What’s left behind

Dance we carry with us like memories.

Helena Franzén´s latest work ”What’s left behind” is like a well-balanced summary of her choreography, almost a mini retrospective Thomas Olsson writes.

Certainly, one could see Helena Franzén´s latest work ”What’s left behind”, that premiered at Norrlandsoperan in Umea on March 23rd, like a well-balanced summary of her choreography, almost a mini retrospective. Because here you will find both the low-key duets, at times with an emphasis on floorwork, and the razor-sharp solo-sequences, together with that flow which almost always returns with Helena Franzén.

If there is any choreographer that has succeeded in creating a state of mind, or an unmistakable mood in her work, which she often returns to, it is Franzén.

The opening note of ”What’s left behind” is self-reflecting, when the dancers in a prologue like introduction sweeps lightly past a narrow beam of light, that like a shaft horizontally crosses the room. It is self-reflecting without being distant, not too abstract or meta. When the dancers own names are spoken during the movement, a Katarina and a Joel here and a Daniel and an Åsa there, as well as an ambiguous Axel/axle, it emphasizes that these are the dancers and their living bodies before us. Even their perception of each other as dancers, and glances over shoulders and obliquely backwards enhances the impression of a stream of meetings and farewells.

The programme mentions that Helena Franzén was inspired by Siri Hustvedt´s influential essay collection” Living, Thinking, Looking” (2012) and the author´s way of approaching and thinking about a work of art. The question of what it means to have seen an artwork recently or long ago – or in this case a dance piece – seems to be something that permeates ”What´s left behind”.

Which makes the short moments when only Daniel Hedin´s trombone sounds or the choreography repeats a phrase, occasions to remember the just-seen, like that shoulder twist or that solo. These are only some of the images and memories that I will carry with me from this performance.
Thomas Olsson, SVD

Helena Franzén´s latest piece What´s left behind is like a well-balanced summary of her choreography, almost a mini retrospective”
”If there is any choreographer that has succeeded in creating a state of mind, or an unmistakable mood in her work, which she often returns to, it is Franzén.”

”a quiet exploration, a work whose intellectual reverberations are clear and strong”

”A strong cohesive work where the skill and expressiveness of the six dancers become something to remember long after the applause have faded”

Photo: Håkan Jelk

Meeting You

 Helena Franzén and Ori Flomin are not depicting a romantic relationship, but a series of meetings where friendship and togetherness develop – artistically and privately. The duet ”Meeting you” is a superbly perceptive study of what the body can convey, a wordless communication between two experienced artists with a strong sense of integrity.” Anna Ångström, Svenska Dagbladet 

Relationships are never simple and here are two dancers experienced enough to portray that in a way that is straightforward, finely tuned and sincere to Jukka Rintamäkis light music.” Margareta Sörensson, Scenbloggen/Expressen

Photo: Håkan Jelk

Before I Change My Mind

Before I change my mind” is without a doubt Helena Franzén’s premiere, most cohesive and captivating piece to date. Helena Franzén’s new choreography ”Before I change my mind” at Dansens Hus, Stockholm reminds me once again of the inadequacy of language in the meeting with pure physical consciousness and the body’s movable intelligence.” Örjan Abrahamsson, DN

And then there is Helena Franzén, a choreographer who lets the movement and the dancing bodies’ potential mature like a fine wine” ” In the midst of a step, of a breath, of something ongoing that never stops – this is where I want to be! Thrown into a state of concentration that allows our own bodies to perceive how the dancers choose their paths in a fluctuating flow.” Anna Ångström, SvD

Seeing a new piece by dancer and choreographer Helena Franzén is like entering a world where every movement is given, or perhaps takes, its rightful place in the often closely held together choreographies.” Thomas Olsson, Nummer.se

“I go home having experienced something beautiful, an inner beauty that comes with me.” Malin Ståhl, Danstidningen

Photo: Håkan Jelk

To Make This Up

”Katarina Eriksson and Elizaveta Penkova really withstands a close study, in the intimate but explosively lit stage that Markus Granqvist has created for the chorographer Helena Franzén‘s new duet To make this up”. “The playful, exploratory and musical language of movement is chiselled down to the finest detail and composed as a whole, which houses a dynamic where the conditions of both dance and existence are revealed.” “Yet it is a rare luxury to experience such strong concentration, the feeling that you do not want to miss a single unique moment” Anna Ångström, SvD

”And Franzén‘s dance is certainly global, unusually danceable and with roots more in jazz than in performance” “To make this up is a work for two dancers and Katarina Eriksson, almost a veteran in type of dance, performs the movement beautifully, lightly and rigorously together with Elizaveta Penkova” “The poetry of the articulated body – is Franzén’s motto and the dancers difficult balances on a foot and a hand create new animal like creatures, as if this was a poem about humanity and its specific weight in relation to “the other”.” Margareta Sörenson, Expressen

”Helena Franzén‘s sophisticated and meticulously structured choreography is performed with precision and an intense awareness of the body’s position in the space.” ”Stefan Johansson’s composition sensitively captures the dynamic developments of To Make This Up.” “Filled to the brim with the sophisticated choreography, I am almost surprised when I exit the theatre to find myself still in Kärrtorp and not New York” Lena Andrén, Nummer.se’’

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