Residency and workshop in Jordan

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As part of our prosess with developing the Snik and Snok on the Moon project, we had an eleven day residence in Amman, Jordan. Why should we travel to Jordan to make a show for kids in Norway? Well, Helle Siljeholm and Sara Christophersen have done several contemporary dance performances in the middle east and have great relations there. The National Centre for Culture and Arts, King Hussein Foundation (NCCA) offered us to use their great theatre hall for the developement of our project. In return we would hold a series of workshops for the in-house theatre company on how to create live performances together with video projections.

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We set up all our equipment in the hall: A white rubber carpet, a huge screen made out of elastic textile, three video projectors and a sculptural element. All the guys, meaning all the nerds, installed themselves and their machines directly in front of the stage. That is where I spendt most of my time. Day in and day out working in photoshop with pictures of models I had already prepared in Oslo. If was pretty cool to see my designs projected onto the stage. I could even draw live onto the stage while the dancers blocked out the scenes. This was great for deciding on the various compositions. While the men worked on the design, music and technical challenges, the ladies traines the resident actors in movement and acting.

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One of the main challenges for me was designing the moon landscape. Was I to continue on my plastelina designs or should I do something totally new? The answer came in the form of a recreational trip to the acient city of Petra, one of the new7wonders of the world. How to describe Petra in one word? AWESOME! The only things I have ever seen that could compare itself in dramatic scenery would have to be Machu Picchu or the Grand Canyon. It feels like being on another planet. We were all convinced that this was the moon in the Snik and Snok universe. I took loads of pictures for reference.

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Eventually the time came for Ludvig Friberg and me to hold a workshop together with the resident actors. They had never acted with a projection before, so we gave them the opportunity to try to make their own little play. We went outside to a public park to shoot various locations. We filmed them going in and out of the shots and doing all kinds of movements. After filming a variety of material, we returned to the theatre to project it on the screen. They trained on “disappearing” behind the screen, and “reappearing” in front of the screen. We explored all kinds of possibilities and had a lot of fun. When they were used to the new format, they wrote down a loose script for a play. We helped them produce the necessary video material, they rehearsed for a day, and presented it to a distinguished audience the very next day. We were all very happy with the experience. Using video is a really efficient way to make good and cheap scenery for the stage.

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Our trip saw supported by NCCA, UD/DTS and The Norwegian Embassy in Amman.

Read more about the process of making Snik and Snok on the Moon>>