Friday, 26 August 2011 07:08
Project: The Borders Project, Photo: Andreas Janett
Danish-Finnish co-production touring Nordic countries with a show about borders.
The Danish theater ensemble Out of Balanz, with Finnish partners, has developed a concept that challenges the audience to think about borders, and to cross them.
Inspired by the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the theater ensemble Out of Balanz got the idea to explore the concept of boundaries. Troels Hagen Findsen of the ensemble made contact with his former fellow student from the École Internationale de Thèâtre de Jacques Lecoq, Finnish Marc Gassot, and together they began to explore the theme of boundaries, from geographical and social, to the border between life and death.
The development of the project meant that those involved had to work over and across borders, cultural, geographical and over periods of time. The importance of crossing borders as part of the creative process was something they were very focused on from the very beginning, says Hagen Findsen.
"We realised that we were looking for connections, and the theme of borders led us to connect with each other across our own borders."
The play is about the importance of relationships between people, and the importance of being connected with others, says Hagen Findsen. The group cites Professor Tim Prentki: “Paradoxically, the border may be at once what provides us with some security about our identity, demarcating ourselves from others, while also being the barrier that prevents us from developing new capacities or trying on new identities. Theatre processes, on the other hand, depend upon the willingness of the actor to cross borders not only to impersonate the dress, manner and speech of another but also to achieve, temporarily, the ultimate expression of border-crossing, empathy."
It is not just the actors who cross the borders in this show. From the outset, the audiences are involved in the show, they are forced to cross some boundaries themselves, and to try to get acquainted with their fellow human beings in the seats next to themselves.
And for the ensemble, the physical border crossing between the countries has led to positive results. They have established contacts with theaters and theater environments in the places they have performed, contacts they hope to exploit for further cooperation. Already they are invited to the theatre festival Lainsuojattomat in Pori in Finland, where they will participate with the Border project on the ninth of September.
The Borders Project has received support through the the Culture and Art Programme.