25 May 2015
2015 is an important year, yet I’m less active than ever here on the blog. Maybe it’s connected.
I have two babies to present to you:
Djeliya, a subtle piece wrapped in live music of an African harp called Kora, tackles the humanity lying within all of us and places its focus on optimism and open-mindedness. Through theatre and partner acrobatics it tells a story about overcoming fears and obstacles through the power of collaboration and friendship: A quirky piece without props, lights nor set to enchant children and adults alike.
"Because of an evil spell young hero Maïs is forced to escape from her home village and to go on an adventurous quest, where she will discover friendship, courage and cooperation. Backed by the mystical, musical Griot and his knowledge, she enters an enchanted world where bodies are trees to climb, oceans to dive in and mountains to cross. With two joyful companions met en route she will reach a magic fruit she needs in order to save her village."
Aélia, the wonder of wonders. A little beautiful daughter that make me the happiest woman on earth. She was born the 12th of April and was six weeks old yesterday. She weighs 5 kilos by now and smiles to her parents every day. She likes to look at shadows and light and eyes and clear patterns. She's also a great eater and exercises a lot in between, always trying to crawl and stand up. To be in daddy's arms and dancing to Greek music is also a big hit.
Life is amazing!
17 Mar 2015
I'm back in the south of Sweden after two and a half intense weeks in Uddevalla. The sun has been shining and I can feel the spring arriving and with the spring comes our little baby. At the same time I'm super touched and happy that our show Djeliya finally is born. What an exiting year!
Everything went well in Uddevalla thanks to great support from Regionteater Väst and good working motivation from the artists. I was also there to coordinate, the system with the babysitters worked and my boyfriend unselfishly cooked lunches for the whole team every day. The costumier did a super nice job with the yellow salopettes.
We got the chance to play for a test audience of 8 - 9 year olds at the theatre and then have our premiere at the school Äsperödsskolan for an amazing audience of 6 - 7 year olds. The reactions from the audiences were rewarding and made me believe so much more on our good work. They were awing, owing and laughing.
We will of course rehears more on the show when we can, throwing in some more dynamic acrobatics and work on the final song, but I am very pleased and look forward to selling it. Djeliya will be sold both in the west and the south region of Sweden, in Belgium and in Chile, for a start. ;)
Life right now is beautiful. As soon as the paper work is done and receipts counted for this massive Djeliya project, next amazing "project" will come; my first child. It's unbelievable. How lucky can I be?
Photos: Sinclair school Uddevalla
24 Feb 2015
We had a cold windy morning here in Uddevalla the first day, with wet snow falling from the sky. But arriving at the theatre we got a very warm welcome from the whole team. Fantastic staff, from the cleaning lady, the receptionist, the technicians and the costume maker to our director Pelle!
We started out with a team meeting. Where are we standing after our two first residencies? And where are we heading? ;) It felt nice to see the team together again and although there was tiredness after the travels with headache and signs of a cold, we were all excited and positive.
For lunch our amazing Alex made pasta salad with parsley, curcuma and an intense lemon taste that made us ready to go again.
The afternoon passed by with us going through Vincent’s professional musical script, the artists researching the three main roles characteristics and our dear baby Maé alternating between charming its babysitter and screaming at him… Coffee, dates and Ibuprofen helped us through the rest of the day.
I’ll let the photos tell the rest!
23 Dec 2014
Planner, writer and babysitter.
When I can't bare to stand by the side...
Song- and music sessions.
Contemplating the two weeks of creation. By the Pacific ocean.
18 Dec 2014
Wednesday at the aerial centre Aldea del encuentro and another morning at the training space. Antoine and Rebeca are moving around in something I would call a dance warm-up, Catalina is stretching and the company’s own baby mascot Maé is telling a story of humming and bubbling sounds…
We’re a nice team I must say; of course it’s not very easy and fast to create with a 6 months baby, no babysitter, a pregnant woman and Chilean logistics and organisation… But I think that we’re moving forward and we’re all learning a lot, whether it’s acrobatics, singing or professionalism in the work. For me it’s not very easy to try to be IN the creation while sitting on a chair and also trying to make Maé happy. I also don’t have the energy that I wished I would have.
