(stillleben) presents choreographer and dancer Anders Christiansen
"I see it as my mission to conquer a space in which human existence can be dealt with, skin and bones. In my performances I employ simplicity to create a physical expression that is easily recognizable in its structure. I’m more interested in how dance exhibits and discusses the body/the individual than in the body’s physical potential."
Anders Christiansen is one of a kind on the Danish dance and performance scene. He has always followed his own path, and has created a series of ground-breaking solo performances, as well as several ensemble works. His visually potent form of expression lies somewhere between contemporary dance, performance theatre and installation art.
Anders Christiansen has created more than 30 dance works, which have been presented in theatres and festivals in Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, the USA and South Africa.
Anders Christiansen was born in 1964. He took up dancing at the age of 21 and studied butoh and classical ballet, as well as other training systems. He studied for a period at Volkwang Hochshule in Essen, Germany, before he in 1989 was admitted to the newly formed European Dance Development Center – a four-year dance education under the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Arnhem, Holland. In those days the school was extremely experimental in both style and teaching methods. Most of the teachers came from the United States and had a background in release technique, improvisation and performance theatre. The school strongly emphasized the creativity of the pupils, and although it was officially a school for dancers, the pupils were in fact receiving choreographic training too.
Anders Christiansen returned to Denmark in 1993 and began performing his solo works at small venues in Copenhagen. Almost instantly his work attracted interest, and in 1995 he was awarded a three-year scholarship from The State Arts Foundation. The same year he received financial support from The Danish Arts Council for his breakthrough performance DRY – den ultimative regndans (DRY – the Ultimate Rain Dance).
In the press, Anders Christiansen has been called “the grandmaster of minimalism” and “Mr. Strange Guy no. 1” of Danish dance. In 2004 the critic Janus Kodal wrote about him in Politiken: ”Wherever this gardener of presence appears on the stage, he is like an alchemist in his laboratory. This man does not seek, he finds. He invents ways to move on stage like no other before him. And it hits one deeply with humour, destiny and touching lightness. This is the enchantment of art, that it looks so damned easy when it succeeds. And this, I have to say, just sells itself with the wizard’s magical reinvention of what can be done on stage.”
Anders Christiansen’s performance projects for (stillleben) have received continuous financial support from The Danish Arts Council since 1995.
He has also choreographed for The Royal Danish Ballet (1995), Åben Dans (1998), Nyt Dansk Danseteater (2003) and Mancopy (2006).
Besides performing in his own works, Anders Christiansen has also danced in the works of other choreographers, most recently Helle Bach (2010), Cantabile 2 (2011) and E.K.K.O. (2012)..
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Photograph: Stuart McIntyre