DE UTVALGTE RETROSPECTIVE
In 2015, De Utvalgte are celebrating their 21-year anniversary. We celebrate this with a retrospective view of seven performances made during the last 10 years after the group achieved its current constellation; Kari Holtan – director, Boya Bøckman –video designer, Torbjørn Davidsen: actor / text developer and Anne Holtan: dramaturge.
Once during the nineties, we were encouraged by the Norwegian Council of Arts to stick to physical theater as we were trained to do, and stop talking on stage.
We agreed with ourselves that we should be allowed to experiment with expressive forms and create what we think is interesting. In hindsight we can look back on a handful of performances, with a distinctive and multifaceted expression where virtually all components are created by each of the performers. Precisely the willingness to experiment and try new avenues was noted by the jury when we received the Hedda Price for special artistic achievement 20 years later.
Distance in time gives new perspectives and therefore introspection is perhaps an equally appropriate term for this project because it deals with delving into the matter and seeing lines and connections in our work.
We see theater as an opportunity to play with perceptions of reality. The work examines the human experience of identity and belonging, or lack thereof, our vulnerability and inadequacy in a complex contemporary time. We see it as our privilege to define what theater can be.
The media of film is an important part of our theatrical expression. From the child who witnesses the adult world in Bang Bang Club to the three-dimensional space of the stage, mixing the action on stage with the potential in film. The stage room flickers and changes. In some moments commenting, in others contrasting. Sometimes documentary other times as scenography. The technological development has enabled us to mediate visual signs and languages that communicate at different levels. Paradoxically we are battling against the technified world using its own tools. We want to put people at the center.
Bang Bang Club premiered at the Black Box Theatre in 2004, and is the first play we present. Thematic, structural, and technological elements are continued in later productions, but it is perhaps the unpredictable aspect that creates reverberation.
The fact that we are also working intuitively and with improvisation in our performances make it interesting to reconstruct something that was created in a contemporary time and discover that it can achieve new layers of meaning today.
Retrospection is about looking backwards. Sometimes to inform ourselves of where we are and why we are where we are. Sometimes looking backwards can give inspiration to go forward.