11 May 2014
6 May 2014
My new home for the next five days. We're with Mimbre in Newbury to do research on their next show's creation that will start in 2015
This is how my work place can look, a night like tonight. Or like this:
An exciting week as always.
25 Apr 2014
It’s a beautiful sky over London tonight that makes me think of summer. I realize I haven’t written any blog posts in a while and I have so much to share I don’t know where to start.
The two weeks before the premiere were really difficult. My body didn’t cope with the situation and the illnesses and wanted me to stay in bed, but I couldn’t and just had to push myself forward to finish the creation and the three shows. A four-hour commute per day, eight hours at work, eat and sleep. It was tough and I questioned my whole circus career, to be honest I questioned pretty much everything; myself as an acrobat and artist, living in London, my health, my social abilities, the future…
It all had its peak when I hurt my back on the last show and afterwards when I lay in the quiet dressing room whilst the others were out meeting their relatives and friends I thought; I don’t have anything more to give. I’m finished. I lay on a spike mat, feeling the warmth spreading in my aching back, relaxing for the first time in weeks. Tears run down my face and I thought; this is a crazy life, do I still have the strength and the will to fight like this?
Then we went out with the Mimbre women to have a burger and a beer and I suddenly felt a true belonging to this company. The achievement we reached together, the hard work, the laughs, the creativity, the stress and the joy of performing. Already the day after I started to feel like myself again and I understood how tired I had been.
Now I’ve had a week of rest and I’m happy. The premiere is done! I can see things clearly! I’m still tired and recovering slowly from the coughing, the throat ache and the fatigue but I love my work. I love the circus life even if it’s completely stupid sometimes. I love the art and performances we produce and give to the world. I love the people, the big top, the nomadic life, the applause, the creativity and the travels.
This week we’re back to calmer technical training with the trio, I’ve been helping out at the Mimbre office and now I have to catch up with the administrative work for Circus By Me. Not to forget the preparation of the production for the children’s show “Once upon a time…”
It is all about finding the perfect balance!
Photos by Marco Berardi
6 Apr 2014
We are in the middle of two rehearsal weeks at the Laban theatre and I'm having a real slow Sunday today. Actually the first Sunday in my home since I came to London in the middle of January. My health is not the best, during a couple of weeks I’ve had an infection that travels around my body and it’s very tiring. I know that what I need is some days of rest and apparently iron, but with five days to the premiere, what to do?
In spite of these problems I’m very pleased to inform you about next weekends events: On 11th and 12th April our show will be part of the Crossing The Creek family dance weekend at Greenwich Dance and Laban. This event will be indoors and is a great, weather-proof chance to preview the show before the outdoor tour starts in earnest!
31 Mar 2014
It’s an intense period of my life right now. I’m trying to land in London, to feel that I live there, but after the overwhelming weeks in Mali I went to Brussels for ten days to give a workshop, and since then I’ve been both in Stockholm and in the south of Sweden, so to get the home feeling in London is not so easy. At the same time we’re in rehearsal preparing the premiere of Bench that will take place at the Laban Theatre, London, in only two weeks. I will keep you updated about the details.
I have some great news to share with you: The project to make an children show with my two acrobatic partners, Catalina Castellano and Antoine Dutrieu, got a national project grant from Sweden and it makes it possible to start the process of really doing this show. We still need more money and are at this very moment searching for other grants in Sweden and Belgium.
The rehearsals will start in the autumn and we have a very interesting musician for the show; Vincent Wilkins, you can listen to him playing here: https://soundcloud.com/korarmonie
Other amazing news is that my first choice director for the show; Pelle Hanaeus, is interested in the project and motivated to work with us! Pelle is a very talented yet humble person that I admire for different work he does all around Sweden. We met at a tour with the Clowns Without Borders in Lebanon some years ago and now he’s artistic director of Regionteater Väst, a theatre in west Sweden. I’m unbelievably happy having him in the team and I look forward starting to prepare for the creation.
Now I just have to focus on finishing Bench and then I can start thinking of what is coming next. It looks as we will be very busy touring from June to September, but in May I will hopefully find some time to work on the fairy tale project and to get to feel at home in my new home town!
21 Feb 2014
Now I’m in Bamako, Mali. At the moment I sit in my bed under the mosquito net, very warm and very happy and sad. The way it often feels when it feels as strongest. I live in a beautiful family with four children, two twin brothers that are sixteen, another boy that’s seven and the baby girl that’s three and a half. They welcome me in the nicest way and I realize that having a family in Africa is a new and wonderful thing in my life.
I’m here working on my fairy tale project. I’ve brought all the books and I’m sitting in the shadow at the terrace and reading. I will also interview some persons as I’ve been doing in Sweden and Belgium. I will look at their tradition of telling stories, in the families and in the open spaces. Sunday I’ll travel south to a little village to speak to some old man, bath in a waterfall and I’ve been promised amazing nature.
