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.
Choreographers: Erna Ómarsdóttir & Damien Jalet
Choreographer’s 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 eftir upprunalegri hönnun Alexandra Mein