Cie 13/Rosa Mei - Antwerp/Prague/L.A.


Havamal, Rosa Mei's latest work, is inspired by a series of Old Norse poems from The Poetic Edda. It is an ode to Mo I Rana, a remote Norwegian town just south of the Arctic Circle. "Havamal" uses polyrhythmic steps and counterpoint structure to convey the story of man whose surrealist visions of the of the local mountains and glaciers are shaped by bending, brilliant hues of the Northern lights. The unique soundscore includes beatbox, flute, saxophone and the yelps of a cow herder.

One of the central quotes of Havama is “Døyr fe; døyr frendar; døyr sjølv det same. Men ordet um deg aldri døyr vinn du eit gjetord gjævt.” (Cattle die, kinsmen die, the self must also die. I know one thing which never dies: the reputation of each dead man). It is an allegory about the transient nature of life, how to live and have a righteous life…if you live a worthwhile existence your memory will live on in your good deeds.

In “Havamal”, people search for a destination in life in a solitary world, where people hungrily indulge in all kinds of external stimuli. Everybody is looking for something, be it fame or fortune, a career, peace and happiness. Mo I Rana (in reality a remote industrial city in northern Norway, just south of the Arctic circle) becomes a symbol for silence, for peace. It is a safe haven, the ultimate purpose of the search, an emerald and ruby city in the Northern lights. Mo I Rana, however, is an illusion, the search is endless, the silence elusive. The final destination is realizing there is no end. It goes on and on.

Regarding Northern lights, one Rana local says, “We were always told when I was growing up that if you wave something white at it, it (the sky) will come and steal your soul.”

R“Havamal is a big melting pot of dance genres, everything from hip hop, street, martial arts and modern dance. Add a bizarre sound artist as the final ingredient of this Norse saga, and you have all the best things from the European art landscape. It is a collaboration that breaks boundaries and shatters the classical European notion that the arts are fundamentally divided…. This is a journey through a visual sensory universe with the body and music at the center, far from our everyday lives” - Maria Malmo, Aarhus