I must admit that a big part of my time goes to coping with some of the life questions that comes running when I’m taken out of my context. And as I’ve often been out of context the last year, my mind is running in many directions. I think the biggest question right now is how to combine my adventurous longings; my world spread projects, my circus tours, my never-ending change of home country and my artist life with something more rooted. I’m thinking of a calm place where I could bake cinnamon rolls, grow potatoes, do yoga and read out loud to the cat… Can I have it all?
10 Feb 2014
6 Feb 2014
Life in London continues with excitement. Training, training, training, research, a lot of wine and sometimes not so much sleep. I love it.
Next week waits new challenges when we're going to start a process for Mimbres coming show for 2015; "Time". Please read more about this and how you can follow our process, here:
30 Jan 2014
26 Jan 2014
I thought I would write a sharp analysis of London and my new life, but I realize I cannot put my thoughts straight and it’s all too new and messy and wonderful and in so many directions, I don’t know how to start!
With the gratefulness maybe? First of all, The Greek sisters who’s received me in their home for ten days now. They are amazing! Imagine coming home from a long day of rehearsal and you just get; red wine & food, help to sort out things like phone company, bank account, what’s the matter with the Shoreditch’s stylish youths, where to go, how to survive the underground… The morning when you’re too tired to think they get you strong coffee, and added to that they’ve helped me not to feel lonely at all, even if I am kind of lonely and new in this big city. How does it sound with aubergine and tomato lasagne, Greek salad, spinach and feta pie and homemade bread with walnuts, dates and cinnamon? At this very moment one of them makes pancakes, I mean the world becomes a better place to live, with pancakes on a Saturday morning.
With the contentment of creating? The company is very good for me. We have worked with the Laban Movement Theories, researching how to move in space with different energies and speed, direct or indirect moves, heavy or light, sudden or sustained… It becomes really interesting when you combine them so that for example you would move in a heavy, direct and sudden way. We have been exploring how three women can fit on a bench in various formations, how to keep the central place on the bench if all the three of us has the same mission, how to walk on the back of a bench without getting noticed… We do Pilates and other conditioning training. Of course we have worked on the partner acrobatics too and I love it. I love the feeling of weight and balance. The small movements you need to do to adjust. The trust. The perseverance. The positive environment the three of us is already creating to make the best of what we’re doing. Mimbre is great!
With the big confusion about the humanity? I do not always get what we are meant to do here on earth, and in a city that shows the extremes of everything, I tend to get confused. Last Thursday I happened to be in a huge shopping centre situated underground in the business district Canary Wharf. It was lunchtime and suddenly suits were all over the place. I had to stop by a wall to feel safe from all these men and women running out of their offices to grab some food, it looked like a crazy performance. People do look unhappy in the Underground, or just completely emptied of soul, I guess they did press the off button when they entered the tube system? I think my problem is that when a lot of people are doing the same thing at the same moment, it overwhelms me, no matter if it’s a lot of hipsters parading in their new clothes, tattooed mummies smoking or drunk middle-aged men taking the DLR train.
But, as a good friend wrote me: “You can experience life, and answer questions about it. But doing both at the same time is difficult and perhaps unwanted.”
Maybe it’s time just to LIVE the London life?
18 Jan 2014
I guess I didn't really tell you the big news. So, I'm moving to London yes, and I'm joining the UK company Mimbre for their new production, Bench. Mimbre is a local and international circus and street theatre company, producing innovative and extraordinary acrobatic performance work and promoting a positive, strong image of women. I've wanted to work with them for years now and everything is very exciting, and my mind is all over the place...
Information about the creation:
"A Bench: in a park, on the street, in a square; sitting, sleeping, climbing, jumping, meeting, reading, gossiping. Making friends. Ageing. Rejuvenating. Bench is Mimbre’s new show for 2014, an outdoor show with 3 performers, easy to tour, portable and suitable for any public space or event. Bench is a show about the everyday dance of life, our urban landscape, and a cavalcade of characters who come and go; viewed through the eyes of a woman who observes, makes friends, confronts or ignores the people who pass… occasionally turning upside down to see if the world looks better from that angle.
Bench will be a series of sketches bound together by our silent narrator, talking through movement and acrobatics, and accompanied by a beautiful score. Three performers will magically transform between ages and gender, caricatures and characters; spell-binding movements will be mixed with mundane moments and brief encounters. The variety of people passing through our city life will be viewed and encountered through the prism of the woman and the bench she has appropriated. Each character-transformation creates a small choreography (snaking under the bench to change into a dress, falling over the armrest to get out of a jacket, jumping into a headstand to fit into a cap…), each character brings another sketch and snapshot from a life.
Bench will be set directly in the urban landscape where it will also be performed, each choreography and scene rooted in scenes from real life. Events, encounters and feelings will be physicalised, crystallised and turned into beautiful dance as well as commenting on the theatre happening around us every day – if only we looked.
