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Dance programme about the rise and fall of icons.

“...a hypnotic dance piece”Expressen
“It’s wonderfully elegant”Svenska Dagbladet
“...the dancers are fantastic”SR Kulturnytt
“...smooth as honey”Borås Tidning
“The year’s greatest, most sumptuous dance experience”Dagens nyheter
“The dance company excels at precision”Göteborgs-Posten

GöteborgsOperans Danskompani presents an evening of dance on the rise and fall of icons. With 3.5 tons of clay, live Italian-Japanese music and a twisted American dreamscape.

Icons. Religious leaders, politicians, pop stars, role models. We create them, reproduce them, worship them. All until the next regime, culture or trend takes over and replaces them with new ones. Why do we do this? Why do we feel the need to create icons - and destroy the ones we no longer worship? What happens within us when we build them up, and then witness their downfall?

Extended interval

The interval between each dance piece in Icon is 45 minutes. Take the opportunity to eat and drink something delicious from our Opera Bar or Café. Read more about booking interval refreshments here. We also serve hot dogs and vegan hot dogs for SEK 29.


Theatre and dance piece by Alan Lucien Øyen

Kodak, trailer

Alan Lucien Øyen has the rare ability to free an audience from time and place, and transport them to a magical, enchanting universe. In 2015 he created If we shadows have offended for GöteborgsOperans Danskompani; a critically acclaimed dream play in which the dancers were also praised for their acting and singing.

His new creation Kodak asks the questions: What are our dreams are made of? How are we affected by our desperate desires to be like the icons of our time? What do we become when our icons fall? The audience is faced with fragments of memories and glimpes of past-times, as if flicking through an old photo album.

Kodak exists in the hazy boundary between childhood and adulthood, fantasy and reality, safety and danger. We see brands with hidden messages, gleaming white, toothpaste-ad smiles, melancholy film music, American studio stars from the 50s to the 80s. The story takes place in a warped dream world, where nothing is as it first seems.

Alan Lucien Øyen is Artist in Residence and in-house choreographer with the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet and the creative force behind his own company Winter Guests.

Kodak is a theatre and dance piece with dialogue in English. It has been developed in close collaboration with Daniel Proietto, Fernando Melo, Pascal Mosselmans, Yvonne Øyen and dancers from the company.

"Kodak is dedicated to Mom, and to all mothers - the real Icons that never look down on us." Alan Lucien Øyen

“Yumeji’s Theme”
Composed by Shigeru Umebayashi
Published by First Name Music / Novello & Co.
Licensed by Edition Wilhelm Hansen
Recording used by kind permission of Lantis Co. Ltd.
All rights reserved.

“George’s Waltz”
Composed by Shigeru Umebayashi
Published by First Name Music / Novello & Co.
Licensed by Edition Wilhelm Hansen
Recording used by kind permission of EX Ltd.
All rights reserved.


Icon, trailer

Creation by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. A co-production between GöteborgsOperans Danskompani and Eastman.

Antony Gormley: EARTH HOME GROUND, 1992. Blood on paper (41 x 30cm)

Icon features 17 dancers moving in clay. 3.5 tons of clay, to be more precise. Is this even possible? During the autumn, GöteborgsOperans Danskompani and the Belgian ensemble Eastman will find the answer to this question, together with the choreographer, two clay masters and the artist Antony Gormley. 

Icon is a creation by the multi-award winning Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, the creator of 2014’s Noetic – one of GöteborgsOperans Danskompani’s most resounding successes of all time. For Icon, dancers from his own company, Eastman, will also take the stage. Just as for Noetic, he has chosen to collaborate with the world-renowned sculptor Antony Gormley, who accounts for the scenography: 3.5 tonnes of clay.

Interview with choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

Bringing together art forms, cultures and traditions into a coherent whole can be seen as something of a calling card for Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. To specially-composed music, performed live by musicians and singers from Italy and Japan, the dancers interact with the clay in sophisticated, almost ritual patterns. An experience steeped in both mysticism and naturalism. 

The work Icon has already gained international attention. During the coming year, GöteborgsOperans Danskompani and Eastman will tour the piece to numerous destinations, including Antwerp, Brussels and Paris.

Antony Gormley with GöteborgsOperans Danskompani

deSingel International Arts Campus, Antwerp - De Munt/La Monnaie, Brussels - Sadler’s Wells, London - Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxemburg - La Villette, Paris - Movimentos Festwochen der Autostadt, Wolfsburg - Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps Zürich (tbc)

Eastman is supported by the Flemish Gouvernement and BNP Paribas Foundation.


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