Contemporary dance and performance from the Nordic countries and the Baltic Sea region was presented in Visby from the 23rd to the 27th July 1999. One of the aims of the festival was to investigate the borders between dance, movement and the visual arts; many of the companies were invited as representatives for cross-cultural activities.
Åsa Unander-Scharin creates dance pieces in cooperation with composers, visual artists, dancers, musicians, and computer programmers. Orfeus Klagan was shown as a video projection of an industrial robot which performed in a remarkably dance-like manner. Efva Lilja and e.l.d. performed Beyond the Pale from Efva Liljas first meeting with the space in the warehouse. “A journey through inner landscape” performed with uncompromising precision and artistry. The Estonian dance company Box rm premièred its stage version of Six from Eighteen. Box rm strives to work for increased comprehension of abstract thought within the language of dance. many of the companys performances are site-specific and seek contact with a non-traditional audience.
The Russian choreographer Sascha Pepelyaev experiments with blending dance and the spoken word. The theme is a reflection of the fear found in human contact, and the simultaneous randomness and similarity in the contacts gives us a feeling of tragedy mixed with equal amounts of joy and fragmentary existence. Dorte Olesen gave a première performance of d a m min docka, and Ann Külper and tiger performed in front of the Art museum.
No-one will forget the costume of frogs which Jukka Korpi wore in Mate Date, nor the evening at St. Katarinas ruin with Skåda, a dance installation by Johanna Ekström and E=mc2, expressing nakedness as lack of protection but also as clothing. Jo Strömgren performed Maskuline Mysterier, a piece about love, friendship, and communication through dance, theatre, music, puppets, shadowplay and film. Part Number Seven was Latvian Olga Zitluhinas first solo project, and had been performed for the first time a month earlier at a dance festival in Kazakstan.
The festival closed monumentally with Bogdan Szyber and Carina Reich´s The Hidden, which had been performed only once before at Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Seven long-haired women in ankle-length dresses of sturdy nylon with two-metre-long arms stand in front of huge oil barrels filled with water. Behind the women are glowing hot iron plates. At an accelerating tempo, the arms are washed, the hair and heads submerged, the oil barrels are pounded by the arms, and the women dive into the oil barrels. The water falls down on the glowing iron, and steam rises in the room. Both the performance and the festival moved towards a combined crescendo, leaving us with unforgettable impressions.