Yesterday we did a little work-in-progress for friends and family here at the theatre. We presented an extract that we’ve been working on a lot here in Chile that we call “The Journey”. It was a rewarding moment and I really enjoyed the performance. It was as if I saw it for the first time, even after have been working on it for a week. I was surprised of the strong presence of the artists that came out in front of the audience. Everything went well and the music with the movements created a magical space that made everyone in the audience completely spell bounded. I got very happy.
Now we’re off to Valparaiso by the coast, to train and perform at “La carpa azul” an interesting circus place with view of the city and the sea. Time passes by too quickly.
8 Dec 2014
My last day as thirty.
In some incomprehensible way my life has changed radically. All those things that you think will never happen for yourself has actually happened. I’ve found a home! Not a home with floor and a roof but a home that is safety and something that makes my life worth so much more, something that makes me happy every morning when I wake up.
I’ve found love. A love that took me with storm. A love that makes me dream about “forever”. A love that gives me a context, security, challenge, joy. A love that tastes like chocolate cake, ice cream and fresh strawberries all together…
Think about all those days when I’ve sat backstage under a big top or in a theatre and thought, why am I alone? All those moments when I’ve flown, travelled by trains or dusty tour buses and thought, where am I going? All the training, the creation, the rehearsals, how wonderful has it been but at the same time, where will it take me? Who am I creating for? What does the audience mean, everything? Nothing? What am I really doing and when does the next dimension of my life arrive?
Tonight I’m sitting here writing and feeling something move in my belly. Small kicks on my right side. This is creation, this is life, this is something sprung out of love, this is future and connection and happiness. I can barely understand that you can get exactly what you dream of, but sometimes you do.
What a gift.
I’m in Santiago de Chile now for the second residency for “Djeliya”. Tomorrow the training starts and today we planned and discussed in the shade of the garden. It's all so exiting!
It’s true that ones again I flew alone over the Atlantic sea and here I’m sitting writing in silence, but it doesn’t matter that much anymore, because I know I have a home. My home is my love and the life I am carrying, and where I am in the world is not as important anymore.
Back to “Djeliya”, I didn’t write anything here about the first two weeks of residency in Brussels, but if you’ve got Facebook look up Les Errants and watch some photos of the rehearsals. It was two productive weeks and the collaboration with Pelle was just as good as I expected and even better. Now I will try to update more often on the blog, juggle this between being the project leader, acrobatic trainer, “stand-in-director”, babysitter… And pregnant. ;)
The view from my window.
2 Oct 2014
THANK YOU ALL WHO HELPED US REACH THE GOAL FOR OUR CROWDFUNDING!!! We are very happy and are already at the next step, preparing for our first residency in Brussles in the beginning of November. If you don't know the project yet, here is a short description:
We are working on DJELIYA, a tale-inspired performance where circus (acrobalance) meets dance meets live music.
Three artists hailing from Sweden, Chile and Belgium meet to develop an acrobalance trio which, together with a Belgian musician, will tell a positive and rousing story inspired by tales from all over the world.
The Bench, acrobalance trio with Rebecka in the centre
Without words, no more borders: our project consists of creating a tale of movement and music, which goes beyond cultural differences.
Arts for everyone: our goal is to perform DJELIYA in places where the arts usually don’t go (remote villages, precarious places, parks, …), and to tell our stories to children (as well as adults) from all over the world.
Les Errants (The Walkers) in Kenya, touring with Clowns Without Borders
For immemorial times, tales have been used as a vehicle to convey messages that can help us face and overcome obstacles that life throws at us.
They offer a perspective for us to persevere and face each of those obstacles with courage. If we believe in this ancestral wisdom, life is an amazing gift which is worthwhile investing in.
We like this optimism and are basing our piece on it.
