In February and March, The Kennedy Center in Washington will present a varied array of Danish theater and dance through four very different performances for both grown-ups and children, performed by "TEATRET" ("The Theater"), Teatret Gruppe 38 ("Theater Group 38") and the Danish Dance Theater. Audience can enjoyAugust, the award-winning word-less comedy, a funny mash-up of the fantastic creatures of the classic fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, or the crazy adaptation of the classic story of Little Red Riding Hood. The Danish Dance Theater will perform their US premiere of Love Songs, a contemporary take on the cinema noir universe.
Winner of the 2007 "Best Show" Reumert Award, Denmark's foremost recognition in the performing arts, August is a joyously moving and thought-provoking wordless comedy about the basic human condition. Performed by "TEATRET", the story begins quite simply: four individuals go for a stroll in a dark and empty space. Utterly vulnerable to their surroundings, they stumble upon tiny fragments of life we all struggle with - wonder and anxiety, enthusiasm and anger, fear and expectation, victory and defeat. The bumbling quartet soon comes to realize a force bigger than themselves - a state of being between childlike innocence and adult awareness, animal instinct and human rationality. The production is "a formidable clown performance," says a review in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten. "It tells us about all of the important things in life without one single word."
August plays February 23 - 24 in the Terrace Theater. Admission: $34.00. On February 23, audience can enjoy a free post-performance discussion with a moderator and members of the company.
Teatret Gruppe 38: Hans Christian, You Must Be an Angel
It turns out a lot of the best fairy tales share the same hero. Regardless of whether they're about a little mermaid, an ugly duckling, or an emperor with new clothes, the true hero is their author, Hans Christian Andersen. Award-winning Danish theater company Gruppe 38 celebrates their countryman with a dinner party of sorts.
A long table is set for a birthday party and two waiters have the job of their life: to serve a table filled with Andersen's fantastic fairy tale personalities, each with their own peculiar whims and needs. Audiences are invited to gather round and watch as the table jumps to life (literally) and the tales weave themselves into a combination unlike anything you've ever seen. Suited for children age 8 and up.
Hans Christian, You Must Be an Angel will play February 23 - 24, in the Family Theater. Admission: $18.00. Audience members will stand and move during performances. Accessibility accommodations will be provided.
Teatret Gruppe 38: A Sonatina
Remember that beloved fairy tale where a chicken egg comes to the rescue? No? Maybe that's because you haven't seen Danish theater company Gruppe 38's comedic take on the classic story of Little Red Riding Hood. On an Italian pick-up truck a live chicken and newly laid egg play the main part in a gripping version of an old story. A grim story of a child, who is burdened with too much responsibility: "You must walk through the forest, which is wild and creepy" - and on the other side is grandmother's house, where grandmother lies in her bed, very ill and that is creepy too. Bon voyage! In 2001, A Sonatina was nominated for the Danish theatre award, the Reumert, in the category 'Best performance for Children'.
A Sonatina will play March 2 - 3 in the Family Theater. Admission: $18.00.
Danish Dance Theatre: Love Songs
One of the foremost contemporary dance companies in Scandinavia, Copenhagen's Danish Dance Theatre has a strong repertoire that is in demand all over the world, and is continually producing new works to both audience and media acclaim. Artistic Director Tim Rushton's individual style and close collaboration with the dancers bridges many boundaries of style and technique. He has developed a unique ability to reflect the nuances of human emotions and relationships in his work. Love Songs revolves around a cinema noir universe -after the party and into the early hours-when the night turns into dawn. It is last call for a dance and a song. The room exudes sensuality and the dancers are longing for love, with everything it implies-like joy, pain, anticipation and disappointment. The music, composed of cherished jazz classics originally sung by Ella, Louis, Billie, and Sarah, is reinterpreted in a new taped version by Denmark's great jazz artist Caroline Henderson.
Love Songs will March 1 - 2, in the Terrace Theater. Admission: $29.00.