The Society Program


The Society Program
Thursday 18 – Monday 22 February
Hallvard Holmen, Stian Isaksen, Trond Fausa Aurvåg
This performance is 1 hour with no interval
Note: Latecomers cannot be admitted
Charles Aznavour, Guo Song, Cai Dan Zhuo ma, Hu Song Hua,
The East is red Choir, The Doors
Jo Strømgren
Octagon Theatre, UWA
Supported by
By arrangement with Arts
Projects Australia
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Somewhere in Central Europe, a society of sworn coffee drinkers
gathers for the daily ritual. However the harmony is broken by a
horrific incident – the discovery of a teabag. As the investigation
unfolds, the questions become more and more complicated.
Do they have a domestic traitor among them or is the teabag a
symbol of a much larger and global scenario?
This performance features nonsensical language. Jo Strømgren
Kompani has created its own international niche through its
long-term research on abstract text. Each production involves
a completely new linguistic alias, inspired by a specific culture
or region. The company policy is to stimulate associative
interpretations instead of forcing any particular options upon the
audience. Worldwide success in 45 countries has proven this
nonsensical language manifesto to be more than just a temporary
funny idea. For all audiences: the performers do not even know
themselves what is being said on stage. So please do not panic.
ABOUT Jo Strømgren
Jo was born in Trondheim, Norway, in
1970. His close relationship to wilderness,
indoctrination in social democratic
values and traumatisation from violent
troll fairytales all fulfilled the cliché of a
Norwegian childhood. Apart from this
traditional background, he was forced to
spend many years in tropical areas due to his parents’ occupation.
This early mix of local identity and globetrotter confusion has
been relevant in his professional work, both in themes, variation of
genres and perhaps especially in his interest in different languages.
After graduation, he was drawn by two studies – Chemical
Engineering at a polytechnic college and Russian language with
the Norwegian military. A stray application to the National College
of Ballet in Oslo was accepted, however, so he made an impulsive
Due to skepticism towards academic methods and extreme
absence, he graduated neither in classical ballet nor choreography.
He nevertheless initiated a fruitful career as a dancer, which later
led him to choreography and theatre direction. Literary ambitions
evolved and he soon had a steady career in playwriting. Although
these three artforms are defined as his main occupations, he has
also been developing a particular style of set design and lighting
design. Involvement in film-making, both in front of and behind the
camera, is also worth a mention. The multi-disciplinary character of
his work however should be seen as nothing more than a natural
interest in the overall process of storytelling.
As Artistic Director of Jo Strømgren Kompani (founded in 1998),
he has developed a significant personal style with a mix of theatre,
dance, puppets, film and live music – wrapped in a nonsensical
language frame. The company presents about 100 shows in ten to
20 countries annually.
As a choreographer he has been commissioned by a wide range
of companies, from classical to contemporary. He has presented
pieces for companies like Carte Blanche (Norway), The Nurnberg
Ballet (Germany), The Norwegian National Ballet, Ballet de l’Opera
National du Rhin (France), The Royal Danish Ballet, Helsinki Dance
Company (Finland), Iceland Dance Company, Vienna State Opera
Ballet (Austria) and many others.
As a theatre director he has predominantly worked with national
and municipal theatres in Scandinavia and with plays by Henrik
Ibsen. In the role of playwright he has written a long list of works
for theatre and scripts for film. He has created works for The
Norwegian National Theatre, The National Theatre of Bergen
(Norway), The National Touring Theatre (Norway), The Royal
Danish Theatre and many others. He is a member of Writers’ Guild
of Norway.
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Trond Fausa Aurvåg
A graduate of the National Academy of
Dramatic Arts in Oslo, Trond has been a
member of Jo Strømgren Kompani since
2004, performing in The Department and
The Society. Other theatre credits include
Der Gute Mensch von Sezuan, Kvinnen Som
Giftet Seg Med En Kalkun, Tatt Av Kvinnen
and Amadeus for Oslo Nye Teater. He has appeared in numerous
TV and film productions, including Shut the Door and Junk
Mail (Budbringeren) – both official selections at the Cannes
International Film Festival – as well as Arvelig Belastet, Loose Ends,
Offside and the TV series Tonight with Timothy Dale.
Hallvard Holmen
Hallvard has been an actor at several Norwegian
theatres, playing the lead roles in Brand by Ibsen
and The Tutor by Lenz at The National Theatre
and the lead in Werther by Goethe at Det Norske
Teatret. He has also performed at Rogaland
Teater and Hålogaland Teater. Work in film and
TV includes the Oscar-nominated Kautokeino,
De Drabbade and Maskeblomstfamilien. He is
married to Iren Reppen.
Stian Isaksen
The Society is Stian’s first production with Jo
Strømgren Kompani. He is a graduate of the
National Academy of Dramatic Arts in Oslo and
has worked as an actor at Det Norske Teatret in
Oslo and Den Nationale Scene in Bergen.
Hans Jaran Skogan – Sound and Lighting Designer/Engineer
Hans has been with Jo Strømgren Kompani since 2004, working
on The Department, The Orchestra, The Hospital, The Convent
and The Society. He also does work for BIT Teatergarasjen in
Bergen and Kreutzerkompani and Verdensteateret on tour. He did
lighting design for the Autunnale Festival of contemporary music,
the theatre project Den Fremmede, Espen Josefson’s performance
in Undergrunn and for the band Sister Sonic.
Norwegian Co-producers: The Norwegian National Theatre,
Bærum Kulturhus, Riksteatret,
BIT Teatergarasjen, Bergen
International Festival
International Co-producers:Clipa Theatre i Tel Aviv, Ramallah
Contemporary Dance Festival
Supported by: Arts Council Norway,
City of Bergen, The Norwegian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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Leila Berg – Lighting Designer/Engineer
Leila has worked with Jo Strømgren Kompani since 1999 on A
Dance Tribute to the Art of Football, The Society, The Orchestra,
The Convert, The Hospital and The Department. She has also
gained a lot of experience as a Lighting Engineer on tours with
Riksteatret in Norway.
Solfrid Glesnes – Project Manager
Sofrid graduated with a degree in Cultural Administration from
Telemark College and has worked with Jo Strømgren Kompani
since 2006. She has worked with numerous arts and music
festivals, including Bergen International Festival, Nattjazz,
Bergenfest and Stavernfestivalen. She also worked for several
years with the Municipality of Bergen fostering artistic and cultural
activities for youth.
Lighting Design: Sound Design: Costume Styling: Props: Set Design: Lighting Designer/Engineer:
Sound and Lighting
Photography: General Manager: Project Manager: Producer: 09 02048 PIAF The Society 4p - PERTH.indd 3
Stephen Rolfe
Lars Årdal
Peter Løchstøer
Tina Peios
Jo Strømgren
Leila Berg
Hans Jaran Skogen
Knut Bry
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Solfrid Glesnes
Jo Strømgren Kompani
3/2/10 5:32:23 PM
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