During our research for this new piece, we met the Kora, a West-African harp used by griots (custodians of oral tradition) to transmit their knowledge in the form of stories and tales. Therefore to us, the Kora seems to be the music instrument of tales par excellence.
Vincent, the Belgian korafola
Introducing our team:
Rebecka Nord (Sweden)
A circus artist as well as dancer and explorer of the world through humanitarian projects (Clowns Without Borders, HipCirqEurope, …), Rebecka is the project’s leader (www.circusbyme.com).
Vincent Wilkin (Belgium)
Trained the Kora in Mali and singing in India, currently involved in several projects (folk, singing, dance). His work focuses on the connection between music and bodies (https://soundcloud.com/korarmonie).
Catalina Castellano (Chile)
Flyer and coordinator of Diminuto Circus company in Chile. She organises the South American part of the project by inviting the teamto Santiago de Chile (www.diminutocircus.cl).
Antoine Dutrieu (Belgium)
He is a base and a Kora player and coordinates the logistical aspect of the project as well as designing its conceptual shape. (www.weaveness.org).
Overview of the project’s programme:
Preliminary research in Mali (tales harvesting and deepening of kora skills with internationally renowned master Toumani Diabate)
General preparation of the project; funding research, script writing, dossier writing
First artistic residency in Brussels
Second artistic residency in Santiago de Chile and four try-out performances in villages on the city’s periphery
Third and last artistic residency in Uddevalla, Sweden & Premiere of our performance at the Regionteater Väst.
24 Sep 2014
Time is passing by so quickly and we're already at the end of Bench's tour. Last shows this weekend at Fêtes Romanes - Wolubilis in Brussels, Belgium.
Please come by if you're in the country:
2 Sep 2014
We aim to create a poetic family spectacle with partner acrobatics and music from a Kora, a West African musical instrument.
The artists creating this project are Catalina Castellano, Antoine Dutrieu, Rebecka Nord and Vincent Wilkin. Director: Pelle Hanaeus.
In order to apply for (Swedish) national funding for the show we must illustrate that we have secured an amount of private funding.
We've created a challenge at Kiss kiss bank bank: http://www.
So… we are kindly asking you to support our project with a donation; anywhere between 5 euros and 50 euros; or more. Any amount will greatly help us. But of course the more support we receive the easier it will be to attain funding and produce the show.
If you want to know more about the project please send us an e-mail at;email@example.com.
24 Jul 2014
The tour continues and the show is getting better and better, in my opinion. Last weekend we played in Germany and the audience there was fantastic. We had a wonderful moment all together in Kaiserslautern; the city center, the summer weather, the hotel and a generous welcoming of partners/ parents into the festival.
I would like to share a review that we got in The Guardian after playing here in London at the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival in June. It's short but good and my favourite sentence is:
"The acrobatics are performed with real grace and skill by the cast of three quick-change female artists in a wittily choreographed show that turns the limitation of public space into a virtue, and invites the audience's complicity."
12 Jul 2014
You know when a city becomes not just a city but also a space full of memories? I guess when that happens it’s the moment it starts to feel like a real home. Also now when I’m not longer going from a place alone to another place alone I realize that London is slowly welcoming me. Welcoming me into its crazy intense world.Last weekend I woke up in a lovely home of Greek friends after not so many hours of sleep.
It’s six o’clock in the morning and I’ll have to leave for Skegness to teach children at a festival. My love’s making me coffee and toast with orange jam and even if I’m not fully awake (or maybe because I’m not) I feel a strong warm feeling of belonging, something I missed so much last year and that slowly enters my life now. It’s incredible sweet. After kisses I go down to a bus that brings me via Canary Wharf where a man with a wrinkled suit and a confused look goes on the bus. It reminds me of one of the first weeks when I came here and went to that business area to get my UK phone number. The bus passes the place where we played Bench just a couple of weeks ago and I smile at the memory. By Hackney Station I buy a tea in a typical British breakfast café, it drizzles and a man is shouting into one of the big recycling containers. This is London an early Sunday morning and lonely people wander about in empty roads. I drive the van for the first time out in traffic, we’re driving up north and I get used to drive into the roundabout to the left and look for the cars to my right. The slowest lane is to the left and the change is refreshing. I like to take part of a team. I like to be one of three Mimbre girls, there’s a strong happy feeling between us and we’re flexible and professional when we’re out working. After a long day with seven hours driving and four hours of teaching we’re finally back in London where I am welcomed to yet another home, this time in the west of the city. I’m served a glass of red wine. A shower. Friendly faces. Caring arms around my tired body.
