Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Reykjavík Arts Festival

Reykjavík has a long arts festival every summer, featuring numerous bands, artist performances, gallery shows, all gathered into one. I noticed that there was a free performance outdoors which kicked off the festival. The performing company was La Fura dels Baus, who rigged up the town square by the Parliament with zip lines, construction equipment, and a music-dance-performance work. The piece itself seemed fairly abstract, but the execution of it was pretty amazing! It also included renditions of Bizet and Handel's 'greatest opera hitz' as well as some snappy electronic music.
The drama began with the stars of the show being brought into the square on fork loaders, and throwing out things to the audience, like balloons and fake money. Then an opera singer descended from the Church on a zipline, and let loose a bunch of feathers.

A third girl was sort of 'birthed' from this bizarre contraption filled with water, suspended from a crane. Then everything kind of came together when another crane lifted a bunch of people in the air and they did this sort of choreographed apocalyptic air-dance, all strapped onto this metal cage, but moving in sync with each other. The streamers were flying, it was quite beautiful.

The best moments of the piece were the finale when 42 Icelandic volunteers (and Spanish dancers of the troupe) were harnessed into these cables and then lifted into the air by a crane, and then they all did this dance, way up in the air.

It looked like a combination of modern dance, rock climbing, and nuclear radiation cleanup. They poured glitter out from their suits and into the air and then expanded and contracted their bodies into great shapes.

Certainly an impressive start to the festival, and a giant crowd assembled to enjoy the performance, and soak up the new summer sun!

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