Dec. 16–18. Lasting Figures / Salka Ardal Rosengren with Louise Dahl, Marcus Doverud

In her work, Lasting Figures, Salka Ardal Rosengren, and collaborators Louise Dahl and Marcus Doverud, work on a tender, pulsing and experiential encounter in the dancing, music, and values of Lindy Hop, slow drag and early vernacular jazz.

Lasting Figures has been a process to make a dance from a dancing perspective, inspired by experiences of dancing with others on dance floors. It’s a social dance. A dance that centres rhythm, intimacy and movement as syncopated dynamics of presence and power. A meeting of histories, traditions, somatic fictions, forms and desires in an embodied sense-making with partners. A question of how to come together to feel, transform and be present with lasting and passing figures.

Dec 16 at 7pm
Dec 17 at 7pm
Dec 18 at 4pm

Norrtullsgatan 7

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Idea and choreography: Salka Ardal Rosengren
Dancers: Louise Dahl & Salka Ardal Rosengren
Music: Marcus Doverud
Dramaturgy: Andrew Hardwidge
Lighting: Jonatan Winbo
Costume Designer: Behnaz Aram
Jazz choreography: Fredrik Dahlberg
Lindy Hop coach: Sakarias Larsson

Co-produced by Weld.

With the support of: the Swedish Arts Council and residence at DansPlats Skog.

Note by Salka Ardal Rosengren written with Andrew Hardwidge

Lindy Hop started out as a social dance, as experiments in being together at ballrooms and rent parties in African-American neighbourhoods around Harlem, NYC, in the segregation of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s and lasts among us now in many forms. In the groove of a relatives two-step, inspiring and appropriated into much of the dance on Hollywood screens and musical theatre stages, and transformed in the second half of the 20th Century through house and hip-hop dances. Lindy Hop spread to Sweden in the 1980s taught by early pioneers like Frankie Manning and Norma Miller. In Sweden its popularity grew among a white middle class in the halls of social democratic Folkets Hus, and tapping into the tradition of dansbana. Becoming institutionalised in festivals like Herräng Dance Camp. Much like Jazz and Hip-Hop, Lindy Hop is an African [Black] American artistic social practice that has become international and globalised.

In dancing and thinking with Lindy Hop and Vernacular Jazz [and the way they‘ve travelled,] I relate to something Zora Neale Hurston called “rhythmic attenuation”. She described it as the “between beat” and a capacity to feel the senses and presences it summons. Hurston argued that a prevailing western thought and culture didn’t know what to do with the “between beat” and described its social and philosophical tradition of capture, abstraction and universalisation [that could also be described as whiteness] as unable to feel the sense between the beats, as an “unrhythmic attenuation”. Lasting Figures follows my complicated encounter with the subjects and technologies of Lindy Hop and aims at rhythmic entanglements with the presences and values enduring as experiments with life, dance, spirit, sociality, history.

For me, this work has been a way to work for and with these projects. To work on proximity as a form of power and eros, to work on boundaries through the ambiguities of pleasure and contact, to be in a dynamic feeling embrace with various partners, with social spheres, with histories, copresences, joys and violences. In this way, I see groove and resonance as ways to work in a context of what Eduardo Glissant called “transversality”, a concept he describes emerging in the history of the Caribbean as “a site of multiple converging paths”, a multiplicity that doesn’t seek the “universal transcendence of the sublime”, and as a “project to relate” enduring the dispossession of the racist, supremacist, patriarchal catastrophe of the imperial capitalist web of life and death.

In Lasting Figures, we work with a resonance when dancing with and against someone. The piece considers the creation of a temporary participatory culture of looking, listening, feeling and dancing on the dance floor [gaze, contact, interior, tenderness], with qualities of swing, pulse, absorption, and percussion as aesthetics and habitus of Lindy Hop and vernacular jazz’s fabulative social experiments and to play with their presence and absence in a more theatrical social setting. We consider the ambiguous role of the couple, in one way a normative dynamic, a gendered leading and following, [a reductive dualism], but also a temporary, transitory process of prolific coupling and decoupling, a lyric dividuation moving in and out of bodies, and an errancy in the givenness of the individual as the root of subjective agency.

Dancing has always been a way for me to play, learn and meet the entanglement of intimacy, connection and autonomy. A way to hold solitude as the edges of bodies blend and blur. In Lindy Hop “figures” are the names of the different combinations, moves and relations of the dance between partners. In the show, we work on tenderness, on sensing. We follow the social somatics of groove and rhythm. Working with these techniques started with a joy for dance and music, of different forms, aesthetics and values [or a production of difference from what] than I’d experienced in my dance education. It has been an embodied heuristics in de-essentialising that high western “colour-blind” dance education and to start to know and work for solidarity alongside the aesthetic, political and social experiments in these dances, the often masked, racialised and marginalised histories and values of the people that are part of these dances.

