Ga naar de inhoud
  • Nieuws

Interview: Mette Ingvartsen about to come (extended)


Mette Ingvartsen is a Danish choreographer, dancer and performer. Over the last 20 years she has been living and working in Europe, with an ongoing close connection to Belgium where she finished her studies in 2004. Since then she has made performances and research projects of various kinds. When creating a piece, Ingvartsen often starts with concrete physical ideas derived from social and political questions. She feels she is inclined to create a public debate around these questions. A perfect example is her choreography to come (extended) which can be seen at SPRING 2018. With to come (extended) she turns the theatre into a place to rethink sexuality, pornography and power. Fifteen performers question the notion of individual sexual freedom, while their bodies melt into a single collective structure. to come (extended) is based on her earlier work for five dancers to come (2005), and joins the series of her recent works: 69 positions (2014), 7 pleasures (2015) and 21 pornographies (2017).

Why do you have this explicit focus on sexual representation in your works?

“I see the body as a vessel for history, culture, social and political expressions that are at once collective and individual, and I try to engage my own body directly in them. I understand sexuality as an underlying structure that our societal and political structures are also based on. I have the – perhaps illusory – idea that if we change our sexual practices and the ways in which power is exercised in private and intimate spaces, then this will affect our social imaginaries and enable us to transform dysfunctional power structures in a sustainable and long lasting way.”

Why have you chosen to create a “part two” of “to come” (2005)?

to come (extended) is part of The Red Pieces, a series of works in which I have been dealing with the relationship between sexuality and the public /political sphere. When I started the series in 2014 with 69 positions, I spent time looking at my own archives in regards to how I have dealt with sexuality in the past. I rediscovered things in to come (2005) that I still found very relevant to todays societal discussions. The anonymity of the bodies in the first part, as well as the fluidity of gender roles were issues that for new reasons appealed to me. The huge explosion in how we today use social medias to expose our most intimate thoughts and ideas, and how this has broken down borders between private and public space, I found interesting to reflect upon with a larger group of performers. The way our relationship to sexual imagery has also changed over the last 12 years, through the increase of for instance internet pornography was another motivation to again invest in how alternative images and understandings of sexuality could be shown on stage.”

What can the audience expect when watching the performance?

“For to come (extended) the idea of producing joyful bodily sensations and how these sensations can be transferred to the spectators, is something we were busy with especially for the 3rd section of the performance. For the rest I prefer people coming with an open mind, without too many expectations, ready to see what is to come.”

What other passions do you have next to performing arts?

“To read. To discuss. To stay informed and connected to the world, and to the people I care about.
To think about transformation and structural change. To focus on what is important, whatever that means at specific at different moments in life.”

What is your dream for the future?

“To be able to continue making art and to contribute to dance developing as an art form that more people would attend to.”

 to come (extended) can be seen in the Stadsschouwburg on Thursday 17 May (opening SPRING) and Friday 18 May. Click here for tickets.

Photo: ©Danny Willems


Beweging aan Beweging uit