Performing Arts in Iceland

USD 86,000

Over the last decade, many ambitious and outstanding performance art projects have been staged in Iceland. The creative force behind this upward trend has been well noted abroad. To further support this development, Aurora Foundation has been calling for innovative and exciting project applications.

Viðar Eggertsson, a theatre director and Ingibjörg Þórisdóttir, a dramaturge and theatre critic, provided professional counselling to help select the most significant projects from sixty-seven applications. Particular emphasis was placed on the projects being artistic, venturesome and professionally executed.

Four projects received grants from Aurora Foundation:

VESTURPORT – A grant to prepare a play based on the folktale regarding AXLAR-BJÖRN. Vesturport has been awarded prizes and gained a certain notoriety overseas for their audacious and artistic handling of classical works. They were able to push new artistic boundaries in their treatment of this old folktale.

Björn Hlynur Haraldsson wrote and directed the play, while Kjartan Sveinsson of Sigur Rós composed the music. The play, Axlar-Björn premiered on 11 January 2012.

ICELAND DANCE COMPANY A grant to invite the well-known choreographer Ohad Naharin to stage his work MINUS 16 with the Company. Naharin is the most prominent and sought after choreographer in the world today and the Iceland Dance Company has had their eyes on him as a potential collaborator for some time.  The Iceland Dance Company is already at the forefront of modern dance in Iceland. Following decades of ambitious works, the company is now attracting attention overseas for its artistic finesse.  MINUS 16 premiered on 11 February 2012.

16 LOVERS – A grant to stage the play The Spectacle of the Year. 16 lovers is a group of young progressive theatre artists from various theatrical branches. They have attracted attention for their research on the integration of performing arts and society.  This inventive play is based on a real survey concerning “the performance that everyone wants to see” and “the performance that no one wants to see”. Whilst shedding light on exactly what Icelandic audiences prefer to see and what not to see at the theatre, the objective is to simultaneously raise questions about the value and credibility of polls today as the primary means of measuring public opinion. The Spectacle of the Year premiered on 3 March 2012.

10 FINGERS A grant to stage the puppet show The Little Monster by Helga Arnalds. Puppetry is a young art form in Iceland that has nevertheless grown rapidly due to the energy and artistic skills of a few puppeteers. Helga Arnalds is one such puppeteer with her own theatre, 10 FINGERS. The show aims to get children of preschool age participating during the performance and to sow seeds of creativity amongst these younger audiences. The director was Charlotte Bøving and the musical director was Eivör Pálsdóttir. The Little Monster premiered on 3 March 2012.