Life and death - and a magnificently spooky ending
Published April 30, 2014 05:30 · Updated April 30, 2014 05:30
Text by: TOR BILLGREN

"DEATH" by Fanclub (Andrea Deres, Carolina Bäckman, Ellesiv V. Selseng and Sofia Karlsson). Choreography: Kim Hiorthøy and Itamar Serussi. Palladium, Malmö, 28 april.

The Copenhagen-based dancers’ group Fanclub invite, as they say, their "idols" to various projects and productions. In the double bill "Death", which was shown at Palladium at the beginning of the week, they have collaborated with the Norwegian musician and artist Kim Hiorthøy and Israeli choreographer Itamar Serussi. And it is about death, this unknowable but natural phenomena.

Hiorthøy’s "Hi scores" is best described as a performance in which the four participants, dressed in everyday clothes and identical wigs, are posing, dancing and singing. Smoke and back-light are important elements and the sound design suggests that they are cut off from the rest of the world.

The simple songs are about coming to an end and what you leave behind in form of memories and objects. The word "friend" seems to have a special charge to it, but not a particularly positive one.

The piece goes into detailed descriptions of an imaginary set design with different rooms and furniture. Pill jars and sauces in the pantry and bathroom cabinet are sung in a musical manner, magnificently and chipper. Sometimes the speech gives me a Doktor Kosmos
(a Swedish pop band) vibe.

The piece moves back and forth between the two great clichés "We are born as originals but die as copies" and "Those who have the most things when they die wins", but avoids landing slap-bang in any of them. One can see the lists of all these products and items as a contour around a life. We are all unique, but nevertheless we have the same damn sambal oelek jar in the fridge and a tube of Voltaren from 2009 in the bathroom.

Second act is Itamar Serussi’s "Klara", which is a more conventional dance work. The dancers wear short, black dresses and the movements are animalistic and spastic, here and there some melodramatic gestures as from a silent movie shines through, sometimes horror effects with nudity and blood appear.

The dancers portray in a profound way the will to live - the desperate struggle to be adequate and sufficient. The finish is magnificent with a ghostly echoing recording of "Autumn Leaves" by Edith Piaf, and is crowned further afterwards, when the dancers during the applause each receive a long, red rose that they hold against their black dresses before they disappear from the stage.