Icelandic Dance Company at Nordic Cool 2013

Interview with Lára Stefánsdóttir, artistic director of IDC

25. Feb 2013

The Swan

The Icelandic Dance Company will be performing three Nordic dance pieces tonight, February 26th, at the Nordic Cool festival hosted by the Kennedy Center in Washington. The company will also host a Masterclass for professional dancers during the festival.

Performing Arts Iceland interviewed Lára Stefánsdóttir, artistic director of the Icelandic Dance Company right before the big tour to Washington.

So tell us Lára, how did the Icelandic Dance company get involved with the Nordic Cool at Kennedy Center, Washington?

Well...every year, the Kennedy Center, hosts an festival in relations to certain cultures, for example, last years festival was dedicated to India. This year the Kennedy Center represents Nordic culture with the Nordic Cool festival. One of Nordics Cool goals is to answer the question “What is Nordic” and therefore they set their focus on art, culture, people, country and the values of each nation to seek out the answers. Nordic Cool will start February 19th and end March 17th, there are about 750 participants and artists in theatre, dance, music and visual arts that will be performing or exhibiting their work. Groundbreaking women, Gilda M. Almeida and Alicia Adams traveled through all the Nordic Countries to select candidates to represent and introduce at the festival, the selection process and planning took around 2 years. Therefore we can surely say that there is a big honor for the Icelandic Dance Company to be shown this trust to perform at this festival.

How is the preparation going?

The preparation is well underway and according to plans. Three dance pieces chosen by Gilda and Alicia to be performed at the Kennedy Center and there are 9 dancers total chosen for this tour. The three pieces chosen were Til by Frank Fannar Pedersen, The Swan by Lára Stefánsdóttir and Grossstadt Safari by Jo Strömgren. Til is the newest piece aboard as it premiered in the Reykjavik City theatre in November 2012.

The other two pieces premiered couple of years ago in Iceland but have been performed worldwide on different festivals. Katrin Ingvadóttir is now coaching manager of the Icelandic Dance Company and manages the program for Nordic Cool. She knows Grossstadts Safari very well as she used to one of the performers in the piece. A new female dancer is now aboard with us, that is Ellen Margrét Bæhrenz and she has been rehearsing one of the two roles in the Swan therefore she will have a premier in that role in Washington. She is well supported by her co-dancer who has been dancing the other role since 2008 in Reykjavik City Theatre.

Do you have any expectations regarding the outcome of this project at the Kennedy Center?

The Icelandic Dance company hopes to deliever a good show and charm our audience to the point where they come back to our show next time we are on tour in the USA. Up to this point we have made certain contacts with professionals on previous tours and we expect to establish new contacts on this tour as well. We are not performing in other places in the USA than Kennedy Center on this tour but we are planning a longer tour in North America in 2014. This will be an exciting journey and we are open mindedly crossing the Atlantic.

For more info on the Icelandic Dance Company please go to their website http://www.id.is

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