Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Audience Are Copied in; an Dance-Led Exploration of the Cultural Importance of Photography Will Have Audiences at Baltic Captured This Week. Sam Wonfor Hears from Its Choreographer, Bjorn Safsten

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Audience Are Copied in; an Dance-Led Exploration of the Cultural Importance of Photography Will Have Audiences at Baltic Captured This Week. Sam Wonfor Hears from Its Choreographer, Bjorn Safsten

Article excerpt

IF you're the type of audience member who likes to sit back and observe rather than participate, then you might want to give Fictional Copies a swerve.

The performance piece, which was created last year by acclaimed Swedish choreographer Bjorn Safsten, uses movement, cameras, choreography and poetry to explore the role of the photograph in the construction of our identity - how we relate to our own image in contrast to how we see ourselves through captured imagery.

And it does all this in a space which is shared by the five performers and the audience, promising to erase the expected theatrical boundaries as every movement is copied, transformed and blended into the existing choreography.

"The process of Fictional copies was very long and came from an interest of the function of copying," explains Bjorn, who has enjoyed working in the North East before. "Copying in modes of identities, in movements, gestures, representation within an economy of identity and so on.

"How does it function, what role does it play in our contemporary society and what types of philosophical questions arrives from the discourse of copying?" In a space that documents all the actions which occur, the collective group are asked to take responsibility for the events which are created within it. A multitude of images are captured in the opening minutes and then flow into the rest of the performance with the aim of asking what there is to trust as the manipulation of the images bends our belief in what is original.

It's not the first time Bjorn has created something which incorporates the audience as part of the performance, although he says it is the first time has attached a wider signifi-cance to it.

"I did a project at Magasin 3 in Stockholm in 2011 - that was the first try-out of a moving audience. But this was the first time I created a dramaturgy and political issues around it. …

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