Reykjavíkurdætur, the thirteen-strong feminist rap group, are taking the world by storm. After performing at London’s WOW (Women Of The World) Festival, they were scouted by BBC Radio One’s Huw Stephens. “Wowed, as it were, by their performance, Huw invited them to perform on his high-profile show, following in the footsteps of the likes of Beyoncé and Kanye West, whose portraits loom down from the studio walls. This is a big deal.
Hot off this success, the Daughters of Reykjavík are back in town, preparing for their next venture: performing at the Borgarleikhúsið theatre, one of the city’s most prestigious cultural venues. “It’s very exciting,” Steinunn Jonsdòttir, one-thirteenth of Reykjavíkurdætur, tells me. “The head of the theatre basically just gave us permission to do whatever we want.”
Reykjavíkurdætur are, first and foremost, a rap group, but this show utilises the strong performance background of many of the group’s members. “We are going to make our theatre dreams come true!” laughs Steinunn. “This is a new experience and new ground for us. But we’re still the same group, with that same energy.”
But this energy is being managed in a slightly different format to their usual rap gigs. Whereas their performances are usually an equal collaborative effort, for this show they’ve decided to utilise their various individual strengths. Kolfinna Nikulásardóttir, who has a degree in performing arts, is taking the role of director; Jóhanna Rakel, who is studying fine art, is in charge of costumes and set design; and Salka Valsdóttir, a student sound engineer, is taking the role of music director.
I ask Steinunn what people can expect from this performance. “Well, there’s not that much rap. It’s more theatre and music,” she says “It will give people a different insight into our group, we’re really opening up in this piece, so people can get to know us in a new way.” Reykjavíkurdætur are famous for their unashamedly feminist and highly politicised lyrics, and I wonder whether the different insight Steinunn promises will continue on this theme. “We are political because we’re taking up a space that was not meant for us,” she replies. “This show touches on everything we see around us and the society we live in. But it’s also fun.” Steinunn pauses and laughs. “Don’t worry, it’s not just a seminar about feminism.”
I’m trying to get my head around what exactly to expect. “Are you telling a chronological story?” I ask. Steinunn thinks for a while and then says, “The show definitely has form. There is a script that we’ve written, and everything happens within this world we’ve created. But there’s not an obvious narration as such. It’s more fluid than that.”
Either Steinunn finds it difficult to fully describe their creation, or she is keeping her cards close to her chest, not wanting to give anything away. Either way, I’m intrigued to see what this badass group of women have come up with. Much like the group themselves, it’s sure to be unforgettable.
You can catch Reykjavíkurdætur at Borgarleikhúsið Theatre from 11 May – 3 June. Go to www.borgarleikhus.is for more details.
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