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A five star masterpiece that continues to be as captivating as when first premiered.
– Berlingske Tidende
Kitt Johnson is one of Denmark’s most acclaimed dancer-choreographers. In her work, where imagination determines outward expression, expressionism and virtuosity find rare harmony. Her solo, Rankefod, is widely considered one of the most important Danish dance works of this century.
As a performer, Johnson appears capable of movements that have their source in pre-conscious, biological intention. In Rankefod – the Danish word for barnacles – she distils movement from the far corners of the natural world. Her translation of this vocabulary onto the human body is so successful, so seamless, that humanity itself appears insubstantial. As it flickers, dissolves and reforms, Homo sapiens registers as a simple biological dance move performed by something much older and deeper.
Transcendent and unadorned Rankefod electrified Toronto audiences in 2008, receiving a Dora Award nomination and establishing itself as an emblematic World Stage presentation. More than a decade after its premiere, Rankefod’s imagery remains tenacious.
Danish dancer and choreographer Kitt Johnson is one of the most recognized artists on the Danish dance and performance scene. For decades she has been celebrated for her cutting-edge, visionary approach to the art form, and with her iconic performances Kitt has spellbound audiences around the world.
Composer and performer, as well as co-founder of X-act. Sture Ericson studied at the Gothenburg Music Conservatory. His main activities are on the international music improvisation scene and as a composer for dance and new circus productions. Sture Ericson has been working with Kitt Johnson since 1992.
Lighting designer, Mogens Kjempff has worked within the world of the theatre since 1971. As a technician and lighting designer he has contributed to a long list of dance productions and various festivals, including FOOLS, Dancing City and Metropolis. He has been working with Kitt Johnson since 1995.
In our first pre-show event of the season, World Stage Scholars-in-Residence VK Preston and Matthew Sergi meet over tea to host an open, thought-provoking chat about the purposes and limits of performance — the why of shows like this (a good way to start the season!). Danish artist Kitt Johnson’s solo studies what the artist calls a ‘pre-archaic’ body offering ‘evolutionary’ feeling and embodiment. But even by using dance as language, bypassing speech, can we really understand things beyond ourselves — without automatically reshaping things in our own image? Why do artists try so often to escape themselves, to represent and interpret the unknowable? How can we as an audience follow them there (and should we)?
Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.
Hosted by Brandy Leary
The founder of Ananda Dancetheatre, Brandy Leary, joins us as the talkshow host for Rankefod. Brandy creates contemporary performances through the body: active as a dancer, choreographer, aerialist, writer, arts advocate, community cultivator, space maker, Artistic Director, educator and curator. As a driving force in the evolution of contemporary movement practice in Toronto, working from values of discourse development, curiousity and collaboration, her discussion with Kitt Johnson and the X-act team should not be missed.