HOSTS & GUESTS
THEATRE AND FILM DIRECTOR
Lola Arias (1976) is an Argentinian author, performer, theatre and film director. Her work investigates the interface between reality and fiction and she collaborates with people from different backgrounds (war veterans, former communists, Bulgarian children, etc.) in her theatre, literature, music, film and art projects. One of Lola’s latest theatre plays called Minefield (2016) brings together British and Argentinian veterans of the Falkland/Malvinas war to share their experience of the conflict and life since then. The protagonists in Minefield are also part of her feature film Theatre of war (2018) which was selected for the 68th Forum of the Berlinale Film Festival.
DRAMATURG AND SET DESIGNER
Aljoscha Begrich (1977) is a Czech dramaturg and set designer living in Berlin. Aljoscha studied art history, philosophy and cultural studies in Berlin, Buenos Aires and Mexico City, and worked afterwards as a set designer for independent groups and multiple theatres including Staatstheater Stuttgart and University of Columbia in NY. His dramaturgical career has taken him in many directions, and he has worked with many companies both in and outside of Europe. Since 2014 he has been the permanent dramaturg at Gorki Theater and at Rimini Protokol in Berlin. Aljoscha combines a holistic view with a keen eye for the ingredients of the primordial stories of mankind, which enables him to give inspiring feedback for writers, composers, directors, sound- and visual artists.
Magrét Bjarnadóttir is a multidisciplinary artist and choreographer based in Reykjavik. She started her dance training at six years old and graduated in 2006 with a BA in choreography from ArtEZ in Arnhem, Holland. Magrét’s approach to dance is like that of a visual art or writer and she is continuously intrigued by the concept of how fragile people are and the humour in our existence. Indeed, her interest in human nature is seen in her book ‘The word on the street’ which is a collection of sentences and phrases that she overheard from passersby in Iceland and collected in the period May 5th 2009 – December 18th 2013. As well as working on her solo projects, Magrét choreographed Björk’s Utopia, and worked with singer in her festival tour in last summer in 2018, and has also been working closely with the radical visual artist Ragnar Kjartansson for many years.
HENRIK JØKER BJERRE
Henrik Jøker Bjerre is an associate professor in Applied Philosophy at Aalborg University. He is a teacher and researcher of cultural analysis, German idealism, Kierkegaard, psychoanalysis and newer Slovenian philosophy. His publications include the books The useful idiot (2013) and Analyze! (2015). Analyze! is part of the series ‘School of Life’’ which addresses some of the most fundamental questions about the skills we use to help us cope with the challenges of modern life. Another book part of the ‘School of Life’ series is Handl! (2017), co-authored by Henrik and Brian, which criticizes the time of action and draws a picture of another and truer concept of action. Henrik is a member of Center for Vild Analyse.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & PRODUCER
Cathie Boyd is an internationally respected director, producer and curator known for her ability to inspire others and her strong leadership of creative endeavour. With over 25 years of experience, she is able to work across art forms, from opera to music, visual arts and film while being able to work at a strategic and practical level, often working in new and unusual ways to achieve goals. Cathie has been instrumental in providing a key platform for artists around the world by creating Glasgow’s Sonica Festival in 2012. She also has much experience in working with new technologies for performance and was made a Fellow of NESTA in 2002 to develop the visual staging of live music.
CENTER FOR VILD ANALYSE
Center for Vild Analyse (CVA) is a philosophical collective that has existed since 2006. The collective implements psychoanalysis and philosophy to suggest radical analysis of large and small scale phenomena in contemporary culture and politics. It has produced two books, a year long national radio show, weekly newspaper columns, and a number of interventions at conferences and other events. Members of CVA are Henrik Jøker Bjerre, Benjamin Brian Hansen, Kasper Porsgaard, Rasmus Ugilt and Steen Thykjær. The center exists when two or more of these write or speak in its name.
