Kaleidoskop and Cirkus Cirkör presents the Mermaid
On the 14th of May 2005, Kedelsmedjen opens its doors to present an astonishing universe of fairytale magic, created by two leading young forces in performing arts: Danish theatre Kaleidoskop and Swedish 'new circus' company Circus Cirkör.
By Oliver Newton - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 28 April 2005
A profound and frantic bombardment of the senses produced by Kaleidoskop (DK) and Cirkus Cirkor (SE) to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen's birth. Produced with support from the Hans Christian Andersen 2005.
"Now that she knew where he lived, she spent many an evening and many a night on the water near the palace. She would swim much nearer the shore than any of the others ventured to do; indeed once she went quite up the narrow channel under the marble balcony, which threw a broad shadow on the water. Here she would sit and watch the young prince, who thought himself quite alone in the bright moonlight"
From The Little Mermaid, by Hans Christian Andersen, 1836
The Mermaid is a visual feast of a play, based on one of H.C. Andersen's best loved and most enticing fairytales - The Little Mermaid. In a trail-blasting Danish-Swedish co-production, theatre Kaleidoskop and Cirkus Cirkör have joined forces to create an international performance about the mermaid and her great love.
Theatre artists Katrine Wiedemann and Martin Tulinius, both known for their accomplishments with visual media, have joined Tilde Björfors of Swedish 'new circus' company Circus Cirkör, to create a breathtaking version of H.C. Andersen's well known fairytale. Top circus performers, dancers and actors are set to captivate the audience with a sensory bombardment of artistry, drama and new circus art at its highest level. The latest technology will coincide with the ancient art of storytelling, and the laws of gravity will be suspended as a spectacle of wonderment unfolds before the audience. Follow the fantastical struggle of the mermaid at the beautiful old Kedelsmedjen theatre at Holmen, Copenhagen.
Director Katrine Wiedemann: "We want to tell a story of undiluted magic and raw emotion. Gone is the saccharine idealisation. What's left is Andersen's poetic, unsettling and infinitely beautiful account of the little mermaid's longing for the prince's love and an immortal soul - a tale of elements that can never be united."
In 2002, Katrine Wiedemann and Cirkus Cirkör worked together on (Swedish national theatre) Dramaten's phenomenally successful production of Romeo and Juliet, which ran for 135 sold out shows in Stockholm and proceeded to bring the house down at Wiener Festwoche 03
Then, in 2003, the turn came to Denmark to experience the very special blend of theatre and contemporary circus, when Kaleidoskop and Katrine Wiedemann staged Shakespeare's The Tempest. Jens Albinus starred in the principal role, and Melinda Kinnaman put her acrobatic skills to good use as Miranda.
The Mermaid is the coming together of the talents of Wiedemann, Tulinius and Bjørfors. As a play, therefore, it will carry with it both Kaleidoskop's recognised ability to unite visual and dramatic elements, and the strangely poetic extreme physical performances that are the trademark of Cirkus Cirkör.
Direction: Katrine Wiedemann (DK)
Circus direction: Tilde Bjørfors (SE)
Set design: Martin Tulinius (DK)
Costume design: Mia Stensgaard (DK)
Lighting design: Mikael Sylvest (DK)
Sound design/composer: Mads Lungdahl (DK) and others
Dramaturg: Nicole Langkilde (DK)
Producer: Mette Hvid Davidsen (DK) and Ida Burén (SE)
Melinda Kinnaman, Siri Hamari, Dag Andersson, Andreas Skjönberg, Bekki Methinée Wongtrakoon, Olle Strandberg, Andreas Falk, Manu Tiger, Anna Lagerkvist, Ingela Hinas, Jenny and Sara Haglund.
Joining an ensemble of 11 international artists - singers, musicians and actors - is Swedish actress Melinda Kinnamann. Whilst Danes may know her from her role in Danish TV-drama-series Ørnen, in Sweden she has enjoyed wide recognition since her debut as a fourteen-year-old, in Lasse Hallström's film Mit liv som hund. After graduating from the Swedish theatre academy in Stockholm in 1994, Melinda was immediately accepted into the regular ensemble of the Swedish national theatre - Dramaten. Here, she has starred in numerous, often principal, roles. Furthermore, her role as Juliet in Katrine Wiedemann's Romeo and Juliet allowed her to develop a number of circus-related skills, which have since impressed professional circus-artists and audiences alike. Most recently, Melinda Kinnaman starred in Mats Ek's very successful production of The Merchant of Venice at Dramaten.
The Mermaid Universe
The Mermaid derives its special aesthetic from a blend of drama, storytelling theatre and modern contemporary circus art.
For Katrine Wiedemann, the natural medium for a story of such epic proportions as The Little Mermaid is a modern and innovative scenic language, able to convey true depth of emotion. On stage, the circus artists aren't pretending to be doing something dangerous - they are doing something dangerous. That is what is fascinating about human physical capabilities and limits. It is pure magic and raw emotion - and it can really grab our attention. At the conceptual meeting-point between visual, dramatic and expressive scenic art, that is where we hope to convey Andersen's emotions and story directly to the audience through a relentless yet poignant sensory bombardment.
Katrine Widemann: That is the language we feel called upon to use when interpreting H.C. Andersen's text. The literary masterpiece itself is there already.
Since its founding in 1994, Kaleidoskop has established itself as Denmark's foremost progressive theatre. Kaleidoskop is where the best respected theatre talent - Danish and international - come to test the latest ideas within the art form. Here, the pulse is high, the repertoire solid and the theatre cutting edge.
Kaleidoskop is based in the centre of Copenhagen, at Nørrebro. From here, an annual repertoire of 10-15 plays is produced and administered for both domestic and foreign stages. And not least for the home stage, which presents up to 10 plays a season. Kaleidoskop is lead by creative director Martin Tulinius and producer Mette Hvid Davidsen (www.kaleidoskop.dk).
Cirkus Cirkör is Scandinavia's leading contemporary circus company. Based in Stockholm, Cirkus Cirkör creates new circus-performances of the highest international standard, that have been touring throughout Europe and Asia. With fantastic shows; elaborate events on such occasions as the Nobel Prize gala and the inauguration of the Øresund Bridge; and also by running Scandinavia's only circus academy, Cirkus Cirkör has permanently changed the face of the performing arts in Sweden. Cirkus Cirkör is lead by circus director Tilde Björfors. (www.cirkor.se)
Theater der Welt
The Mermaid is produced in co-operation with Germany's leading international theatre festival: Theater der Welt 05. Theater der Welt is held once every three years, and always in a new town or city and with a new creative director. In 2005 it will be held in Stuttgart, with Maria Zimmerann as creative director. The Mermaid will premiere in Theaterhaus Stuttgart on the 24th of June 2005 (www.theaterderwelt.de).
Runs from the 14th of May to the 18th of June 2005, all weekdays at 8pm and Saturdays at 5pm.
No performances on the 20th, 21st and 24th of May 2005.
At: Kedelsmedjen, Fabrikmestervej 37, Holmen, near the new opera-house.
Tickets: +45 35 36 53 02/ 70 15 65 65
For further pressinformation, please contact:
Louise Gabold +45 26 27 90