- The Iceland Dance Company will bring works choreographed to Nordic rap, electronica, and classical music to The Egg on November 2.
Bound by glaciers, roiled by geothermal steam, and buffeted by North Atlantic winds, Iceland does not immediately conjure refined images of dance. Wouldn’t Icelanders rather be knitting sweaters or cross-country skiing or listening to Björk records? Not entirely. In fact, in a country of only 300,000 people, attendance at performing arts events annually tops 200,000. With audience interest like that, it figures that the Iceland Dance Company, the state-sponsored dance troupe, is enjoying ever-increasing success.
Iceland Dance was originally founded in 1973 by the National Theatre of Iceland, and went independent in the early 1990s. In the decade since its secession, the Reykjavik-based company has experienced a rejuvenation under artistic director Katrin Hall, who has vitalized the once-staid repertoire with Icelandic rap and electronica as well as the more traditional music of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Hall hopes that the company’s contemporary shift will draw new fans, particularly as it takes to the road for an American tour this fall. Her aim, she told International Arts Manager magazine, is to “program for the common public, not only those with a dance interest.”
Iceland Dance has commissioned work from renowned Icelandic and European choreographers Itzik Galili, Peter Anderson, Jiri Kylian, and Rui Horta, and from Beirut to Berlin to Beijing, has attracted the attention of audiences and the press. In a uniquely Germanic mode of praise, the Austrian Der Standard called the company “a perfect performative platform … unpredictable, crazy, and horrific.” Come to think of it, the same could be said of Björk.
The Iceland Dance Company will perform at The Egg on November 2 at 8pm. Tickets are $24, $20, and $12. (518) 473-1845; www.theegg.org.