skip to Main Content

”Without opposition, nothing progresses,” wrote William Blake in ”The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, 1790. And his poetic and meticulous visionary is full of contradictions. Perhaps it explains why this inspired genius still – after two centuries – inspires others, such as Åsa Unander-Scharin in her choreography ”Patterns, Thoughts and Empty Space” (premiered at the Dance Station in Malmö last autumn). Sections from ”The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” sets the scene and are recited – through sonic disformation – in a performance that, with technical refinement, problematizes the relationship between body and movement, motion and noise, space and void.

The scenography is illusory simplistic. In one corner of a white rectangle there is a scaffold, in the other there is a glass box where the choreographer herself is trapped as if asleep. These two artefacts form a triangle with the musicians Carl Unander-Scharin who sings and Mateusz Herczka who performs the electroacoustic music live. At the center of these geometric figures, four dancers – Petra Fredrikzon, Robin Haggar, Sandra Medina and Charlotta Ruth – perform during the hour-long performance. But there is also a camera in the ceiling that reads and reproduces movements in space, digitally transformed, on a wall. In addition, the movements simultaneously control the music, text and audio clips. In a handful of scenes, the technical features are varied. Among other things, the dancers carry a section of wireless sensors on ankle, knees, wrists and elbows, that individually affect the sounding result. Very advanced technology thus, but in service of art’s ”advancement”. For Åsa Unander-Scharin is without doubt something very exciting on track; rather leading my thoughts towards an artist such as Magnus Wallin and his computer animation Skyline (shown at the Modern Museum last year) than to most of her contemporary Swedish dance colleagues. ” Patterns, Thoughts and Empty Space ” is an original, elegant and fully accomplished work.”

Dagens Nyheter, Örjan Abrahamsson, May 2000)

Åsa Unander-Scharin

Carl Unander-Scharin in collaboration with Klas B 

Mateusz Herzcka

From The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake

Petra Fredrikzon, Charlotta Ruth, Åsa Unander-Scharin and Robin Haggar

Carl Unander-Scharin

Mateusz Herzcka

60 minutes

Premiere performance at Dansstationen in Malmö and at Dansescenen in Copenhagen in October during PRIMO – nordic dancefestival, Kulturbro 2000.
Moderna Dansteatern,  Stockholm, 2001.

Back To Top