superficial anxiety. In terms of genre, points of intersection between the universes of Ibsen and Bjørnsgaard can also be found: indiscernible transitions between tragedy and comedy, and an extensive use of mirror- and shadow formations as compositional parameters.

In The Sea the subjective yearning for freedom is implemented in a current context: a time in which the self is perceived as a stream of many possible identities. What type of freedom is possible in a world where ambivalence reigns and self-contempt resides next door to self-aggrandization?

Bjørnsgaard’s characters often struggle with the sense of being both attractive and unworthy – simultaneously – and are therefore seemingly relinquished to a game with unclear rules of play.

In the works of Bjørnsgaard human beings appear most beautiful and most human when they fail.

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