Text on The Blind Theater

THE BLIND THEATER – 5 manifests for the female sensuality
Director: Ståle Stenslie, dramaturgy by Kate Pendry

The Blind Theater makes the body into the stage of a sensorial theater. The play contributes to the critical understanding of the body’s importance in our visually dominated culture. It opens the national theater to a blind and blinded audience.

An electronic body suit imprints the five stories about being a woman directly on each of the participants’ bodies. The histories are experienced directly through touch and become deeply personal. The experience is a personal and intimate play with the female, from sexuality to the frustrative. By dressing each visitor in a female, electronic skin the participants are asked what it means to be woman. Five international artists have written the intimate portraits: Shiva Falahi (Iran), Edy Poppy, Narve Hovdenakk, Veronika Bökelmann and Kate Pendry.

The Nationaltheater is darkened at midnight, and transforms the house into a sensual and changing sculpture. The movement through the theater and the blind sensuality makes the body into the stage and wipes out the difference between the performer and audience. Together the house and the play create a sensuous-democratic space of experience for both blind and sighted.

That Blind Theater version 1.0 had its world premiere on the 31st of August, and was played 4 nights during the festival of contemporary theatre at the Norwegian National Theatre in Oslo

Each story is experienced individually and lasts for up to 30 minutes.

Concept and artistic direction: Ståle Stenslie is Norwegian artist trained in Germany where he also worked as a professor of experimental media art (KHM in Cologne). In his work with new artistic expressions, he has been internationally reknown for his work with the body and technology.. He has represented Norway in the 5th Biennial in Istanbul, won the Norwegian Cultural Council great award for art and new technologies and toured around the world with his sense-manipulative installations.

Dramaturg: Kate Pendry is one of Norway’s most famous performing artists and came to fame far beyond national borders as a performer and playwriter.

Text: Veronika Bökelmann (D), Shiva Falahi (Iran), Narve Hovednakk, Kate Pendry and Edy Poppy
Artistic Programming: Jonas Jongejan (DK)
Sound: Truls Kvam and Kate Pendry 
Voices: Mailise Rasmussen, Kate Pendry Narve Hovdenakk, Shiva Falahi
Navigators: Grith Jensen, Sille Dons Heltoft, Mailise Rasmussen, Veronika Bökelmann, Silje Lykke Spjelkavik
Costumes: Ingvild Hornseth

Financed by the Norwegian Council for Cultural Affairs and the National Theater. The development is supported by Notam and Atelier Nord.

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