Sten Saks Papir

(Rock Paper Scissors)


Premiere: 3rd April, 2007, Dansescenen, Copenhagen.

Sten Saks Papir is inspired by paper, as a material and concept. Paper provides the predominant point of departure, not only for the set design but also for the choreography and music.

Concept, choreography and dance: Anders Christiansen
Music: Jakob Brandt-Pedersen
Set and costume design: Lise Klitten
Lighting design: Michael Breiner
Producer / PR: Aline Storm
Production: (stillleben)

Minimum stage measurements: 12 metres deep x 14 metres wide
Duration: 53 minutes

See video excerpts[!video-link?filid=319&linktekst=here!]

Press quotes:

Beautiful and subtle performance theatre, about strength and fragility.
”Spherical ‘noise’ fills the space. The man wanders about like a sleep walker, blindfolded by paper. The man in the suit. Wrapping himself in the paper, the crumpled white paper.

It is like a cocoon. He is able to step out of it and away, leaving it to lie by itself.

The man and the paper. Paper that is flogged on the floor and thrown away, or slashed with a pair of scissors to the sound of penetrating metallic tones. Paper that is wrapped around a chair until it becomes formless or is bandaged around the man’s head, so just the breathing is glimpsed from the face shrouded in the white fibre.

In the end comes the fire. Crackling as though made of paper itself, it consumes all before it. Only the man remains.

The man is Anders Christiansen. His movements are slow, his balances are distorted and his face inscrutable. The piece is minimal in form and expression, with powerful imagery and a ritual simplicity. 50 minutes – scissors, paper, stone. Mostly paper. White and blank, like a living art installation, shadowy and full of allusions.”
Henrik Lyding (Jyllands-Posten, 4th April, 2007)

Transforming paper man in the animal kingdom.
”When Jakob Brandt-Pedersen’s machine constructing, electronic music switches to an animalistic roar, the paper man has already thrown off the suit of civilisation and is stalking watchfully backwards and forwards on all fours. A hollow howl, like the sound of the paper mummy’s last moan, has long since emitted from his throat. Annihilation is the only way left.

Just as in the beginning, the paper man could rub two stones together and there was light: likewise in the immensely powerful end tableaux, he allows orange flames to engulf the ground beneath him and consume it all – in order to be resurrected.

This is a beautiful place for Anders Christiansen to move forward from. Now he has set fire to the recognisable world of typical Christiansen things. It is this type of action and this type of performance that breathes new life into contemporary dance.”
Monna Dithmer (Politiken 8th April, 2007)

The paradoxes of life and paper.
"With his new solo, Anders Christiansen has created a piece rich in imagery with a beautiful and powerfully strict expression which focuses on concepts such as fragility and strength.

...The paper is rolled out diagonally across the stage in a long, wide sheet and then crumpled and folded until the suited Anders Christiansen wraps it around his neck like a strangulating noose. He winds the paper around his eyes like a blindfold or staggers off dragging metres of paper after him, as though he is dragging life and all its burdens behind him. Anders Christiansen is, after all, capable of using the bright, white paper to force his way into the dark recesses of the human existence.

...Throughout there is a fine interplay between dance, set design, sound and light in the one hour long, well structured performance. Once again we are confirmed in the belief that it is in his solo works that Anders Christiansen is at his best as an artist."
Vibeke Wern (Berlingske Tidende, 4th April, 2007)

Paper won.
”Not an awful lot happens in an Anders Christiansen performance. Yet what does happen is carefully deliberated and meticulously executed. Time is placed on ‘go-slow’ and the eye is switched to zoom. And so a piece of paper and a hand are suddenly transformed into strange and abstract beings and forms, right before the audience’s eyes. He searches for beauty and fragility. Overall the piece is sharp and precise yet the movements are rounded and the breathing is calm.

...Dramatically it is only the music that is aggressive. Everything else is held back with discretion and understatement until suddenly the whole stage is engulfed in flames…..just like that. Everything gone up in smoke. The work is done. The performer can step out of his own world. Scissors – Paper – Stone? It was paper. Beautiful paper.”
Anne Middelboe Christensen (Information, 4th April, 2007)


Inkonst, Malmö, Sweden, 11-12 October 2007.
Entré Scenen, Århus, 26-27 September 2007.
Dansescenen, Copenhagen, 3-21 April 2007.

Sten Saks Papir was produced with support from The Danish Arts Council, The State Arts Foundation, Wilhelm Hansen Fonden, Augustinus Fonden, Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond, L. Zeuthens Mindelegat and Tuborgfondet.


Photographs: Christoffer Askman
In all pictures: Anders Christiansen