THEATRE AND DANCE CRITIC
BRIAN BENJAMIN HANSEN
Brian Benjamin Hansen is an assistant professor at VIA University College. He has a PhD in philosophy and his field of research includes philosophy, psychoanalysis, cultural analysis and science theory especially in relation to existence and subjectivity, the psychopathologies of culture and society and philosophical concepts of action. Some of his published books include Kierkegaard repeated (2013) and Seeing the world in a grain of sand – In the exemplary method (2016). Brian is a member of Center for Vild Analyse.
PROFESSOR & AUTHOR
FINN THORBJØRN HANSEN
Finn Thorbjørn Hansen (1963) is a Danish author, professor and Ph.d. at Aarhus University. Hansen’s area of specialization is philosophical counselling, philosophy of education and existential pedagogy in higher education and citizenship education. Hansen’s current research interests range over the existential/spiritual dimension of career guidance and adult and higher education, existential philosophy and hermeneutics; the idea of existential and Socratic citizenship and the relationship between Theory & Practice in the perspective of Practical Knowledge, and the use of Philosophical Counselling and Socratic Dialogue Groups in Higher Education and teacher and counsellor training.
Latest news on Finn’s research about wondering:
DRAMATURG & COMPOSER
Sebastian Hanusa (1976) is a dramaturg and composer. He studied musicology and philosophy at the Universities in Dortmund and Saarbrücken, Germany and also studied composition at the Hochschule für Musik Saar Saarbrücken. He has worked as a dramaturg at the Würzburg Mainfranken Theater, the Theater Magdeburg and the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater. Since 2014, Sebastian has been engaged as a dramaturg at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and also works freelance as a composer and focuses on new music and contemporary music theatre as a publicist in print as well as in the radio. He is very active within the experimental new music scene in Berlin and, as part of TRAVERS, he will be working closely with Dorothea Hartmann.
Dorothea Hartmann is a German dramaturg. Since 2012 she has been the Head Dramaturg at Deutche Oper Berlin and Artistic Director of Tischlerei – an experimental stage in the opera house. Tichlerei explores new ways for contemporary music theatre, working in an interdisciplinary field. Dorothea has a long career as a dramaturg at various opera houses and theatres in Germany, incl. Staatsoper Hannover and Landestheater Linz. She has been a member of the Jury of the German theatre award Der Faust and held other positions within the theatre field. Dorothea is also a librettist and has worked with composers such as Stefan Johannes Hanke, Lin Wang and Peter Androsch.
RESEARCHER AND TEACHER
RIKKE LUND HEINSEN
Rikke Lund Heinsen (1967) is a Danish teacher and researcher within the field of artistic entrepreneurship, inter/transdisciplinarity and cross-artistic work. Rikke’s background is academic and her experiences are grounded in the producing and educating area of performing arts. She is deeply interested in how to expand our crafts as artistic and creative human beings by offering anti hierarchic workspaces where we all can breathe, exchange and evolve.
Vigdis Jackobsdottir is the artistic director of the Reykjavik Arts Festival and also works as a theatre director, workshop facilitator and lecturer. She studied Drama and Theatre Studies at the University of Kent (UK) and she has a postgraduate diploma in Teaching Studies for Higher Education from the University of Iceland. Vigdis also founded the two theatre festivals, “Ungi” and “Þjóðleikur”, which are directed at young audiences. Her passion for the arts is evident as she has emphasized her belief that “the arts are the most powerful tool to celebrate humanity and to sustain and create peace on earth”. She has also worked at the Icelandic Arts Academy, the National Theatre and was the vice president of the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ) from 2014-2017.
CURATOR & DRAMATURG
Matthias Mohr is a German curator and dramaturg with an expertise in music theatre and dance. He is currently artistic director at Radialsystem; an experimental stage in Berlin. Matthias was part of the programme team of the Ruhrtriennale from 2012-2014 and has had a long-term collaboration with the composer and theater director Heiner Goebbels. In 2018 Matthias was a member of the selection jury for the Tanzplattform in Germany and until the end of June he worked as a dramaturg at PACT Zollverein in Essen, with a curatorial focus in the fields of contemporary dance and performance.
