The Table Turns

Dates: Saturday 04.05.19 2 PM and Sunday 05.05.19 2 PM.
Location: Atelier Nord, Olaf Ryes plass 2 (inngang Sofienberggata)

The Table Turns is about freedom and power on the dance floor, conveyed through four turntables and one dancer. The dancer controls the rotation of the records and the position of the pin through movement sensors. When the dancer dances to the music, the music appears directly and mechanically through the dance. Paradoxically enough, this control leads to a loss of freedom, a radical narrowing of the possibilities of movement. Since the dancer generates the music she tries to dance to, dance and music create and oppose each other simultaneously. By reversing the connection between sound and movement the performance questions the relationship between individual and community, the power dynamic between dance and music, and the tension between dance as an art form and dance as a social activity.

Club dancing as we know it originates in an upheaval in dance culture in the 1960s and 70s, especially in the US. The civilized and controlled couple dancing was replaced by unbridled moves in abandoned industrial premises and old attics; orchestras were replaced by a DJ, swing rhythms by beats. Suddenly people of different skin colour or the same sex could dance together. In this sense, club dancing and other liberation movements helped turn leisure time and lifestyle into arenas of political struggle. Letting loose in the crowd on the dance floor became a way to demonstrate your freedom. Yet this freedom is limited. The dancers can only express themselves within the limits set by a mysterious DJ figure. Behind the spontaneous community is an individual that controls the evening’s rises and falls in speed and intensity – the entire dramaturgy of the dance floor.

By: Karen Eide Bøen and Roar Sletteland.
Scenography: Apichaya Wanthiang. Light design: Leo Preston.
Co-production: BIT Teatergarasjen. Supported by: Norwegian Art Council.
Produced at: Wrap Art Centre and BEK – Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts.