Amelie Björck on Flakkande røynd

So – I’m back with the words again. Letters. Black signs on a white screen, some edgy, some rounded, but all of them ready to stretch their chain in nice little lines and make meaning(s). Like this one, empty and abstract, but still insistingly here, in print.

Words are normally my close companions, but these last days have been frantic. I’ve been trying to finish writing a book, proof reading the same old script again and again, improving formulations, looking for errors. Moving some words and erasing others, until they seem to be moving and erasing me instead. No time for love. No time for rest. Time for signs tricking my senses, lifting from the page to haunt me in my dreams and to hunt me like a flock of crows as I walk my dog or go to the store. Signs still squeaking all around me, hovering and striking, when I take my bike and pedal like a lunatic over Västerbron heading for Weld. This time I don’t even see the wide view over Riddarfjärden which normally makes me smile. It is all a flickering.

Will I find refuge from this brain-drain-burn-out at Weld? The venue is a place of hope, a welcoming open space where verbal language is usually out of focus. So, I take off my shoes and descend into art. Become colony with others on the mats and stubs placed out on the basement floor.

Flakkande røynd. Ouch. For a long while I keep feeling disconnected. I do get refuge from the verbal, but the movements performed by the two dancers, Rannei Grenne and Solveig Styve Holte, seem just as much to be signs from a fragmented vocabulary. A body language with traces from classical ballet and sports – and statue aesthetics when their shapes freeze and one of the dancers moves the other into a new pose. 

The outfits, made by the designer duo Ida Falck Øien and Harald Lunde Helgesen add letters to the alphabet with their textile materials reminding of sports clothes, but recomposed in a new and arty fashion. The language of bodies and design interact, but there are also short circuits. When the dancers put on a pair of specially designed shoes – a fantastic hybrid of clogs and sneakers – nothing happens. The movements don’t change: communication seems I lost in postmodern fragmentation. 

I am starting to feel a bit annoyed by these moving bodies in skillful repetition. Why are our gazes always drawn to what is moving? Why can’t they just be still and give me a break? Crows!

That is when the two musicians move to the other side of the space, closer to where I sit. I realize I didn’t pay enough attention to this third language in the room. Now I do. Aware of my own childish protest, I blind away the movements from my scope for a while and focus on the show solely as a concert. While Anja Lauvdal is making innovative rhythms on her mixing panels my gaze devours the tuba player Heida Karine Johannesdottir. I have never seen or heard this impressive instrument being attended to with such love. Yes love, because there are arms embracing a body of brass, fingers gently fiddling buttons, lips meeting lips in a breath, filling the space with expanding deep or panting or dripping sounds. And there is her face with closed eyes, more beautiful than a painting by Vermeer, absorbed in the act.

I understand the idea of equated dramaturgy, offering equal space for different artistic vocabularies or expressions side by side. In this case: movement, design and music. But to take in the whole range at once is too much for me this evening. The sounding breath is all I need and desire. To be enfolded in it, to let it chase away the crows.