A good dream about freedom
"There is a battle between life and death in Anders Christiansen’s new work, Accordion, where the veteran soloist performs a graceful duet with the excellent Finnish accordion player, Minna Weurlander. Both the dancer’s and instrument’s bodies breathe deeply in this image-rich dance performance. The white-faced Christiansen in his ruff, harks back to characters such as Pierrot, the mournful Petrusjka, the marionette Pinocchio, and echoes the renaissance and the clergy. …High-quality theatre with a good dialogue between music and dance."
Vibeke Wern (Berlingske, 10th February 2011)
The interface of imperturbability
”Anders Christiansen’s expression is based on repetition of minimalistic movement phrases and eloquent finger gestures which vary at different levels and in direction and steps. Moments of melancholy and poetry can emerge suddenly with new and surprising intensity, for example in the accentuation of a moment of pain or a forced Petrushka-like spasm..."
Maibrit Hjelmsbo (Weekendavisen, 11th February 2011)
Visual disturbances, still twitching long afterwards.
"Solo dancer, Anders Christiansen's Synsforstyrrelser is a successful experiment with sound and light. The senses are still twitching long after leaving Dancescenen’s auditorium.
...For can you not feel it in the pit of your stomach when Anders Christiansen stands out of the light amongst a sea of voices? Is it not as if you can feel the existential anxiety that there is in groping a way through life, when Christiansen frantically searches for a cone of light?"
Louise Øhrstrøm (Byenkalder.dk, 8th May 2010)
Groping in the dark.
"With repetitive patterns, so characteristic of Anders Christiansen's universe, this dancer and performer has gone into the laboratory once again, this time to dissect sight opposed to sightlessness, in collaboration with the brilliant lighting designer, Michael Breiner and subtle composer, Jakob Brandt-Pedersen. ... the artistic implications: that he persistently dares to embark on sombre artistic expressions that are entirely their own; making the work exciting just to see without necessarily understanding."
Mette Garfield (Terpsichore, 12th May 2010)
Skeleton Dance and creaking bones.
"The highlight of Friday's 'Triple-programme' was Anders Christiansen's solo work, Bag om Ryggen, based on X-ray images of the spine. Wearing a white mask on the back of his head, he elegantly transforms the back into the front of the body, and plays with forwards and backwards movements in time and space."
Vibeke Wern (Berlingske Tidende, 27th April 2009)
Turns around backwards and forwards.
"He is simultaneously a disturbing and beautiful giant. He stretches his arms in the air again and again. Stands on tiptoe. Wanders back and forth across the stage and towards the audience. With a white masked face. And shadowy images of his back are projected on the screen behind him.
An image from the dancer, choreographer and loner, Anders Christiansen's frightening and fascinating work, Bag om Ryggen. Once again he has created oblique and penetrating scene images using very simple mediums: light, sound and movements repeated in space."
Mette Garfield (Terpsichore, 27th April 2009)
You should not feel you are safe, when Anders Christiansen plays at being the bone-dry water baby. Physics experiments turn to deadly dance.
“The drama lies just below the surface. It can be sensed from the outset, in the devotional prelude, where the man stands amongst luminous buckets in the dark, engulfed in an achingly beautiful Purcell aria. And in the finale when the tank must be filled.
When a body is submerged in water ... and stays down there, there can only be one end. But as in the case of Jade Goody, we are not there at the very end. There is just a black curtain. And applause for Anders Christiansen who has shown the great in the small - the very, very small."
Monna Dithmer (Politiken 31 Marts 2009)
Anders Christiansen's explorations have a peculiar poetry.
"There are life-giving drops of fluid from drip bags. Water sloshes around in aquariums and tubs, and is sprayed up in the air in droplet-filled mist clouds. An ice block is hacked into pieces. Water is melted in a pan, boils, and a few drops dance as they evaporate on the hotplate. …Add to this, the performance's musical encirclement, Henry Purcell’s gaspingly melancholy, The Cold Song, which leaves eyes brimming with tears. Anders Christiansen's explorations have a peculiar poetry. Minimal means, insistently and silently, silently, silent."
Majbrit Hjelmsbo (Weekendavisen, 3rd April 2009)
In his choreography Anders Christiansen has dealt with a very difficult material and moulded it into a unique and moving dance piece.
"I like Anders Christiansen as a creator of dance works, because he always puts himself far out on shaky ground. It pitches out there, and much is at stake. …He has to dance these figures in order to understand them. We in the audience feel that in our stomachs: This is real. The dance, the empathy, what happens right there on stage, it is real! …He is our professor of broken hearts.”
Janus Kodal (Politiken, 18th April 2008)
Anders Christiansen is his own dancing universe.
”As always with Anders Christiansen it is both pathetic and moving, absurd bordering on the complacent and yet given its own original dignity, that makes the piece fascinating to watch. In the midst of all the grotesque.”
Henrik Lyding (Jyllands-Posten, 13th April 2008)
Transforming paper man in the animal kingdom.
"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)
"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.”
Anne Middelboe Christensen (Information, 4th April, 2007)
Electric central part.
