About RUDY

What if we shift the question from ‘who do I want to be?’ to the question, ‘what kind of life do I want to live with others? / Judith Butler

Understanding dance as a continuous negotiation between historical, collective and personal habits, norms, and desires, her question felt like an important, impracticable but inspiring starting point for a dance by many. It became clear that to support, submit to, and care for a proposal and to fill the verb” following” with agency was important. It started with questioning not the form dance takes, but for what reasons and what dance’s purposes potentially could be. This, out of the ambition to not take any purpose for granted.

RUDY is a piece for which no dances were innovated, it is a recycled (or transcycled) piece. It is a piece for activation of dear dance memories and histories both personal and other ones, found on the internet or so.

Taken out of contexts, transcycled and collided with other ones they are compiled to a new oneness. The separate dances constitute a new whole that make altered meanings appear, open for other readings and different understandings.

In the transformative recycling of dances that already exist we take care of old dances, follow and support them, become vessels for them, aiming to reclaim creativity to also be about caretaking, togetherness, imitation, “poor” imitation, following, empathy and supporting. This piece considers participation and partaking as authoring and constituting.

RUDY proposes a calm moment in which empathy, care, repeating and bastardizing imitation are considered vital aspects of art.

Dance and choreography at “The Festival Festival: a festival of dance” at DOCH 2015: Elise Brewer, Gry Tingskog, Emma Strandsäter, Elise Sjöberg, Lisa Schåman, Anna Bontha, Max Wallmeier, Ellen Söderhult

Dance and choreography at Weld, May 2016: Alex Nagy, Elise Sjöberg, Ellen Söderhult, Emma Strandsäter, Gry Tingskog, Hampus Bergenheim, Jilda Hallin, Lisa Nilsson, Lisa Schåman, Lisen Ellard, Max Wallmeier, Oda Brekke, Susanna Ujanen, Tiia Kasurinen och Vanessa Virta.
Text by: Anna Bontha
Light design: Ronald Salas

Dance and choreography at Köttinspektionen dans July 2016: Elise Sjöberg, Ellen Söderhult, Chloe Chignell, Anna-Karin Domfors, Anna Bontha, Gry Tingskog, Lisa Schåman, Lisen Ellard, Minna Berglund and Vanessa Virta. Text by: Anna Bontha.

Dance and choreography at Indigo Dance, PAF summer university: Frankie Snowdon, Carima Neusser, Austeja Vilkaityte, Greta Bernotaite, Imre Vass, Ainhoa Hernandez, Karis Zidore, Naya Moll, Olivia Riviere, Sandra Liaklev, Lisen Pousette, Lea Vendelbo Petersen, Emilia Gasiorek, Ivey Wawn, Laura Ramirez, Tamara Algere, Leah Landau, Snorre Jeppe Hansen, Chloe Chignell, Gry Tingskog and Ellen Söderhult. Text: Anna Bontha

Concept and direction: Ellen Söderhult

THANK YOU to Weld in Stockholm, Köttinspektionen Dans in Uppsala and PAF performing Arts Forum in St. Erme, France.

Trailer, edited by Anna Bontha

rudy at paf 2

rudy at paf


rudy reahearsal










VIDEO of the second part of the performance from the Weld-version, is available here:

In the beginning of the performance, the audience is lying down while the performers squeeze their feet and soft choir music is playing. During that time, the following text by

Anna Bontha is read:

Narrator (one or many)

Interviewer1, 2, 3

Scholar 1, 2, 3

Critic 1, 2, 3


N 1: When hearing the word hyena, what do you think of? A patchy fury thing with odd proportions? A long thick neck and a small pointy face on top of it.

N 2: Then there is the gender ambiguity, the genitals of the female hyena has an enlarged clitoris capable of an erection.

N 3: Maybe you think of the hyena as it is depicted in the movie the Lion king; dumb, cowardice and lazy. Also a thief, and a scavenger.

N 1: An animal linked to death.

N 2: Hyenas will gorge them selves whenever they can. A head of a gazelle isn`t a prime cut, but the spotted hyena is adapted to making do with rougher fare.

N 3: They utilize what others throw away.  They`ll crunch up bone, digesting the organic content and excreting calcium.


N 1: The surrealist painter and writer Leonora Carrington was born in England 1917 and died in Mexiko 2011.

Most written records about her begins with the debutante that ran away with the surrealist. N 2: It makes a good story.

It adds something, one like to think not only about the art, but also about the artist.

