The Soft Animal of Our Body

The Research for THE SOFT ANIMAL OF OUR BODY is a continuation of Wunderland’s work with radical physical and sensory audience participation into new fields.

With our solid background of working with the audience one by one, meeting one performer at the time, we
now want to explore new fields: the audience and the performers moving together as one group. Dissolving
who is who, exploring the physicality and inner dynamics in a group.

The research is an important step before the actual production, to know enough about the amount of input and
guidance a group needs, how the group changes with the numbers of individuals, and how many performers
are needed for a specific group size.
Furthermore we want to investigate how the live animation through sound
and words influences the group dynamics. And how the common costume influences the perception and
behaviour in the group.

Research questions

  • How can a group – through physical interactive and sensory experiences- be guided into their personal
    longings?
  • How can we play with group dynamics, building relations, building “communities” in a staged, space, but with
    real and honest interaction?
  • Can a group, who just met become a clan, a family?
  • How can the way we act in a group show us ourselves in a new way? Show us relation to others in a new
    way?
  • How can people from different social groups, different ages, different habits of using the body, challenge and
    complement each other?
  • How does it influence our behaviour in a group being “disguised” in the costume and gradually being
    unmasked?
  • How does the group dynamic change according to the number of individuals in the group?
  • How many performers to how many audience-participants are necessary to guide physical changes and
    changes in the state of mind of the group?

Future plans

Production in Aarhus in September/October 2018.Touring in sports halls in villages and cities in Denmark,
Norway, Estonia and Iceland in 2019/20. Working with different communities and framing the possibility of
different segments of people to meet.

Supported by

  • Nordic Culture Fund
  • Danish Arts Foundation
  • The Municipality of Aarhus
  • Bora-Bora – Dance and visual theatre
  • Performing Arts Platform

Researchers

  • Thomas Rosendal Nielsen, PHD – interaktiv dramaturgi
  • Haukur Ingi Jonasson (researcher from Reykjavik University)
  • Maja Ravn (project-leader assistant and leader of audience talks)

Artists

  • Mette Aakjær (DK) – Artistic leader and performer
  • Mari Mägi (Estonia) – co-creating performer
  • Helga Rosenfeldt-Olsen (DK) –co-creating performer
  • Nina Matthis (S) – co-creating performer
  • Sigrid Astrup (NO/DK) – Visual artist, costumes and set design
  • Sonja Winckelmann Thomsen (DK) – Text – and gamemaster
  • Thoranna Bjornsdottir (IS) – composer
  • Sara John (Australia) – dramaturgical consultant

Technique

  • Daniel Plewe (technical interaction designer)

Production

  • Louise Kierkegaard, 1:1 produktion (project leader)
  • Maja Ravn (project-leader assistant and leader of audience talks)
  • Sarah Kamille Teilbrand (assistant)
  • Aurora Bertoli (Set design/costume design assistant)
  • Maria Vang (Set design/costume design assistant)
  • Christoffer Brekne (Video artist)

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