dance residency in collaboration with Swedish Ehrstrand Dance Collective
RIVA's second residency was held on the 8th-19th of June 2022 in Styggbo, Sweden, in further partnership with Ehrstrand Dance Collective as well as Viksjöforsbaletten. The residency culminated into a final performance on the 19th of June at Viksjöforsbalettens outdoor stage. The residency allowed for a continued use of the Faroese myth about "The Giant and the Hag" as inspiration for the new pieces but with the addition of the Swedish folklore "Hårgadansen".
Julia Ehrstrand was the guest choreographer for RIVA's debut residency in August 2021 and had she the task of creating one of the three commissioned pieces based on the myth behind the two sea stacks "The Giant and the Hag". For the duration of the first residency we looked for ways to further develop and strengthen our new partnership, and finding the benefits we could each bring one another. Through Ehrstrand Dance Collective inviting RIVA to Sweden for the second residency, we are able to expand our horizon and reach a new audience as well as dancers and artists. Thus did Styggbo, Sweden become the location for our second residency - in continued partnership with Julia Ehrstrand / Ehrstrand Dance Collective and bringing in Helena Ehrstrand from Viksjöforsbaletten. The second residency aims to further develop the material created during the initial residency from August and finding newfound inspiration in the Swedish folklore "Hårgadansen".
“It was a late Saturday night. The young people in Hårga had gathered to dance at the lodge . Suddenly, in the middle of a dance, the music stopped . A new fiddler stepped out of the shadows. He wore a large, dark hat on his head and under the hat you could see a pair of burning eyes. The fiddler lifted his violin to his chin and played a song never heard before. All the young people started dancing to the new tunes. But once they entered the dance, they could not stop. The dance continued throughout the night.
When dawn arrived, the fiddler moved towards the door while continuing to play. After him, all the dancers followed in one line. They could not stop dancing, the notes from the violin drifting on their feet. A girl lay alone on the floor of the lodge. She had seen the fiddler's buck foot, but none of the others had listened as she tried to warn them. Everyone was in the middle of the wildest dance they had ever been to. At the same time as the church bells rang, the young people disappeared dancing away with the fiddler.
The story continues with the fiddler leading the young people up on Hårgaberget. There he sat down by a pine tree with his violin. The young people danced until only their skulls remained. Some say that you can still see the marks from the ring dance on Hårgaberget, and if you are brave enough to venture out at night during a full moon, you can hear the music that the devil played for Hårga's young people.”
Through contemporary dance we are able to work with, and perform, known and unknown Nordic myths and folklores. By setting up our second residency in the countryside of Styggbo, Sweden, we are able to continue our development of RIVA and at the same time strengthen our Nordic partnerships, work with new artists on location, offer dance workshops, do outreach and hold performances in rural places.
9 dancers and choreographers participated in the residency.
Julia Ehrstrand (SE)
Rannvá Guðrunardóttir Niclasen (FO)
Elias Bäckebjörk (NO)
Búi Rouch (FO)
Torill Kolsrud (NO)
Anja Neukomm (CH)
Vár Bech Árting (FO)
Aurélien Peillex (FR)
Sara Colomino (ES)
A special thanks to Svante Ulsson (SE) for teaching us the steps to Hårgadansen (SE)
Partners and support
Helena Ehrstrand (SE),Viksjöforsbaletten
Faroese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Culture
Nordic Culture Point