Her life story has all the ingredients; a wealthy upbringing, an illicit romance, bohemian escapades, psychological anguish, and a distant, exotic setting.

N 3: There has been some editing done right?  I mean its not not true, its just curious, the way it shows a familiar narrative.


I: Transcript from an interview in 2010. Leonora Carrington is sitting in her kitchen in her home in Mexico City.

L: What do you want to know?

I: I don’t know, whatever you want to say, I think that this is more a space for you to speak up.

L: I am an old woman who has worked and who has been a daughter, a sister, a lover, a mother and a wife… and an artist.

I: And your childhood was happy?

L: Sometimes yes, sometimes no, because I was sent to a convent, which I hated. And the teachers in school said, this child will not cooperate.

I: You were presented to the royal court.

L: Yes

I: And in your story the hyena takes your place.

L: Yes. Because it was very boring you know, I was taking revenge.


N 1: In the short story The Debutant, a young girl makes friends with a hyena at the zoo. The hyena agrees to take the girls place at a ball. It dresses up in the girls ball gown. Then the hyena kills one of the households maids to have her face to cover it`s own. The deception is discovered when one of the guests at the ball tells the hyena that she smells. The hyena rises from her chair, tares the face off, eats it before jumping out of the window.


S 1: Carringtons work is full of these hybrids, part human, part beast. And the closer to the animal world, the wiser and more powerful they become.

S 2: The animal replaces the femme-infant in the surrealistic symbolic order, where the women are made a link between the man and the Marvelous. This replacement disrupts the male power position over woman, and allows the femme-infant to name the source of her creative power nature, and enables the woman to take place as an active subject, rather than a passive object.


S 1. Carrington almost fits into several different categories, but cannot identify completely with any single category

S 2. Her body of work is refusing definition within existing frames

S 3. the question “What does she intend to do with her art?”

S 1. Was the madness a requirement for liberation?

S 2. Hubert discusses separateness as well, but in a more focused plane, namely separateness from Surrealism.

S 3. through negation, that is, by explaining what she is not

S 1. In other words, Carrington is not exactly a Surrealist in the same way she is not exactly a feminist.

S 2. Chadwick, like Helland, chooses to label Carrington as indefinable

S 3. but even indefinable is a category with boundaries.


N 1.

A critic wrote:



Fairy painting

Moreover    Meaningless

C 2. Besides, reviewing her life is more appealing

C 3. Moreover, too often she borrows tropes from other Surrealists without making them her own: De Chirico’s sense of melancholy emptiness, the ant-like, distant figures we find in Dali, Miro’s biomorphic forms, or a pelt-like, furry quality reminiscent of pictures by her lover Ernst.

C 1.Besides, her predominant finish is so at odds with the diabolical forces she claims to be channelling. If you want to see modern art doing demons with gusto, Google the Dutch artist Karel Appel.

C 2. How does it stack up, these paintings of the woman surrealist? How do they stand on they`re own legs?

C 3. The answer is Modestly. Synonyms:

humbly, plainly, quitly, simply

C 1. Besides, it could be a scene from a movie by the Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.

C 2. At her best she was a brilliant fabricator of memorable, poetic, dream-like images.

C 3. Synonyms to fabricator:

Coiner, counterfeiter, fabulist, faker, falsifier, fibber, liar


N 1: In Carringtons work the white horse is a reoccurring figure. It becomes a site of transcendence. In a time when the horse, a Freudian horse, meant surging masculinity, she drew from ancient depictions of the horse as a powerful goddess. Carrington uses the horse as her feminine avatar.

L: Your trying to intellectualize something desperately, and your wasting your time. That’s not the way of understanding, to make it into sort of a mini logic

The visual world is totally different. The visual world is to do with what we see in space, which changes all the time.

How do I know how to walk, that’s one concept of knowledge, in this room, within these four walls, navigating among other bodies, without running into them.


N 1: The Inn of the Dawn Horse. Selfportrait, 1937. In the painting Carrington sits with her legs wide a part, with wild  mane-like hair, and wearing a horse back riding suit. As a viewer your eye first goes to this figure, and she is looking right back at you. Carrington is pointing with her hand at the hyena in front of her. The hyena is posing, mirroring the gesture of Carrington with it`s paw raised. The hyenas eyes strangely human-like and a smirk in her face, she has three heavy breasts.. Above the woman, there is a floating rocking horse, it has no tail, it is moving towards an open window in the background, outside the window a white horse galloping away, on its way into a deep forest.

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