Union of the North | [ Íd ] Íslenski dansflokkurinn


Union of the North


by Matthew Barney, Erna Ómarsdóttir and Valdimar Jóhannsson

One of the world’s most tenacious concepts is the idea of a father, mother and a child. The concept sits at the core of all religious beliefs, creating material for mythical interpretations such as the one relating to the unification of heaven and earth. A version of that particular narrative can be found in Greek mythology; the myth of Uranus and Saturn and their 12 off-springs who became the first Greek gods and goddesses. In Sumerian mythology, however, the sky, the earth, the first gods and the entire humanity were the work of the goddess Nammu, the eternal ocean. In Union of the North by Matthew Barney, Erna Ómarsdóttir and Valdimar Jóhannsson, said Nammu holds a job at a shopping centre. She stands behind the counter of a Dunkin’ Donuts at closing time, fixes a golden donut in preparation of a wedding ceremony and waits for teams of excited stags and hens to arrive. This is a reality show featuring normal working people who aim at putting a new twist on an ancient ritual in an act of balance between communalism and individuality.

duration 75 min.

choreography Erna Ómarsdóttir, in collaboration with the performers
music Valdimar Jóhannsson – featuring Sofia Jernberg
lyrics Matthew Barney
text Friðgeir Einarsson
director of photography Tómas Örn Tómasson
assistant director Anna Gunndís Guðmundsdóttir
editor Frosti Jón Runólfsson
sound recording Agnar Friðbertsson and Ari Rannveigarson
camera Anní Ólafsdóttir, Frosti Jón Runólfsson and Viktor Orri Andersen
assistant cameraman Victor Bogdanski
set designers Guðni Rúnar Gunnarsson and Ari Birgir Ágústsson
assistant set designer Vilhjálmur Pétursson
costume designer Rebekka Jónsdóttir and Hrafnhildur Hólmgeirsdóttir
assistant costume designer Kolbrún Sigurðardóttir
hair and make-up Harpa Finnsdóttir
assistant hair and make-up Kamilla Kristín Auðunsdóttir
production and co-ordination Kata Ingva, Heba Eir Kjeld, Ragnheiður Skúladóttir, Bjarni Jónsson and Hulda Helgadóttir
performers Aðalheiður Halldórsdóttir, Anna Guðrún Tómasdóttir, Ásgeir Helgi Magnússon, Dóra Jóhannsdóttir, Elín Signý Weywadt Ragnarsdóttir, Erna Ómarsdóttir, Friðgeir Einarsson, Halla Þórðardóttir, Hannes Þór Egilsson, Hjördís Lilja Örnólfsdóttir, Inga Maren Rúnarsdóttir, Lovísa Ósk Gunnarsdóttir, Raven Laxdal, Sofia Jernberg, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, Valdimar Jóhannsson and Þyrí Huld Árnadóttir.

customers at the mall Anita Ísey Jónsdóttir, Bjarni Jónsson, Elísa Lind Finnbogadóttir, Erla Rut Mathiesen, Hekla Elísabet Aðalsteinsdóttir, Kristín Manúelsdóttir and Sigurður Andrean Sigurgeirsson.

12 kids on bikes Anna Kolbrún Ísaksdóttir, Arna Geirsdóttir, Baldur Björn Arnarsson, Brynjar Óli Ísaksson, Elísabet María Jónsdóttir Kjeld, Elmar Sölvi Steinarsson, Freyja Geirsdóttir, Geir Örn Jacobsen, Hekla Kristleifsdóttir, Katrín Eir Ásgeirsdóttir, Vaka Tómasdóttir, Valgerður Gríma Sigurjónsdóttir.

Union of the North is part of SACRIFICE – a festival of common things made holy.

SACRIFICE is a collection of works that stress the importance of inspiration, creativity and human contact. They range from performance to installation, from the immersive  to the voyeuristic, from sound to silence. The festival is a journey through various definitions of theatrical presentation and choreography, with particular focus on the human body, its movements and our ways of expression.

SACRIFICE also includes the following pieces:

DIES IRAE by Gabríela Friðriksdóttir
SHRINE by Erna Ómarsdóttir and Valdimar Jóhannsson
NO TOMORROW by Ragnar Kjartansson, Margrét Bjarnadóttir and Bryce Dessner


a festival of common things made holy

Produced by Iceland Dance Company, in collaboration with Lókal Performing Arts Reykjavík and the Reykjavík City Theatre.

Artistic direction: Erna Ómarsdóttir and Valdimar Jóhannsson.

Co-produced by Shalala, SPRING Festival Utrecht, Tanzhaus Düsseldorf, BUDA Kotrjik and Reykjavík Dance Festival (apap).