The rise and fall of icons.
The following text is from the printed season program booklet, published in March 2016.
In the world in which we live and the society that we play a role in shaping, the necessity and the importance for relevant performing arts is growing.
During Adolphe Binder's artistic direction (autumn 2011 to spring 2016) each dance season has carried its own theme. These themes stood independently but also had a connection to those of the previous seasons. They are linked by a common thread that is woven from topics that capture the transformations, fears and dreams of the present day. All of them have explored human motivations, our consciousness and the reality we live in here and now. The thread has run from the migrant's quest for belonging and man's attempt to define his identity, to the higher self, the collective sub- and unconscious, and human collective behaviour.
Icon, the Greek word for "image", is used today not only in connection with the sacred images of the Orthodox Church, but also for everything from pop stars to religious leaders. The icons are created, reproduced and admired until the next regime, culture or generation takes over and tears down the icons that were worshipped, in order to create their own monuments, works of art and idols.
Under the theme Icons and iconoclasm The Göteborg Opera's dance company 2016/2017 shines the light on the human need to create icons - and the need to crush those that we no longer worship. Where does the need and the strong human urge to destroy come from? The guest choreographers and their teams look more closely at how people, through history, created and destroyed icons in order to build the identity of their time. Destruction has always been a tool in the assertion of religious, philosophical and political views.
Also this season, as planned by Adolphe Binder, dance will share space with other artistic expressions, such as video art, photography, theatre, contemporary music and architecture. The choreographers are invited because of their personal relationships with the season's theme as well as their cultural backgrounds. The Belgian Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui examines the construction of icons in different religions and cultures. Marcos Morau from Spain starts from his very specific way of working with contemporary and historical visual arts, while the Flemish Stijn Celis - despite his homeland being the stronghold of 16th century reformist iconoclasm - is a master at creating a unity of diversities. The season's last big dance premiere combines two works. The icon Ohad Naharin has created one of them. The other is from the choreographer Sharon Eyal, a former dancer in Naharin's company, now with her own company and career.
At the time of writing, recruitment is ongoing for the next Artistic Director for Dance, the person who over the coming seasons will leave their mark on the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani – one of Europe's leading contemporary dance companies. The development in recent years has strengthened the dance company’s profile, identity and attractiveness creating a fantastic platform to move forwards from.
Welcome to a dance season filled with fantasy and excitement!
Acting Director for Dance