Patrick Müller is professor for media of transdisciplinarity at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). He studied music, musicology, German literature and cultural management in Zürich, Paris and Basel. Between 1998-2005 he was the editor of the bilingual magazine for new music “Dissonance” and artistic director of Collegium Novum Zürich), an ensemble for new music with a local concert series as well as international concert tours. Patrick has worked together with a variety of composers and conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Heinz Holliger, Luciano Berio, Helmut Lachenmann, Klaus Huber, Beat Furrer, Salvatore Sciarrino, Olga Neuwirth and Isabel Mundry. He founded the Master of Transdisciplinary Studies at ZHdK (since 2008) as well as a transcultural study centre for the arts, Connecting Spaces, in Hong Kong (2013-17).
BIRGITTE HOLT NIELSEN
Birgitte Holt Nielsen is a librettist, singer and producer. She received classical training in singing from Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium and has more than 25 years of experience in producing Opera. After graduating from the conservatory, she formed the group Æventyr Operaen, which specialised in producing and performing opera for children. Since 2001, Birgitte has been producer at Den Jyske Opera and focuses on children and youth productions. In 2017 she initiated the project GrowOP!, the first opera festival for children in Denmark which received the P2 price as “Årets Nyskabelse 2017”. GrowOP! is a unique platform for children and young people to get their first opera experiences and the festival offers a variety of aesthetic, sensory and storytelling performances for young audiences. Birgitte is also a Jury member in YEAH-Award 2013 and from 2014-2016 was a member of the jury for Reseo Award which is a part of Yam Awards (Jeunesses Musicales)
Helmut Oehring (1961) is a German composer and previous student of Georg Katzer at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. Since receiving a scholarship to Villa Massimo in Rome, Helmut has proceeded to obtain numerous awards including the Hindemith Prize (1997) and the Arnold Schönberg Prize (2008). Helmut’s work spans almost all musical genres and he has incorporated electronic media, sign language, dance, performance, conceived / improvised music, radio drama and film to create an instrumental vocal theatre that combines poetic forms with political content. The New Yorker recently named him one of the “most influential audiovisual composers alongside John Adams, Kaija Saariaho, Björk, and Robert Ashley.” Internationally renowned, Helmut is a jury member of the Karl Sczuka Prize for International Radio Drama Art of the SWR as well as a member of the Academy of Arts Berlin, the Saxon Academy of Arts and the Academy of German Music Authors.
SOUND DESIGNER & MUSICIAN
Torsten Ottersberg is a musician and lyricist and is increasingly active in sound installation, interactive studio production and film dubbing. Torsten founded the studio GOGH smp, with TRAVERS host Helmut Oehring, which serves as a platform for the conception, realization and support of audio productions of contemporary music and electroacoustic experiments. For the Wiesavaden premire Torsten worked with Helmut, producing and designing the audio and stage design of AGOTA which embarks on a search for identity and language in the work of Ágota Kristóf, as well as the possibilities of contemporary multimedia music theatre.
AUTHOR OF GRAPHIC NOVELS
Halfdan Pisket (1985) is a Danish artist, cartoonist and author of graphic novels. Halfdan has written many underground comics including Hail the Darklord (2012), Locksmith Files (2012) among others. He was the first graphic novelist to be awarded the Danish Art Foundation’s three-year work grant for the trilogy Danskertrilogien – a poetic and emotionally tough graphic novel about the development of his Turkish/Armenian father’s life from a deserter in the Turkish army to a drug dealer in Christiania and recognized Danish citizen. Halfdan has cooperated with many other artists, including photographer Fryd Frydendahl on Winter (2013), a work combining images, photos and texts from young Danish writers Bjørn Rasmussen, Christina Hagen and Asbjørn Skou.
