Tina Tarpgaard has won Reumert Awards for her choreography in both 2010 and 2012. Her latest show is really two productions in one, as Tarpgaard has asked the debuting choreographer Nelson Rodriguez-Smith to create one of the productions. The result comprises two distinct performances that play under the joint title of …and it ends TWICE.

By Jakob Edut, marketing director at Bora Bora.

Why make a double show this time around?
– I had a desire to bring in another choreographer to try and inject something fresh to the company. I knew Nelson was a fantastic dancer and also that he had a great talent for choreography. From a collegiate impetus I imagined that he could gain a lot from working with me on a production. Over time I have executed a lot of methods, routines and procedures that Nelson could benefit to learn from and that could bring him a step forward.

We also wanted to work in a format of two half-hour shows because a full evening’s programme isn’t always handy. The short format is much better suited to the international touring and festival circuit and in this way I could accomodate both a practical and an artistic agenda.

Will the same dancers be doing both shows?
– Yes, it will be the same team dancing in both Tørst and Mente.

Why did you choose Nelson Rodriguez-Smith specifically to work along side you?
– Nelson has a very unique vocabulary of movement and he has done some very fine work already. He is good at creating steps, something I have observed both as a colleague and as an audience member. He creates unique physical material that has his very own signature. It is physically demanding and requires stamina to endure and it contains a level of imagination and creativity that expands the conventional forms. Very specifically, Nelson’s choreography is characterized by being physical, rhythmical, light and playful.

In the past you have the explored how dance interacts with modern technology in the Reumert Award winning shows Frost and Living Room. Will that be present in this production?
– I have previously been working a lot with video designer Jonas Jongejan and together we have been developing a technology for using motion sensing in the choreography. That will feature in the new production. We are constantly working on new techniques and for this production we are putting the dancers on a floor of corrugated cardboard!

A floor of cardboard? Why?
– We discovered that the corrugation in the cardboard lends itself very well to working with light. It gives a different hue and a different graphical expression when you mix light and video on that surface. A different set of colour tones emerge and the colours appear warmer than on vinyl, which usually gives off a colder range of colour. My show Tørst is about a lack of something and about the urge for survival. It takes place in a scorching desert and the sensation of sand and heat works better when projected on the cardboard.

With such a focus on technology, do you see a risk of it dictating a direction for the choreography?
– I have a continuous dialogue with Jonas and Ole (Kristensen, software designer – red.) where we define a framework and decide which elements it can include. Throughout the process we develop the show in a conjunction between technology and choreography. They go hand in hand and can’t be separated. And technical limitations can at times become a challenge that sparks a new, creative solution.

In the presentation of the two shows much is made of how they supplement each other; one centers around the physical and the mental; and the other deals with images and sound. What does the audience gain from a split focus like that?
– I gave Nelson free reins from day one. I have been working in a very physical, animal language in Tørst, whereas Nelson in Mente has been creating a kind of dream universe. Seeing the two performances back to back is a very exciting combination. They shouldn’t be interpreted as a unified experience however, but as two distinct experiences. It’s not a ham-and-cheese sandwich but more like a tasty starter and a delicious dessert, you know? I recommend that the audience go and enjoy two very different impressions that each last half an hour, and then go “cleanse the palate” in the intermission.


…and it ends TWICE – consisting of the dance performances Tørst and Mente premiers at Bora Bora on March 13th and plays until and including March 15th.

Tickets are available at billetlugen.dk or by phone at +45 8619 0019.

Facts: Motion Sensing

  • A setup of infrared cameras register the dancers’ movements as they move from A to B.
  • The software connected to the cameras recognize movement patterns and accordingly play graphics relating to the movements, or lack thereof, on stage.
  • Tina Tarpgaard mentions Terminal E at Kastrup Airport as a location where you can experience motion sensing. Their cameras react to people passing by initiating animations of walking people.

Facts: recoil performance group

  • Formed in 2003 by choreographer Tina Tarpgaard and composer Pelle Skovmand.
  • Intended to become a base of collaboration across the arts with motion sensitive technology as the link between dancers, music and video scenography.
  • Recoil performance group aims to share their knowledge and producing experience with new performing arts talents and help them on their way with their own productions. Hence Nelson Rodriguez-Smith is invited to create the other half of the double show …and it ends TWICE.