The first few times I went out dancing at Lindy Hop social events I had mixed emotions, there was an obvious code, a stylised invitation to the dance and to keep changing partners. There wasn’t much time to think and reflect before you ended up in the arms of someone and then you had to find the pulse together. I was moved to meet so many people who came to the dance for different reasons. Sometimes it felt uncomfortable; someone’s hand pressed too hard or greasily against my back or when someone stared into my eyes with a frozen forced smile on their face hoping to express ”dancing joy”. Other encounters in the dance left me feeling unexpectedly moved, elated and high on life. There was something compelling about all these encounters. There was a risk-taking and vulnerability in meeting and of an attention [responsibility] for each other.

This work has also been an exchange with the Lindy Hop communities I have been part of, and is in part a gentle challenge to some of the habits of conservation I experience. In particular the risk of a fetishistic white gaze in how the dance endures as a form excavated from the filmed archive or particular ideas [hierarchies?] of authenticity. I am curious to widen the sense and paths of connection and see what comes out of meetings between the way people practise lindy hop— not only emphasising the forms and shapes captured by these filmed images but also the spirit and feeling anchored in collective and personal experiences of dancing.

As we dance here I imagine others dance these dances. In the complications of the pandemic I reached out to Louise and Marcus, two friends and artists close at hand to dance, witness and play these dances with me. The piece is a fragment, a moment we share in one space, an issue of proximity, a fiction of authorship, a pleasure of context, all the while a shared dance form continues to be met, made, transformed and lost – elsewhere, elsewhen, in more worlds and more rooms. There’s a rhythm to that. Tonight we share a dance, its ambiguity, its sensing and its participation before another extends their hand. Making interiors and making publics. A shared dance, temporarily autonomous.

works with dance and performance. She was born and raised in Stockholm but moved to Brussels in 2006 where she studied at P.A.R.T.S. and graduated in 2010. Salka has created work with Mikko Hyvönen (Trash Talk), Nicholas Hoffman (The Thing with a Hook) and Andrew Hardwidge (Subbodybodysub). As a dancer, she has worked and toured works with: Ezster Salamon, Xavier Le Roy, Boris Charmatz, Daniel Linehan, Sarah Vanhee, Tino Sehgal, Gunilla Heilborn, Malin Élgan, Liz Kinoshita, Salva Sanchis and others. In the spring of 2021, she completed a master’s degree in new performative practices at Stockholm University of the Arts.

is working within the field of dance and choreography with Stockholm as her base. She authors her own creations as well as dances in the work of others. In her work she is interested in developing new forms of subjective and kinesthetic experience that convey the transformative potential of the body. Louise has been working with artists like Margrét Sara Gudjónsdótti, Cristina Caprioli, Deborah Hay, Alma Söderberg, Jefta Van Dinhter, Mårten Spångberg, Frédéric Gies, Hana Lee Erdman, Philip Berlin och Mirko Guido. Louise joined Cullberg as a dancer 2020

works as a choreographer, dancer, musician and lecturer in performance contexts in Sweden and internationally. He is based in Stockholm and educated at Stockholm University of the Arts’ mime program. With MA studies in aesthetics and philosophy at Södertörn University. His work is characterized by connections between bodily, spatial and aural expressions and different approaches to these. Doverud has put on several solo performances, and has multiple collaborations going, with amongst others visual artist Liv Strand, Roberto N Peyre and musician Susana Santos Silva to mention just a few. He has previously worked with theater at Unga Klara, Stockholm City Theater. And with gastronomy, as sustenance and artistic forms of presentation.

is a dance artist, dramaturg and researcher. As a performer, he has worked with artists including, Ligia Lewis, Dragana Bulut, Joe Moran, Adam Linder, Stav Yeni, Beatrice Loft Schulz, Lina Hermsdorf, Else Tunemyr, Lucy McCormick, Alexander Baczynski-Jenkins, Tino Sehgal, Arcade Fire, Simon Vincenzi, Choy Ka Fai, and Jose Luis Vidal. As a dramaturg, his work has included Beyond Love (2022) with Dragana Bulut, Companion (2021) by Hana Erdman, На Чешмата (At The Source) (2018) by Gery Georgieva for Block Universe, and with the Tate Modern and Boris Charmatz’s Musee de la Danse for the project What if Tate Modern were Musee de la Danse (2016) and in 2012 he was producer and manager for Tino Sehgal’s Turner Prize nominated work These associations (2012) for the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern. As a researcher he recently completed a research project into questions of ontological politics and healing practices at KU Leuven.

Weld is supported by Stockholms stad, the Swedish Arts Council and Region Stockholm