From Iceland — Speak Dance, Watch Dance, Dance, Dance!

Speak Dance, Watch Dance, Dance, Dance!

Published February 13, 2015

The Reykjavík Dance Festival is relentlessly omnipresent

Speak Dance, Watch Dance, Dance, Dance!
Anna Manning
Photo by
Jeaneen Lund

The Reykjavík Dance Festival is relentlessly omnipresent

Throughout the month of February, the Reykjavík Dance Festival (RDF) will be in full swing. What started as a group of independent artists looking for a platform to work on their art has since developed into an established festival with four major events throughout the year. Rather than a traditional festival schedule with many different events crammed into a few days, the entire month of February is filled with workshops, performances, and gatherings. To learn what we can expect from this latest iteration of the RDF, we shot a few questions to one of its artistic directors, Ásgerður Gunnarsdóttir.

How has the new arrangement of staging several festivals throughout the year been working out so far?
The new arrangement has been working out very well. There has been an increased visibility for dance and choreography, and the festival has drawn in some new audiences. We believe that dance and choreography are becoming more visible and prominent within Iceland’s cultural landscape, and RDF popping up more than once a year is contributing a lot to that change.

Is this festival aimed at any and all dance enthusiasts? Only those with professional experience? Only those already established in the Icelandic dance scene?
The focus of this February edition is on The Choreographer and his or her working methods. If you like to dance, then there will be the opportunity on February 13, where we collaborate with UN Women and Choreography Reykjavík to host a “One Billion Rising Lunch Beat.” There should be something this month for those who like to speak about dance, watch dance—and dance!


Are there any works in particular you are especially proud of, or would encourage people to see? 

“RDF is currently riding a nice wave, and we want to continue that”

We are very excited by ‘walk+talk’, where the Icelandic choreographers Erna Ómarsdóttir and Margrét Bjarnadóttir collaborate with Philipp Gehmacher to create two new solos within the context of Philipp’s ongoing project ‘walk+talk’. Both will be presented over one night only, alongside Philipp’s own ‘walk+talk’ solo. We are also excited to be collaborating with IDC and look forward seeing Saga Sigurðardóttir and Karol Tyminski’s ‘TAUGAR’. Also, we encourage people to tune in to the live broadcasting of dance performances from the Belgian festival We Love Radio, which takes place in Buda, Kortrijk at the end of the month, and which will be streamed via the RDF website. And last but not the least, Choreography Reykjavík is back with their Super Solo Nights—a performance evening that never fails to succeed!

Are there any choreographers (or anyone else) you hope to attract for future festivals?
We have a list of great choreographers and artists that would be great to bring to Iceland, and hopefully we will be able to do so in the next years. It of course all depends on more than just our will. It depends on local funding as well, and hopefully that will be raised in the next years so we can continue to bring interesting artists to the island.

Where do you see the RDF going from here? Will there continue to be more than one festival a year in the future?
RDF is currently riding a nice wave, and we want to continue that. It is hard for us to predict the future since we have to apply yearly for state funding, and every three years for city funding. This renders future planning and long-term vision not so easy, but hopefully we’ll be able to carry out this model in the future.

What is the average attendance? How many do you expect to participate this time?
Every show until now has had very good attendance—we expect the same for this edition. There is an increasing interest in the festival and its activities, for sure.

Read more:

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This past Friday I attended the premiere of the Icelandic Dance Company’s ‘TAUGAR’ a two part performance with works by Saga Sigurðardóttir and Karol Tyminski…

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Just in time for the Reykjavík Dance Festival, the Icelandic Dance Company presents TAUGAR, with two works choreographed by Saga Sigurðardóttir and Karol Tyminski…

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The Reykjavík Dance Festival has changed nearly as much as the art of dance itself in its twelve years of existence…

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