The Danish choreographer and dancer Anders Christiansen operates in the borderland between installation art, performance and dance. Since the beginning of the 1990’s he has created an impressive string of solo performances as well as several ensemble works (see works). His distinctive choreographic style challenges the spectator’s comprehension by employing repetition to shift the meaning of a movement from comic to tragic, from everyday to ritual, from absurdity to necessity.
Although Anders Christiansen is associated with the dance scene, he is difficult to define just as a choreographer and a dancer. He draws from an array of idioms within performance, music/sound, dance theatre and visual arts, as he creates tableaux that in all their simplicity and minimalistic precision contain multiple expressions and messages. Anders Christiansen appears terrifyingly mesmeric on stage and when moving through his tableaux, he fills the entire theatre rather than just the stage.
Anders Christiansen experiments with our ability to understand the body as a means of communication – or as a container of meanings. One of his artistic effects in both solo and ensemble works is his untiring repetitions of movements and phrases. For instance, he presents movements that one immediately recognizes from everyday life – a hand that waves, or a head that turns. These are movements we understand - they convey meaning in themselves. What Anders Christiansen does is to repeat these movements over and over, until it slowly dawns on us that their meaning has changed. The fatiguing repetition of say a waving hand has completely stripped the movement of its original meaning. It has become ritual, pure movement, or an image of the eternal parting.
Anders Christiansen is always in the process of inventing new ways of turning our accustomed notions of dance and body upside down. His next work EN ANDEN KROP premieres on 18th August 2016 at Dansehallerne in Copenhagen. (see news)
Photographs: Christoffer Askman, Stuart McIntyre, Jens Bjerregaard, Per Morten Abrahamsen, Sully Balmassière, Kirstine Mengel, David Amzellag, Nanna Arnfred, Peter Lind, Anette Grunnet