Mette Ingvartsen (DK) 

Double bill: Manual Focus & 50/50 

Presented in collaboration between Dansehallerne and Betty Nansen Teatret: 

Dansehallerne x Betty
Cutting-edge performances, talks & more
September October 2020

Here is your chance to enjoy Mette Ingvartsens first two performances in a unique double feature that take us back to where it all began for the Danish star choreographer. With Manual Focus (2003) and 50/50 (2004), she burst onto the choreography scene with aplomb. She has since gone on to create a string of internationally acclaimed performances. In her early works, Mette Ingvartsen explores issues of affect, perception and sensation in representations of the body. A gifted, brave performer with a strong stage presence, Mette Ingvartsen has a refreshingly honest and natural relationship with the naked human body. 

Manual Focus
Manual Focus, the face is rotated 180 degrees, the back of the body becomes the front, and arms and legs are turned upside down. The three bodies on stage are transformed before us, stripped of their identity, as the naked women wear old-man masks on the back of their heads. They turn into animals, disorganised creatures, headless people, a twelve-legged organism. It isn‘t the monster in itself but rather the monstrous connections between nude/masked, artificial/real, male/female that produce an unfamiliar gaze at bodies we already know. Monsters are not a species you can get familiar with; they disappear and slip away, out of focus. 

Created in 2003 while she was a student at P.A.R.T.S. in Belgium, Manual Focus was Mette Ingvartsen’s very first work. 

A bright red wig, a naked body, sneakers
With humour and finesse, Mette
Ingvartsen adopts and unfolds a range of physical modes of expression associated with familiar situations such as rock concerts, operas and circus acts. Over the course of this solo show, the spectacular movements are processed and reworked until they take on a kind of deformed expressivity. The results look like affects rather than emotions, except no one knows what affects look like. 

Created in 2004, 50/50 is Mette Ingvartsen’s second work. While she asserted that ‘manifestos belong to the past’, she nevertheless presented yet another one in connection with the performance: 

Yes to redefining virtuosity
Yes to conceptualising experience, affects, sensation
Yes to materiality/body practice
Yes to investment of performer and spectator
Yes to expression
Yes to excess
Yes to invention (however impossible)
Yes to un-naming, decoding and recoding expression
Yes to non-recognition, non-resemblance
Yes to non-sense/illogic
Yes to organising principles rather than fixed logic systems
Yes to moving the clear conceptbehind the actual performance
Yes to methodology and procedures
Yes to animation
Yes to style as a result of procedure and specificity of a proposal
Yes to complexity 

Watch Danjel Andersson and Elisa Kragerup’s introduction to Manual Focus & 50/50:

Credits, Manual Focus
Concept /  Mette Ingvartsen
Created by / Manon Santkin, Kajsa Sandström & Mette Ingvartsen
Performers / Kaja Kolodzieczyk, Kajsa Sandström & Mette Ingvartsen
Photos / Eike Walkenhorst
Produced at /  P.A.R.T.S. (Brussels), 2003
Thanks to / Bojana Cvejic & Peter Lenaerts 

Credits, 50/50
and Performance / Mette Ingvartsen
Music /
Deep Purple, Leoncavallo, Cornelius
Sound Design / Peter
Photos / Peter Lenaerts
to / Podewil (Berlin) P.A.R.T.S (Brussels), Hannah Sophie Hohlfeld, Mårten Spångberg & Bojana Cvejic 

Mette Ingvartsen is a Danish choreographer and dancer. Characterised by hybridity, her work engages in extending choreographic practices by combining dance and movement with other domains such as visual arts, technology, language and theory. An important strand of her work was developed between 2009 and 2012 with The Artificial Nature Series, in which she focused on reconfiguring relations between human and non-human agency through choreography. By contrast, her more recent series, The Red Pieces (201417) inscribes itself into a history of human performance with a focus on nudity, sexuality and how the body has historically been a site for political struggles. In 2019, she premiered Moving in Concert, an abstract group choreography that focuses on the interlacing of humans, technological tools and natural materials.  

Mette Ingvartsen holds a PhD in choreography from UNIARTS / Lund University in Sweden; prior to that she graduated from the performing arts school P.A.R.T.S in Brussels. She established her company in 2003; since then her work has been shown throughout Europe as well as in the U.S, Canada, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia. She has been artistinresidence at the Kaaitheater in Brussels, Volksbühne in Berlin, and been associated with the APAP network. 

Where and when
Double bill: Manual Focus & 50/50  are presented September 15th -18th, 8pm at Edison, Edisonsvej 10, 1856 Frederiksberg C (Betty Nansen Theatre’s annex venue)

NB: Before welcoming our audience, Dansehallerne x Betty will have taken precautions in keeping with the general recommendations regarding hygiene, spacing, and so on. In the unlikely event of us having to cancel a performance, all ticketholders will get their money back. Thus, buying tickets for Double bill: Manual Focus & 50/50 is perfectly safe.