It may well be that the funky choreographer Forsythe can make modern ballet that attracts the public in droves, but contemporary dance otherwise is still struggling with the urge to remain introverted and withdrawn. The CODA dance festival in Oslo is a case in point.
by Monna Dithmer Politikken
A way forward Even though Odd Johan Fritzøe included two hip hop dancers and four, large papier-mâché balls with built-in music in his production geared to a young public, Baller nevertheless ended up in an ambiguous and static no-man's-land.
In contrast, the veteran Kjersti Engebrigtsen brought off a coup by moving her three ultra contemporary dancers into a glass cage – of unadulterated Scandinavian design - and onto the street. Here she presented us with the crux of the problem in a showcase: contemporary dance in a hermetically sealed, aesthetic space, where the dancers and their faraway look cannot be heard or contacted.
But the effect this had on passers-by was itself enlivening. Some of them did not just gaze, but waved, cheered and knocked on the glass walls.
This points to a way forward for contemporary dance – abstract or otherwise - that we in Denmark can also learn from. It's time for contemporary dance to come out of its aesthetic cage and restrictive stage conventions.