jo_stromgren-3333189 Jo Strømgren

First, let me tell you: This man is a genius! In my life on and by the stage, I have never seen anyone with quite his abilities as a creator. And he’s norwegian! There might be better technicians. But Jo Strømgrens ability to create something unique and catching never fails to impress! Again, and for once absolutely objectively speaking: The man is a genius!

Let me quote from the Jo Strømgren Kompani’s homepages:

Strømgren does not base his work on any specific method or ideology. The vast diversity of his works may at times be difficult to define. In some countries he is defined a political artist, in others a mere entertainer. Some define him as an existentialist, while other focus on the humanistic touch in his work (quote end).

from “a Dance Tribute to the Art of Football”

With his work spending from classic theatrical plays to experimental physical theatre, I won’t give you the grand tour. Not that I don’t want, or that I don’t recommend it. But you would need more time! Indulge yourself in his work! See his work! Let yourself be entertained, laugh, cry, think! Because this is really Strømgrens strongest ability as a creator of any kind: You get to think!

Like his performance “The Society”. It’s an abstract piece, I’d say, about three men that loves coffee. They adore coffee. You might even say they worship coffee. Until they one day find a used teabag at their café and gathering spot. The show is on. Being funny, entertaining and aware of his physical language, the piece is entertaining and funny on a surface level of interpretation. Who does the teabag belong to? Why is it here? But on a deeper level, “The Society” touches themes like religion, tolerance, humanity, even world peace, or the lack of such, in the matter of the importance of accepting and tolerating differences between people.

from “the Society”

And the best is: it’s not unique. Jo Strømgrens list of creations is long. More recently he created several pieces like “The Society”, floating somewhere between physical theatre, dance and mime, taking you places you couldn’t imagine going when you went to the theatre.

His performance “A Dance Tribute To The Art Of Football” changed my life. I was 14, and the show was touring the small cities of Norway. Seeing that dance could be so strong, so male-ish, yet so entertaining and fun at the same time, was something completely different than what I had seen before, and after.

The show is exactly what the title implies, but what a tribute! I take it for granted that mr. Strømgren is as great a fan of football, as he is of dance. Still he is able to present the sport, showing all of us who are not more than averagely interested the value and beauty of the sport, playing on exactly the clichés you think of when someone says football.

The performance has not been shown after I saw it. Now it’s again touring Norway and Germany this spring, with other venues still being confirmed. Check out their tour schedule.

Not living anywhere close? Ah, bummer.. Well, I guess you’re missing the fun then…

Tights and Tiaras gives you, in collaboration with the Jo Strømgren company: A dance tribute to the art of football, in it’s complete glory! (goosebumps!!)

A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football from Jo Strømgren Kompani on Vimeo. Property of Jo Strømgren Kompani. All rights reserved.

At last a recommendation to anyone living anywhere close to these shows: Sin, cheat, do what you have to. Just get tickets – it will change the way you look at dance – and football, if not your life, forever! (after all, dance is best when seen in original, organic focus)


All pictures and video is published with permission of it’s owner, Jo Strømgren Kompani. All rights belongs to them. Do NOT copy from my blog without their knowledge.