The production is pitched as being part contemporary dance, part ballet, part rock concert and part film. Indeed, theatregoers are encouraged to expect striking artistic creativity in this extravaganza, conceived in celebration of common things made holy.
Inspired by the idea of ritual as an essential part of life, Sacrifice will spill from the stage into the foyers of the Royal Festival Hall at London’s Southbank Centre. This total takeover means that audience members themselves will be up on their feet, experiencing a different ritual in each place they pilgrimage to.
The works in the line-up are wildly diverse. Still, they seem to be united by a thematic sentiment that recognises the human need for spirituality in some form – the universal desire to have something we can believe in and devote ourselves to.
Artistic Director Erna Ómarsdóttir choreographed Shrine in collaboration with the dancers of the company. The dancing commemorates the beauty of existence, revelling in the wonders of life and death. The catalyst for Shrine was a video-installation, Dias Irae. Devised by visual artist Gabriela Friðriksdóttir, this piece focuses on the transition from life to death.
No Tomorrow is a ballet for eight dancers and eight acoustic guitars, set to the music of Bryce Dessner. Created by performance and visual artist Ragnar Kjartansson and choreographer Margrét Bjarnadóttir, it delves into ideas of youthful innocence and investigates the rite of passage associated with coming of age.
Iceland Dance Company, Sacrifice, photo Jónatan Grétarsson
With performative video installation Union of the North audiences are reminded that even if today’s religion increasingly appears to be commerce – with consumption as the corresponding ritual – we nonetheless remain dutifully devout. Created by renowned American visual artist Matthew Barney, choreographer Erna Ómarsdóttir and musician Valdimar Jóhannsson, this work sees the pedestrian actions of the sales assistants and customers in a shop develop into peculiar, highly-stylised ritualistic movements.
Essentially, life has a rhythm – we are born, we grow, we connect with each other, we die. Sacrifice is set to use performance art to tap into that rhythm, revealing the rituals behind the lives we live.
Presented as part of Southbank Centre’s Summertime festival and as an offering within Nordic Matters (the venue’s 2017 exploration of Nordic culture), Sacrifice is sure to be worth a watch for dance audiences who are after something slightly out of the ordinary.
Age Guidance: 14+
|What||Iceland Dance Company, Sacrifice, Royal Festival Hall|
|Where||Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
18 Aug 17 – 20 Aug 17, 19:00 Sun 16:00 Dur.: 3 hours 30 minutes
|Website||Click here to book via the Southbank website|