Black Marrow | [ Íd ] Íslenski dansflokkurinn


Black Marrow


Premiered May 19th at Reykjavik Arts Festival

Choreographers: Erna Ómarsdóttir & Damien Jalet
Choreographers’ assistant: Sara Black
Original music: Ben Frost
Other music: Danzel
Lighting: Björn Bergsteinn Guðmundsson
Costumes: Júlíanna Steingrímsdóttir
Set: Alexandra Mein, Erna Ómarsdóttir, Damien Jalet, Júlíanna Steingrímsdóttir & Rebekka Moran
Masks: Rebekka Moran & Heimir Sverrisson  inspired by the original masks by Alexandra Mein
Dancers: Cameron Corbett, Einar Nikkerud, Elín Signý Weywadt Ragnarsdóttir, Halla Þórðardóttir, Hjördís Lilja Örnólfsdóttir, Inga Maren Rúnarsdóttir, Sergio Parés Agea & Þyri Huld Árnadóttir

Balm of god or devil’s excrement? What is this black blood, pumping thought the veins of our industrialised world? Which mythology inhabits it? How greatly will it irreversibly metamorphose us and our relationship with our surroundings? How addicted to it are we? How far will we go to satisfy our needs for it? Are we the oil of the future?

Erna Ómarsdóttir and Damien Jalet started off with these questions when creating the first version of Black Marrow in Australia in 2009. They have now further evolved the piece with the dancers of Iceland Dance Company. Acknowledging the ancestral spiritual bond of man and nature, Ómarsdóttir and Jalet invent a contemporary ritual. Exploring with the dancers the energy of an archaic trance to depict a world where instincts have been industrialised, where the body transforms, mutates, exults and fights for its survival. Using rhythm, repetition and exhaustion to the haunting music by Ben Frost, the dancers take the shape of fossils, industrial machines, pagan gods and carefree golden youth. Every ritual has a function – trance often has a healing one. Black Marrow acts like a deformed mirror, a shaded reflection of our contemporary relationship to the planet. A poetic attempt to save it …or to save ourselves.

The original Black Marrow was commissioned by Chunky Move and created in cooperation with Sara Black, Paulo Castro, Julian Crotti, Alisdair Macindoe, Carlee Mellow & James Shannon. Black Marrow had it’s premiere at Melbourne arts festival in october 2009



“This impressive piece by the Icelandic choreographer Erna Ómarsdóttir and the French-Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet has you feeling overwhelmed from the get go […] The original movements, the amazing scenery, the spherical music of Ben Frost and the visible exhaustion of the dancers make Black Marrow a great show. The images are ingenious enough to evoke associations with climate change, contemporary hedonism, and the overriding constraints of society, but also so poetic that this message doesn‘t become too literal. A very special piece.”

“One of the few dance performances I have seen, that leaves a strong longing to hold on to the overall experience as long as possible… It captivated the whole audience in a way that at times I feared I might forget to breathe… The set design in Black Marrow is magnificent in its simplicity… The music by Ben Frost is incredibly impressive… In conclusion, some things shouldn’t be discussed, they need to be experienced.”

“This is first and foremost about the experience. The forces that fill the space, the music that takes over the hearing and admiration of the wonderful creation, which is the human body”

“Dance taken all the way”

“This piece is unquestionably the best work I’ve seen by the company … I really cannot recommend this show enough.”

 “World-class dancers.. a united and strong dance company.”
“This truly is a piece you need to experience. I held my breath the whole performance”
“If I was 13 years old, this would be the piece that changed my life and inspired me to dance”
Icelandic National Radio