Anne Between Blue and Green: World premiere at VSA/North Fourth

The one-woman show was brought by Granhoj Dans of Denmark Thursday night to kick off this year’s Global Dance Fest. And kick it does: this piece alternates between visceral, cerebral, and dreamlike as our heroine moves and sings in ways you’ve never heard or seen. I promise.

I won’t give away too much (not that there’s an actual plot), but multi-instrumentalist Anne plays herself as a musical instrument--with a cello bow--while vocalizing the resultant sounds. And she has a voice, which arrives early in the show with a haunting song that plays off the title of the work.

After the performance, a flushed “Anne” munched leftover enchiladas and strawberries, washed down with wine, during an informal talkback. Asked about the origin of the song, she paused and could not attribute it to a particular cultural tradition. She invoked her studies in Istanbul and India, which explained the universal quality of the a capella song. To this listener’s ear, it could have traveled from the subcontinent with migrating gypsies, across North Africa to absorb the precursors of the blues, and then simmered in southern Europe for a century before finding its way to these Scandinavian vocal chords, perhaps pausing to take in an Ingmar Bergman film on the way.

Anne Between Blue and Green also presents the work of director/choreographer Palle Granhoj and visual designer Per Victor. It will play one more time in the U.S. before returning to the Old World. That would be this Sunday, March 1, at 2 pm at North Fourth. (345-2872)

And that’s only the beginning of month-long Global Dance Fest, which features another show by Granhoj Dans this weekend, and will continue through March with this year’s theme of Latitudes North. Who knew Scandinavian dance would be like this? Who knows what the other seven shows will bring?

Extra treat: In the North Fourth lobby are some exquisite photos by Albuquerque native photographer Joseph Lujan, taken when he lived in Norway.

Views: 24

Comment by Richard Malcolm on February 28, 2009 at 2:32am
Global Dance Fest schedule update: I heard today that the two Granhøj Dans performances for Sunday have been switched due to technical complexities of the staging.

The new schedule for March 1 is:

Obstrucsong 2pm

Anne Between Blue and Green 6pm

There you have it!
Comment by neal copperman on February 28, 2009 at 10:41am
I hope to go to both tomorrow. They sound awesome! I've rarely seen a Global Dance Fest show that didn't impress, and many have been truly stunning. I think the Nordic theme this year looks particularly promising.
Comment by Marjorie Neset on March 2, 2009 at 8:58am
As the Global DanceFest director/co-curator for this LATITUDES NORTH FESTIVAL I should probably know everything about all of these artists/shows. However…when we select artists it’s based on what we know about their strength, innovation, vision as artists and we have not always seen all of their work, including sometimes what they are presenting right here at North Fourth. So I was as amazed this weekend with Granhoj Dans as everyone else. Kristine Maltrud (VSA board pres and co-curator) and I got to know Palle Granhoj in Olso a year ago but had only seen dvds of this work. How very thrilled we are that it was absolutely as powerful and as inventive as we hoped it would be! Discovering new artists of the quality and ‘difference’ that we think fits the intent of Global DanceFest is not easy…lots of looking, seeing, arranging, grant-writing, etc. So when it works (most of the time) we are so happy…and so pleased to hear from friends and audience members (all who have hopefully become friends of GDF) for whom the work has been inspiring/moving/fun/an adventure/all of the above.
Comment by neal copperman on March 2, 2009 at 9:03am
I went to both shows by Granhoj Dans on Sunday. While both were excellent, I have to admit a preference for the group piece ObjectDans. It was breathtakingly good, and easily among the best GlobalDance Fest pieces I've seen over the years.

They used a lot of interesting techniques. They refer to some of their central aspects as "obstructions". They basically introduce things that impact how the dancer can work. The dance was done on a giant sheepskin rug, which meant their feet couldn't stick and they had to keep a lower center of gravity. They did pieces where a dancer would select parts of another dancer that would be frozen, and they would continue the dance, but only using the other parts of their body. They used moving lights to highlight very specific areas of the person or stage. And they did pieces where a dancer would dance solo and do a series of repetitive motions, and then other dancers would come in and dance around the sequence of motions, sometimes very interactively, so that it looked like the whole dance had been choreographed and then the solo pieces extracted. Their interactions with each other and their sets were quite intriguing, and the use of music and language really elevated the piece.

A great opening weekend Marj! I'm looking forward to more of the fest!
Comment by neal copperman on March 2, 2009 at 9:06am
Oops, I got the name wrong. As Richard said, the piece was called ObstrucSong

Link for GDF schedule
Comment by Richard Malcolm on March 2, 2009 at 10:35am
I was amazed at both pieces this weekend. Frankly, I didn't know what to expect from Scandinavian dance . . . everything I know about Scandinavian culture, I learned from this Rob Reiner short: (if you haven't seen it, it makes a perfect side dish to any Scandinavian cultural event!). But I went on the faith of my previous good experiences with Global Dance Fest. Part of the deal with visiting artists in NM is that you can't really wait to read a review before you decide to go. There are one or two performances and then the artists are off to the next stop.

What I look for in art is something that stretches or challenges my sense of what it is to be human, or adds another dimension to the scope of the human experience. GDF is a great opportunity to taste the world from a new perspective.

Granhøj Dans has set a high standard for the rest of the festival. I'll be there!


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