Choreography part 1: Anne Holck Ekenes & Pia Holden

Choreography part 2: Hélène Blackburn

Composer: Sverre Indris Joner

Musicians: Gustavo Tavers and Sverre Indris Joner

Dancers: Robert Guy, Johnny Autin and Matias Rønning

Lighting design: Joakim Brink

Costumes: Caroline Drønen Ekornes

Target group: From 13 years

"In 2002, George Bush defined Iran, Iraq and North Korea as the axis of evil. He did not leave much room for complexity in culture and population. Kirkelig kulturverksted reacted to the statement and released a record with several lullabies and made the stereotype impossible. In the piece, we move away from the focus on countries and nations and into how brutality and masculinity are often connected, but that naked vulnerability also follows - and sometimes humor."(Panta Rei Danseteater)

Lullaby is an energetic dance performance with three male performers on stage. It started with one man on stage and two musicians - one playing the cello and one playing the piano. Shortly after, the other two dancers arrived. At times, the pianist stopped playing and began to stomp, tap and make different sounds with his hands. They played classical music, and very dramatically when it suited them. It was intimate and they danced very synchronized. The music, the vocals and their body language helped to enhance the atmosphere.

Suddenly they started a conflict and it was shown clearly that they disagreed. They were fighting each other with dance, and it looked very realistic. It made the whole audience wonder what had really happened. It was good interaction. They danced a kind of mix of modern dance and ballet. They used big and fast movements, and elements that reflected their personalities.

They used a lot of chairs in the play, and used this very well as an example of something that could be a waiting room or an empty space. It can also be compared to how many people die or go missing. How many people were actually supposed to be present. Was it supposed to be the three dancers on stage or 50 more? Where have they gone? That's what Panta Rei Danseteater is trying to get across with these chairs. Towards the end of the piece, one of the dancers started throwing the chairs at each other, shouting and screaming. It made a violent sound that caught the attention of most people. It could be a symbol of all the people who are oppressed, ignored or killed.

The play was divided into two parts. The first part was quite serious with lots of fighting and a gloomy atmosphere. The second part was a bit more fun and entertaining, and created a good atmosphere. It can be a bit confusing to know what's going on if you don't see the deeper meaning behind it. The transition was a bit abrupt, but it explains how everything can go from being good to bad, or vice versa.

When they came back out for part two, they were dressed in suits and everything had turned around. They came in with good spirits and brought two small white chairs each. They used these chairs very creatively, sometimes teasing each other by "stealing" the chairs from each other. For parts of the piece, one dancer spoke in French. About 2/3 didn't understand what he was saying, but we understood some of what he meant with his body language. He said it in a way that gave us a sense of seriousness and vulnerability. Suddenly, two of the dancers started counting in French and English, and had a little tea party. It confused the audience even more. Sometimes they showed us peace-signs, visual tears, broken hearts and simply made fools of themselves. The dancers had very good communication with the audience. There was a bit of flirting too!

After a conversation with one of the choreographers, Anne Holck Ekenes, she explained a little about what they were thinking when they staged this performance. She said that what was portrayed could also be compared to most of the world's problems, and that "Lullaby" focused on reality in many ways. She said that it was relevant now, because the terrorist group ISIS or other terrorist groups that are violent and brutal can suddenly lose power if they are ridiculed in a way they don't like. Everything can change very quickly. Just as empty shoes and belongings were a sign of emptiness and death during World War II, these chairs used in the play could be a sign of humanity.

The stage design was interesting, well thought out and executed. The use of music, lights and smoke machine really set the mood. What was a little difficult was finding the politics described. It was also absurd, and you can get very confused if you read the description, see the play and then walk out again. It was perhaps a little difficult to find the deep meaning behind the play for the younger audience.

It was a good performance with talented dancers. Strong empathy and technical effects made the piece hang together well. It was nice that they had some variation that made the audience think a little about why things are and become the way they are. It created a serious, humorous and positive attention and curiosity in the audience!


ENGLISH - shorter version 

In 2002, George Bush defined Iran, Iraq and North Korea as the Axis of Evil, leaving no room in his statement for any nuance concerning their respective cultures or their people. Kirkelig Kulturverksted, a record company, reacted to Bush's statement and released a CD consisting of lullabies from "the axis of evil" in an attempt to prevent the stereotypes promoted by the then President of the United States taking hold. That recording was the start of Scenekunst Østfold and Panta Rei Danseteater journey with the creation of Lullaby.

For this creative process they have shifted the focus from the different countries mentioned in that speech to one looking at how brutality and masculinity often go hand in hand, with naked vulnerability and humor close behind.