Who says that cheerleading isn’t an art form? The Danish dancer and choreographer Kristin Ryg Helgebostad returns to her roots as a cheerleader for the ice hockey team Frisk Asker. The result is a cheerleading show the likes of which you’ve never seen.
You’ll hear low whispers: “Go go go, now now now” and “yes we have to do it, right now”. Loud and raucous shouts become hushed murmurs in this surprising performance.
Cheers is a performance with a feminist twist. We experience oversexualized cheerleading transformed, now focusing on the physical work behind the results, from sexy to strong. The dancers wear oversized tee-shirts and knee-length shorts instead of miniskirts. Rather than warbling with high-pitched, artificial voices, they groan and scream like football fans.
Norwegian Kristin Ryg Helgebostad is one of Norway’s top young dance artists. Collaborating with composer and bell-player Laura Marie Rueslåtten in this piece, she focuses on the heavy work behind the glitter and the glamour.
Enthusiastic moves and shouts are exaggerated in a way that challenges gender roles. Cheering can be a force that strengthens the home team and weakens the opponents, but do we ever comprehend what we are actually cheering for? Songs, cheers, human pyramids and acrobatics are transformed into new phenomena.
This production was awarded the Oslo Civic Prize for best performance of 2018.
Concept: Kristin Ryg Helgebostad & Laura Marie Rueslåtten
Dansers: Marianne Kjærsund, Sigrid Hirsch Kopperdal, Julie Moviken, Berglind Rafnsdottir & Charlott Utzig
Choreographer: Kristin Ryg Helgebostad
Composition: Laura Marie Rueslåtten
Light: Elisabeth Nilsson
Costume: Thale Kvam Olsen
Scenography: Elisabeth Nilsson, Thale Kvam Olsen
Costume design: Thale Kvam Olsen
Sewing: Jørgen Opsahl, Amalie Faye
Producer: Idun Vik
Production Assistant: Frida Bang Søfting
Cheers is a part of Stages – New Nordic Performing Arts. Read more about Stages here.