Program June 2020
Corentin JPM Leven
+- – EXTRA PERFORMANCES WITH REDUCED CAPACITY!
We have missed you!
MARCH 11, 2020
It was the 7th day of Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival: a momentum with powerful productions and an amazing audience. Early in the morning that day, the Brazilian choreographer Alice Ripoll and her vibrant team of dancers had just landed in Oslo after a 18-hour flight, promising an unforgettable closing show for the festival. The set for Verk Produksjoner’s The Big Dream had just arrived at the theater, ready for rigging the day after. Mia Habib Productions was about to have a dress rehearsal at Dansens Hus. Other artists were on their way. Within a few hours, considering the increasing spread of the COVID-19, we assessed that we had to drastically reduce the capacity for the same day, and that the festival would be cancelled from the day after. Health became the only priority. On March 12, the Prime Minister announced the shut down in Norway. We made sure that all the international artists could travel safely back home.
… we have been working mainly from home, developing a digital program with a weekly podcast – drawing attention to the experience of listening – as well as a series of video-based workshops for children.
We have been hosting rehearsals on our two stages to continue fulfilling one of our core missions: to support artists and artistic development, and to be a resource for artists to develop their work. This way, we made sure that artistic processes could keep on going. WILLYLIE, whose premiere was initially planned on May 26 and is now rescheduled for the spring season 2021, have been rehearsing. So have Ingri Fiksdal and Fredrik Floen done – their piece will premiere in September at Dansens Hus in collaboration with Black Box teater.
We have been working on multiple scenarios for the fall season 2020 and spring season 2021, rescheduling and reshaping the program, and preparing for a possible future.
While witnessing sanitary disasters in many countries, we have felt lucky living in Norway. Yet, we note that inequalities are strong and that many of us are extremely vulnerable – including the freelancers in our field – even in a so-called well-functioning social democracy. A well-operating compensation scheme for freelancers is a minimum, but one could expect an ambitious measure package for the arts comparable to those in other countries. We are worried about the situation of the cultural sector, and the independent field in particular. It is and will be a challenging time ahead for the artists, technicians, artistic collaborators, with economic issues, limited international opportunities for the time being and a risk of congestion (many productions being postponed will limit the opportunities for newcomers).
We have been reflecting upon the world we all have contributed to, with globalization and hypercapitalism, reduced natural diversity and threatened ecosystems.
We have experienced the impossibility of being together, we have been reminded what traveling, borders, time and space actually mean to us.
We have been thinking about possible futures, new narratives and forms of actions.
The society is gradually reopening, and Black Box teater will join this movement. We will embrace the possibility of reassembling, of sharing a common space and time, in the beauty of the here and now.
How can we come together again? What kind of imaginary do we need? The reconnection needs to be soft and gradual.
We will provide a caring hospitality for everyone, and a safe working environment for our employees and the rehearsing artists in our theatre. Of course, with a small capacity, respecting physical distancing and safety measures.
It is a true pleasure for us to finally be able to welcome you back to Black Box teater.
On May 27, we held the closing meeting of our viewer’s club Se/Snakk, inviting a group of audiences to discuss performing arts. On June 12 and 13, we will hold two meetings of the Garden Wall Users Committee, inviting our neighbors to discuss how this green installation of plants, opening in spring 2021, can contribute beneficially to our neighborhood.
On June 19 and 20, you will be able to see a highlight from our spring program; the profound, powerful and moving piece +- by Corentin JPM Leven, presented prior to the Oslo Pride Festival. +- portrays Leven’s own story with HIV, entering one’s existence, its fragility, vulnerability and its revealing moments. The piece draws an arch between the intimate and the collective memory. It is an invitation to feel the soil that crumbles beneath your feet, and singing tomorrows. The tickets for +- will be released in the beginning of June.
Just imagine this peculiar moment; when the house light dims, when we are holding our breath as the performer appears on stage, all looking in the same direction while having a singular and subjective experience – together!
Welcome back – we have been missing you.
Artistic & General Director