"Anders Christiansen rarely fails, and in Ekskursion we encounter, yet again, a choreographer with a supreme eye for the scenic possibilities of the large factory hall. ...It is safe to say that Christiansen has a completely unique approach to dance, and the result is a physical awakening in the audience, as if Christiansen with his work is massaging the collective amygdala itself."
Janus Kodal (Politiken, 3rd September 2006)
The graceful excess of the flesh.
"Hard-working Louise Hyun Dahl finally steps out of her many shadow roles and shows a totally convincing solo. On her knees, in the middle of a bright spot, she beats her head into the floor, incorporating all of her pain. She makes one think of the death-body of butoh which lives with an awareness of the end, painfully and yet with dignity. Hyun Dahl is a shining example of the corporeal marriage between idea and body that a dancer can reach through years of work. Respect for that."
Janus Kodal (Politiken, 15th April 2006)
“It is bizarre, yet beautiful. What it is all about or where we are going I can’t be sure of. But I know I’d like to take the same journey.”
Henrik Lyding (Jyllands-Posten, 1st February 2005)
The Magician’s new ideas.
Anders Christiansen's new stage show is a genius' bullseye...
”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.”
Janus Kodal (Politiken, 19th May 2004)
Anders Christiansen fascinates, amuses and terrifies…
”In Sticks & Fur Anders Christiansen clearly and concisely manages to turn things upside down and open our eyes and sensibility in a space of imagery about man’s different exuviations, with dance, music and set design working together perfectly.”
Vibeke Wern (Berlingske Tidende, 8th February 2003)
Potent, ambiguous dance imagery.
”A strange, insisting force characterizes this little performance of music and movement. It is strong, full of abundant imagery and in its own special way beautiful too.”
Henrik Lyding (Jyllands-Posten, 10th February 2003)
”Powerfully and painfully Anders Christiansen depicts the isolation of the single when the guests find each other in couple dancing or play ‘Musical Chairs’ with the birthday child as the inevitable loser. …all the performers are finely drawn under Anders Christiansen's direction.”
Vibeke Wern (Berlingske Tidende, 30th May 2002)
”In Nocturne four characters fight on the floor in a foggy nothingness to the shrill and beating dissonances of the music. The movements are bestial and vigilant – twisting and twitching the persons worm across the stage – with a sudden hint of tenderness when bodies are being squeezed, and faces come together in a sucking exploration of the skin. A dense and intense quartet.”
Henrik Lyding (Jyllands-Posten, 31st May 2002)
“Anders Christiansen has made a great effort over the last 6-7 years as a dancer and choreographer to communicate directly with his audience. He is breaking down habits in so many ways, that one can hardly call his work dance or dance theatre. It is more exactly necessary movement. Without artistic gestures, or any soft-soaping of the beautiful."
Janus Kodal (Politiken, 17th February 2001)
"Here is everything that the art police can possibly demand when it comes to potency of imagery, aesthetic perfection and signs that the choreographer is heading for a new phase in his exploration of the animal in the flesh.”
Monna Dithmer (Politiken, 8th June 2000)
“The dancer Anders Christiansen has a formidable ability to create images with his precise, multilayered body-language, and his two new choreographies are a highwire act without a net, which brings Danish dance a big step forward. …The grandmaster of minimalism, Anders Christiansen, is venturing right out to the edge with his highly visual solos in Kanonhallen.”
Charlotte Christensen (Information, 3rd May 1999)
“It is not a very confident picture of Millennium man which A. C. evokes in his inner flow. However, when you see this incredibly intense solo, you don’t count A. C. as one of the damned. His innovative ability to explain his inner world is totally convincing. One is nothing short of spellbound by this generosity!”
Janus Kodal (Ekstra Bladet, 1st May 1999)
”Anders Christiansen stellt in seiner Solo-Arbeit TRUNK die Transformation des Körpers in den Mittelpunkt. Ein Mann liegt auf der Seite, die Arme hinter dem Rücken verschränkt, die Beine angewinkelt. Ein amputierter Torso, ein Bild, in das Christiansen seinen Körper immer wieder hineingleiten lässt, in dem er minutenlang verharrt. …TRUNK erinnert zuweilen an den Kammertanz der zwanziger Jahre, konsequent und hochkonzentriert, und setzt ein stilles Glanzlicht beim diesjährigen Festival.“
(Die Welt, Germany, 23rd april 1998)
“The expectations from the minuscule but high-powered audience of individualistic dancers and choreographers, and Nordic guests, to be totally challenged, were certainly met by Anders Christiansen’s TRUNK. Even without the benefit of the programme note, which states this “remembrance of the 20th century male body” was inspired by the paintings of Francis Bacon, Christiansen’s work is obsessively painterly. It cuts to the cortex of cadaverous reality.”
Adrienne Sichel (The Star, South Africa, 18th September 1998)
“Hopefully, Anders Christiansen may set an example. Simply by following his own crazy mind he has not only produced poignant solo works, but has also managed to create one of the very few links between contemporary dance and ballet… No doubt Anders Christiansen is the most extraordinary – but also the most extreme – creature to cross the Danish stage for a long time.”
Monna Dithmer (Ballet International no. 1, 1997)
Photograph: Christoffer Askman – from Sticks & Fur