KASPER DAUGAARD POULSEN
Kasper Daugaard Poulsen (1977) is a dancer, performer and choreographer. He studied dance at the Amsterdam School of the Arts and founded Club Fisk, based in Aarhus, in 2003. Club Fisk is named after a legendary discotheque in Aarhus. The name emphasizes the company’s local rooting, reflect its’ often alternative and indirect approach to dance and refers to the company’s production- and presentation form that very often asks new guests and collaborators inside. Kasper works in a wide variety and mix of formats and genres such as dance, performance, text-based theatre, music drama, installation work, video art, site-specific work, sound art and works for children and young audiences. He recently served as member of the Danish Arts Council, The Committee for Performing Arts as well as The Committee for Music Drama, and is currently a member of Aarhus Arts Council, a multidisciplinary council consisting of writers, visual artists, composers and performing artists.
TANJA NELLEMANN POULSEN
Tanja Nellemann Poulsen (1971) is a Danish visual artist living and working in Aarhus. Tanja utilises text, embroidery, paper and civic art to create works that focus on urban life and accessibility. Since graduating from Det Jyske Kunstakademi (The Jyske Art Academy in Aarhus) in 2001, Tanja has been involved in numerous projects and from 2001-2016 was appointed Board Member and Deputy Chairman of AABCK, Aarhus Centre for Visual Art, Aarhus, (DK). Her work intertwines the perspectives from both global political life and typical Danish everyday life to encourage us to question the organizational structures of both ourselves as independent individuals and as a collective society.
Trond Reinholdtsen (1972) is a Norwegian composer and vocalist. In his early years as a composer Trond composed modernistic, complex works in the German style and performed as a singer in the ensemble Nordic Voices. Over the last years Trond’s music has developed in a performative direction, where conventional music is layered with performative elements such as essayistic interpretations, live-camera filming and elements like face-making and statistical facts. He often rounds off his compositions with the “composer’s speech to the audience”; a speech that may be performed live on screen or via a recording. Trond’s highly extreme and original pieces have been presented at various festivals incl. Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
Sara Topsøe-Jensen (1971) is a Danish actress and the founder and artistic director of Carte Blanche – a theatre based in Viborg, Denmark. A common feature for Carte Blanche’s poetic performances is the use of visuality and site specificity with a focus on the meeting between the performer and the audience throughout different sensuous tableaus. The theatre has toured in 27 different countries such as Australia, Russia, Greenland and Canada and worked with a variety of international performers. Sara has been nominated for local and international awards such as The Reumert Jury’s Special Award for the two performances LIFE LIVE! by Carte Blanche og Cantabile 2 in Denmark, 2013; The 2008 ASSITEJ Award for Artistic Excellence at the ASSITEJs XVI World Congress in Adelaide, Australien in May 2008 and the Rosamund Gilder/ Martha Coigney International Award of League of Professional Theatre Women in New York, September 2011.
LIBRETIST & STAGE DIRECTOR
Stefanie Wördemann (1974) is a German librettist and stage director. She studied music and German at the HU Berlin and was a founding member of the academy Musiktheater heute –Berlin-Salzburg and of the labor für musik:theater. In 2001 Stefanie became theatre dramaturg at the Osnabrück Theatre and was editor and dramaturg for the Berlin Philarmonic Orchestra from 2002 until 2006. However, since 2005, she has exhibited her work as a librettist and stage director with many music theatre productions including QUIXOTE oder Die Porzellanlanze and Orfeo 14 (vol. 1) in which she collaborated with Helmut Oehring (who is also part of TRAVERS). More recently, Stefanie has worked on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, which focuses on the current refugee crisis and is performed with the help of asylum-seeking musicians and artists from the Middle East.
Kristoffer Ørum is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and organizer based in Copenhagen, Denmark. He explores contemporary notions of the digital every day, how narratives of lived life are circulated, and what that circulation means for the ways in which we live our daily lives. His work has been displayed in established institutions, such as MUSA Museum auf Abruf in Vienna and SESI’ Cultural Centre in Sao Paulo as well as artist run spaces like Flux Factory in New York and projects on the internet and social networks. Kristoffer holds dual MA degrees in fine art from The Royal Danish Academy of Art and Goldsmiths College. He has served as a professor at Funen academy of Art and artistic researcher at Uncertain Archives, Copenhagen University.