Colourful and with as much variety as possible, that is how choreographer Ástrós Gunnarsdóttir describes this year’s Reykjavík Dance Festival. The festival is being held in Borgarleikhúsið from Thursday September 1st until Sunday the 4th.
Gunnarsdóttir is one of five organizing Icelandic choreographers for this year’s festival. The festival, which was first held in 2001, has drawn a bigger crowd every year. Choreographers from all over the world come to Iceland for this event. Gunnarsdóttir is overwhelmed with the success and diversity of her upstart festival: “I’m very happy to say that the festival has drawn an audience of more than 900 people in total last year. As always we want to have a lot of variety. Every choreographer has very much his own style. Some big pieces are built on classical techniques, others come from the modern theatre movement. All is in fact modern dance.”
What makes the festival so remarkable is the autonomy each choreographer maintains in the production. “Every choreographer has his own approach,” Gunnarsdóttir told the Grapevine. “They all have total freedom in the choice of dancers, some of them are from the Icelandic Dance Company, some are from abroad. We just provide the platform.”
To complement the dancers, this year’s festival will feature video installations by Peter Anderson and Jared Gradinger.
Gunnarsdóttir’s description of Gradinger may surprise the austere Martha Graham crowd. “Gradinger uses famous songs in his videos, like Jump by Van Halen. He films people’s movements in every day life.”
Gunnarsdóttir laughed at our surprise, explaining, “You just have to find it out for yourself. All the pieces are interesting.”
Check out the full program at www.dancefestival.is.
Ticket sales from Borgarleikhúsið, Listabraut 3 (next to Kringlan), call 568-8000.
You can buy tickets per night or get a four-day pass, which is the better bargain.