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Tilde Björfors and Cirkus Cirkör’s upcoming production Epifónima finds its inspiration in women’s voices, endeavors, ways of creating and organizing themselves. Its role models range from the goddess Ishtar, via Hildegard of Bingen, the Beguine movement and the Swedish cultural digest R to today’s activists such as Fatemeh Khavari and Tarana Burke. We want to highlight and honor the courage and values necessary to bring about change. In humble admiration, we link ourselves to the long chain of women who have paved the way to where we are today, affording us the opportunity to look toward the future.
Epifónima, which means ”exclamation” in Greek, is a natural extension of Tilde Björfors’ recent productions Borders, Limits and Movements, all centered around the themes of boundaries, limitations and migration.
”In my practical as well as my artistic work with boundaries, it has become increasingly clear to me that the next step, what’s necessary in order to tackle the challenges facing the world, is for us to lift up and make use of the values that are traditionally regarded as ”female” , and that currently command a low status”.
”Clearly, we have already witnessed the havoc that war wreaks and the deadlock it leads to! In this production, we want to explore what happens if we break up the traditional hierarchies, think in circles rather than right angles, look one another in the eye instead of up and down, walk side by side rather than single file.
The right to a voice
The production’s music will be composed by Rebekka Karijord, who previously wrote the music for Cirkus Cirkör’s Wear it like a crown. The composition will primarily build on rhythms and women’s voices that Rebekka has gathered from the four corners of the earth and that will be blended with the ensemble’s own voices.
In Epifónima the ensemble will work across boundaries as co-creators together with the creative team behind the production. The performance is an all-embracing artwork created by everyone involved. The ensemble consists of seven women circus artists with roots in Canada, Greece, Palestine, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.
Epifónima is produced in collaboration with Östgötateatern and created both at the Cirkör House in Alby and in recidency in Norrköping Aug/Sep 2018.
1The goddess Ishtar (aka Inanna) A mythical figure of ancient Mesopotamia . She is a complex, composite creature who represents war, aggression and the thirst for power, but also symbolizes love and erotic allure.
2Hildegard of Bingen (1198–1179) Abbess of two monasteries – Disibodenberg and Rupertsberg – in what is today Germany. Hildegard is the central mystic of the Middle Ages. She collected her visions in the book Liber Scivias and also composed music that continues to be played to this day. Hildegard was the first women whose authority allowed her to travel and preach around Europe and who acted as a counsellor to both queens and emperors.
3The Beguine Movement A religious movement of women who lived in non-hierarchal communities. They did not reside in traditional convents, but in cities where they were self-sufficient and also handled many municipal social functions, such as aiding the poor and sick. Because of their resistance to the Christian Church’s traditional structures, they were persecuted and in some places banned entirely.
4Swedish cultural digest R (1970-2010) a Swedish socio-political culture magazine owned by four Swedish social advocacy organizations (RFHL, RSMH, Krum, Alro) involved in mental health issues, addiction and crime. Investigative journalism was the magazine’s hallmark, showcased in theme issues published about five times per year its.
5Fatemeh Khavari Initiator and spokesperson for Ung i Sverige (Young in Sweden) which, among other things, lead 2017’s sit-in to stop Sweden’s deportations to Afghanistan. Fatemeh’s struggle for refugee rights, as well as her choice to respond to hatred with love, has inspired children and young people far beyond Sweden’s borders.
6Tarana Burke American activist who advocates for the rights and well-being of young women. In 2006 she initiated the online campaign #MeToo in order to draw attention to the sexual harassment of women. In the fall of 2017, #MeToo exploded into a worldwide movement, spurring millions of women to tell the stories of what they had been subjected to.
Creative team and ensemble
Lisa Angberg, handstand, contortion
Eirini Apostolatou, acrobatics, dance
Jonna Bergelin, costume design
Kajsa Bohlin, acrobatics, roue cyr
Tilde Björfors, director
Marta Forsberg, sound design
Susanna Hedin, Lumination of Sweden, lighting design
Joel Jedström, set design
Rebekka Karijord, composer
Sarah Lett, roue cyr
Kajsa Lindgren, sound design
Lucie N'Duhirahe, aerial acrobatics
Ashtar Muallem, acrobatics, silks
Jesper Nikolajeff, set design
Fanny Senocq, set design
Nandi Vileika, vocal coach
Karolina Wojtowicz, chinese pole, hair hanging
Methinee Wongtrakoon, Choreographer