Jo Strømgren Kompani / Lithuanian Natinal Drama Theatre
|Author, director and choreographer:||Jo Strømgren|
|Starring:||Diana Anevičiūtė, Rytis Saladžius, Ugnė Šiaučiūnaitė, Žygimantė Jakštaitė, Rasa Samuolytė, Rimantė Valiukaitė, Augustė Pociūtė and Mantas Stabačinskas|
|Assistant directors:||Dominyka Skarbaliūtė and Giedrė Kriaučionytė-Vosylienė|
|Stage design:||Goda Palekaitė|
|Design assistant:||Sima Jundulaitė|
“A demonstration of creativity”.Inger Marie Kjølstadmyr, Dagsavisen
In Europe –a landmass divided by borders, languages, religions and geographical barriers- there has always been migration. It is a means of survival and rebellion, the chance for a new beginning, but also for burning bridges and leaving the past behind. Written, choreographed and directed by the Swedish artist Jo Strømgren, The Door travels to different historical periods and European regions to discover, in a combination of movement and dance, the patterns that have marked migration within our continent, from nation to nation.
Strømgren is one of the most ground-breaking directors and choreographers of Norway. His career has unfolded both in classical ballet and contemporary dance, in directing scenes from Shakespeare, Kafka, and especially his compatriot, Ibsen. In 1998 he founded the Jo Strømgren Kompani, which has staged more than twenty shows which are always marked by the extreme physical effort of the performers, absurd humour and a direct connection with the viewer.
Lithuanian National Drama Theatre has always been one of Strømgren's foremost allies since his company was founded 20 years ago. But this is the first time they have invited the director and choreographer to collaborate with their national performers. The result is The Door, winner of four Golden Stage Cross awards, a show that establishes a very particular link between dance and theatre, with a nostalgic perception of Eastern European culture, and is marked by subtlety, bursts of humour and the gibberish spoken by its actors, an invented language that shares a phonetic similarity to Eastern European languages.
"As human beings, we are always confined to assigned spaces. To our homes, our schools, our workplaces, our countries, to the restaurants we can afford, to the person we love or pretend to love. It's wonderful to belong somewhere, especially if our neighbour can't afford any restaurant at all. These things make us smile. But one day when the neighbour turns up with a canoe strapped to the roof of their car, we immediately feel depressed. And when we detect this particular smile, we definitely want a canoe. Even if we hate nature", relates the director.
The Door seeks to be a -sometimes naive- story about the most destructive and disappointing aspects of human beings through a group of persons who are separated by a wall. As everything always seems more interesting on the other side, a narrow door becomes the threshold that determines change. But one is never satisfied with what one has and the search for that "something better" becomes a never-ending search. "Are we free-willed individuals, perhaps charming and creative, or are we simply chained to our behaviour as if we were Pavlovian dogs? asks Strømgren.