The Reykjavik Fringe has completed another year. The hustle and bustle around Cialnalbio subsided, and the throngs of wristbanded guests marching around the 101 dispersed. Dozens of advertising show posters flutter helplessly in Iðnó. But even when the commotion has subsided, there is still one final act of singing and dancing. It’s the winner of the 2022 Reykjavik Fringe Grapevine Award!
This year, the award went primarily to “A Study Of Choices,” a performance piece featuring contemporary dance, but not only. We spoke with Swedish creators Linda Wardal and Gustav Lejelind to learn more about their award-winning show.
“Basically, the idea was to give directions and put three dancers on stage, hear the directions for the first time, and have the audience see all three dancers at the same time,” says Linda. Explain the basic concept of the work. “In the process, we realized that what we are working on is a choice.”
In this way, the work unfolds, and dancers who are indifferent to the show stand on the stage. Linda and Gustav sit in a corner, wearing matching jumpsuits and observing. She tries the other knee. Which one do you feel better? ’ she asks. The dancers move through space as directed by her and follow their intuition. The words are the same, but the movements are different. “Don’t be scared,” Linda says gently. “I can’t fail.”
“We have so much fun”
“We really enjoy this,” Gustav says of working with his artistic partner. Gustav handled the music and sound for “A Study Of Choices,” while Linda, a trained choreographer and dancer, wrote most of the script. However, the two worked closely together throughout the process, feeding back and adding to each other’s contributions.
“Maybe it has something to do with my musical background, being used to making music with other people by playing instruments,” Gustav says, creating art in this way. “I’ve taken that into other areas, collaborating with other visual artists and dancers. What happens when I do my thing?” I like something, but it meets something else.”
“It was totally collaborative,” Linda adds of their process. “We’ve been seeing each other every Wednesday night for a long time. We’ve had time to think about this for a really long time.”
At some point in this long creative origin, artists found themselves constantly faced with a variety of choices, both within and outside of their work. “We sat and kept trying to decide different things, what this should be, etc. And then we started looking at these options in a different light,” says Gustav. “Suddenly we start asking if we should do this or that. Should we have dinner now or do something else? I started seeing everything through a lens.”
“As a dancer, you ask yourself, ‘Is this enough?'” adds Linda. “Maybe that’s also where I always question my choices. [in the show] also means that this doesn’t have to be the best choice, just choose now. There’s something about it, and I think that’s important. ”
The consequences of the choices Gustav and Linda ultimately make play out for the viewer in “A Study Of Choices” — until the lens finally switches to focus on the viewer himself. The dancer sits on stage and observes the audience being asked to touch their knee or try the other knee if necessary. A nervous, subdued laugh reveals a slight awkwardness in the crowd, but the atmosphere is warm. She said, “There is no way to fail.”
RVK Fringe is an annual arts festival running from June 24th to July 3rd, 2022.