Alma Söderberg with Cullberg: Noche (2022)
Since her artistic beginnings, Alma Söderberg has been hosted by the NagiB, Mladi levi and Plesna Vesna festivals, and is one of the most prominent representatives of European choreo-vocalism. Noche is a creative continuation of her work The Listeners (2020), in which voice and dance inhabit a syncopation that in music signifies an evasion of the expected metrical emphasis, and in medicine a loss of consciousness.
When Alma Söderberg received The Birgit Cullberg Grant by The Swedish Arts Grants Committee in 2016, the Committee wrote in its justification that the artist’s work in the field of contemporary dance transcends dominant ideological and aesthetic trends and genre labels, as her works are choreographies, performances and concerts at the same time. This is probably what makes the Swedish artist, who graduated from the SNDO in Amsterdam ten years ago, so interesting. She is somewhat hard to place. This became clear almost immediately when we saw her solo Cosas (2010) in Ljubljana ten years ago, with which she embarked on her professional career. The voice, singing and sounds she produces in her performances, alone or with dancers, make the body of her choreographies reach beyond the stage ramp and, in a contradictory way – in defiance of the laws of physics – appear in several places at the same time. In 2020, in the belief that we might just be able to carry out the CoFestival live, we planned to host her performance The Listeners (2020), which she had prepared with the Cullberg Ensemble and which would have been an ideal fit for our curatorial programme at the time, which we called The Amplifiers of Voices. Due to the closure, the event was cancelled. Noche is, as the artist says, the logical continuation of The Listeners. »The night is the starting point for a different kind of music and dance, more uneven in its rhythm, more risky, at the same time soft, warm and dark. With its pastel coloured and blurred edges, The Listeners is an evening work. Where it ends, Noche starts. From a soft web of several voices and movements, towards the cut, the interruption, the syncope.« Perhaps against the loudness of that which in daylight is always striving to be visible. When night falls, people start to lose the energy for self-performance that is left over from a day’s unused supply. So, somewhere between late evening and morning, our protective crust starts to thaw. If we have ever sat in company for a while and the ballast of the day has settled on the floor, we remember the moments when some of us started to leave, overcome by sleep, and we sat down, two or three of us, and together we developed our own voices, surprising each other, because we had never known each other like that before. Noche seems to come right from there. People without a crust suddenly turn to each other and create their own casual home neighbourhood that they have never known before, but at the same time they immediately know that they have been harbouring homesickness for it all along. »The world in which I have lived until now idolizes power and force, muscle and health, vigour and lucidity. Syncope opens onto a universe of weakness and tricks; it leads to new rebellions«, says the French philosopher, feminist and writer Catherine Clément, who is quoted by Alma Söderberg as a kind of motto for the performance. Noche is where syncopes are recognised and counted.
Choreography: Alma Söderberg
Dance and vocals are created in collaboration with dancers: Anna Fitoussi, Benjamin Pohlig, Cecilia Wretemark-Hauck, Eliott Marmouset, Johanna Tengan, Katie Jacobson, Louise Dahl, Mohamed Y. Shika, Unn Faleide, Víctor Armero Pérez
Music: Dehendrik Lechat Willekens
Costume design: Behnaz Aram
Lighting design: Pol Matthé
Dramaturgy: Igor Dobričić
Artistic advice: Anja Röttgerkamp
Rehearsal director: Jeanine Durning
Thursday, 1st of December 2022 at 8:00 p.m.
Kino Šiška, Katedrala
Duration: 50 min
Entry: 7/9 EUR