London slowly fills up with emotions and life here starts to make sense. I’m grateful of the friends of my friend that actually welcome me in their world and I’m thankful to play in an active interesting company that shares my values of circus and the life as a performer.
Thank you all!
17 Jun 2014
The wonderful audience in Brussels last Sunday!
7 Jun 2014
I have a Friday OFF. I decided to work in front of my computer but when I saw the blue sky I realised it could be a day to discover one of London’s biggest parks; Hampstead heath. I crossed a woman talking on the phone: “It’s SUCH a beautiful day”, she said. Ten minutes later I crossed two other women, one of them insisting: “It’s a beautiful day, A BEAUTIFUL day.” So I guess that’s what this day is about, to be a beautiful day.
Sometimes I feel a little bit sad when everything is quite perfect. It sounds stupid I know.
Today I’ve thought a lot about the different aspects of my life ad it couldn’t be much better. I’m happy the tour has started and more satisfied with the show now when I’ve seen that it can really work with an audience. The summer is here and the sun is out giving hope deep down in my soul.
I’m excited about the different festivals we’ll get to during this summer and the new places to discover; Tynemouth, Stockton, Cardiff and Skegness in England and Wales, Amersfoort in Holland, Tarrega in Spain and Kaiserslautern in Germany. We’ll play in Brussels both next week and in the end of September and I love to come back to Brussels, it feels like home.
My health is much better and my energy is going up!
But the best of all, better than everything above, is love. I fell in love already in January and I’m falling deeper and deeper in love for every day. It’s actually quite amazing. I get so much positive attention and I get the possibility to care for someone. I get to talk, be foolish, laugh, and kiss in a buzz of emotions and not to forget just to BE in the most wonderful man’s arms. To breath in a deep feeling of being protected from anything that could ever harm me.
There are no clouds on my sky this beautiful day and yet I walk melancholic in between ponds and trees.
Is it because it reminds me of all the lonely walks I’ve done in my life? I remember it started in Copenhagen, nineteen years old; I walked around the city and the parks looking at happy couples and happy families and felt alone in the world. I remember thinking; if ever I had money for a coffee…
Then, as I do like to discover new places by walking, I’ve had many of these moments later on, loads of them in Lille, then in Buenos Aires, Athens, Barcelona, Brussels, Santiago de Chile, New York.
Are my days of lonely walks over soon? Or do I at some level enjoy these endless walks where my mind can travel freely and I can observe the world as if I’m not a part of it?
I think the best thing right now would be to buy an ice cream. I mean, who can ever feel down with an ice cream at hand?
31 May 2014
Yesterday we were finally on the road to the first festival on our summer tour. It was Alcina the base, Silvia the flyer, Lina the director and I. Four happy women heading west in a big blue van.
When we came to Bath we checked in to the hostel and went out to one of the meeting points of the festival, the Spiegeltent, where a band played the most beautiful English folk music.
After all the rehearsals it felt wonderful to drink a half pint of beer, listening to the concert and feeling that now: now are we here. We're together and it's soon showtime!
I like to discover a new town, the excitement before a show and being in a context; my circus world.
I really love this part of the work. Check the performance space, set-up, sound-check and get comfortable backstage. Make-up, warm-up, some biscuits and then PERFORM! It's such a nice festival and the staff and the audience are all very friendly.
Bench is on tour and Rebecka is happy!!!
26 May 2014