Balm of god or devil’s excrement? What is this black blood, pumping thought the veins of our industrialised world? Which mythology inhabits it? How greatly will it irreversibly metamorphose us and our relationship with our surroundings? How addicted to it are we? How far will we go to satisfy our needs for it? Are we the oil of the future?

by Bjarni Grimsson

Erna Ómarsdóttir and Damien Jalet started off with these questions when creating the first version of Black Marrow in Australia in 2009. They have now further evolved the piece with the dancers of Iceland Dance Company. Acknowledging the ancestral spiritual bond of man and nature, Ómarsdóttir and Jalet invent a contemporary ritual. Exploring with the dancers the energy of an archaic trance to depict a world where instincts have been industrialized, where the body transforms, mutates, exults and fights for its survival. Using rhythm, repetition and exhaustion to the haunting music by Ben Frost, the dancers take the shape of fossils, industrial machines, pagan gods and carefree golden youth. Every ritual has a function - trance often has a healing one. Black Marrow acts like a deformed mirror, a shaded reflection of our contemporary relationship to the planet. A poetic attempt to save it ...or to save ourselves. 

Black Marrow was recreated for Iceland Dance Company and premiered May 19th 2015 at the 29th Reykjavik Arts Festival. Black Marrow received three nominations at the Icelandic Performing Arts Awards (Gríman) 2015 for Best Theater Production, Best Choreography and Best Original Music. Ben Frost then received the awards for Best Original Music. 

Duration: 60 min

Save the dates:
20/11 8 PM // Dresden
25/11 8 PM // Bern
27/11 8.30 PM // Hamburg
28/11 8 PM // Hamburg

Choreography: Erna Omarsdottir & Damien Jalet
Music: Ben Frost
Dancers: Adalheidur Halldorsdottir, Asgeir Helgi Magnusson, Cameron Corbett, Elin Signy Weywadt Ragnarsdottir, Halla Thordardottir, Hannes Thor Egilsson, Hjordis Lilja Ornolfsdottir & Thyri Huld Arnadottir
Rehearsal director: Katrin Ingvadottir
Set design: Alexandra Mein in Zusammenarbeit mit Erna Omarsdottir, Damien Jalet, Julianna Steingrimsdottir & Rebekka Moran
Light Design: Bjorn Bergsteinn Gudmundsson
Costume Design: Julianna Steingrimsdottir
Masks: Rebekka Moran & Heimir Sverrisson inspired by the original masks by Alexandra Mein
Technical Director: Valdimar Johannsson
Sound Design: Gardar Thor Eidsson
Choreographer's assistant Sarah Black
Other music: Danzel

Click here for the trailer.
A production by Iceland Dance Company funded by Reykjavik Arts Festival.
Originally created for Chunky Move in Australia in collaboration with Sara Black, Paulo Castro, Julian Crotti, Alisdair Macindoe, Carlee Mellow & James Shannon, and first premiered at Melbourne arts festival in October 2009.
Recreated in collaboration with IDC dancers, Inga Maren Runarsdottir & Sergi Pares Agea.

Special thanks to The Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Hillary Coyne, Chris Mercer & Chunky Move.