Bench is directed by Lina Johansson, with an original score composed by Ted Barnes - his “songs are like glass marble worlds that clink next to each other and should be put in your pocket and carried around with you all day” (Kathryn Williams). The Bench set is carefully designed and cleverly crafted by Michalis Kokkoliadis - ‘ingeniously simple set design, aided by an appropriate sprinkling of make believe’ (Eastern Daily Press).
If you are interested in booking this show, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. As Bench is a new show, we’ll offer you a discount of 20% if you book before the end of January."
16 Jan 2014
It’s ten degrees and a drizzle when I land at London Gatwick after one of those weeks in your life that, in retrospect, you don’t really know if they were true or not.
One week ago, arriving from Rotterdam to Brussels, I happened to think that my bed behind the Ping Pong table was cold and empty. That thought evoked a dream that together with a typical organisation à la Rebecka, created the reality of this crazy week. Let’s just say that I’ve had a concentrated zip of my life’s drink.
I’ve officially moved out from Belgium and finished all the accounts, I’ve done interviews within the fairy tale project, had work meetings with different partners, goodbye meetings with friends and a cake party with a lot of wine. I’ve had the most wonderful calamari and fish dinner with Ouzo, I’ve sent away my passport to the Embassy of Mali in Berlin, lost my drivers licence and Visa cards at a resting place in Germany, experienced not having any identity proof and missing my first flight ever. I’ve been driving 1200 kilometres, passed three impressive bridges and realised I own too many things. I’ve understood how opposites can attract and how a winter jacket can get you warm. I’ve felt the power of kissing and the beauty of letting go. I’ve got a shot of the yellow fever, some other shots of the Swedish “snaps” and not so much sleep. I've cherished and banned my emotional kind.
No wonder I slept like a baby the two hours flight to London. London; my new hometown.
God it’s exciting! What will 2014 and London bring to this crazy beautiful life of mine?
30 Dec 2013
Photo: Karim Kalonji
I'm in Rotterdam, Holland, rehearsing for the last edition of Hip Cirq Europ'.
The city is bigger than I thought, with a lot of channels and bridges and modern architecture. It feels a little like a ghost city, not many people in the streets, at least not in the area where we live or train. But we're not really in the center I guess. I like being here and I like the cold weather after three weeks in the south of Spain. I never thought I would say that. The crew is nicer than ever, I just love to spend time with them and finally I feel that we're doing what the project is about; challenging ourselves with both the hip hop and the circus, especially with the one that is not our speciality.
The Hip Cirq meetings are giving me so much energy and I don't want it to end!
So if you're in Amsterdam the 2 or the 3 of January, come and watch the show: http://www.krakeling.nl/ProgrammaDetail.aspx?id=160788
Or in Rotterdam the 4 or the 5 of January: http://www.maastd.nl/voorstelling/hip-cirq-europ/
If you're not, we have a brand new 10 minutes teaser from the show in Guadeloupe:
15 Dec 2013
I’m living a very creative moment these days, especially in my mind and in front of my computer. I’m reading the book ”THE USES OF ENCHANTMENT” - The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales by Bruno Bettelheim. It’s a very interesting book about how fairy tales affects us as children and how they help us create our identity and understand the world. The author shows how important classic fairy tales are and how they can help in the greatest human task, that of finding meaning in one’s life. I underline, rewrite and reflect. It’s a slow process because I’m reading in English, rewrites and reflects in French so that my partners in the project can take part of it, and then, yes, I also have an awfully big amount of Swedish words in my head.
At the same time I’m here in the south of Spain to study Spanish in a “Curso intensivo” of two weeks. When I’m not in school I have homework. Pretérito Indefinido and Pretérito Imperfecto…
I live at my grand parents place and I’ve started to interview grandmother about her mother Nelly and her grandmother Justina. They were both wives of fishermen in Abbekås and strong women who made it through a lot. The husband of Justina died when he was 39 years old, they had three daughters and a fourth daughter on the way. Justina then lived on the land she had and raised her four daughters on her own. It is very interesting and my next show will be inspired by these three generations of women who lived their lives in the twentieth century. What were their daily tasks? What did they carry? How did they dress? What made them laugh?
Even if I’m still at the first stage of my project about the fairy tales I have this sudden inspiration for my “project of women” and I work on both at the same time. It is fantastic to see where I come from. My family has lived as fishermen in the south cost of Sweden for about three hundred years.
Many things are in my thoughts, Swedish, Chilean, West African and Belgian fairy tales, the Spanish language, my female ancestors and of course then my own life. The choices I make. What I’ve come to see and experience, and what shall come.
I still keep you waiting about what really will happen during 2014, but I can tell you that, I would never have believed that this messy year could bring that much inspiration and motivation. Things are happening on many levels and I’m thankful of all loving people I have around me. I guess it’s true what they’re saying, that out of chaos comes… everything?
My morning view.