Fredrik ”Benke” Rydmans Våroffer

By on August 31, 2018
Andreas Lundberg

Stravinsky’s original music, 20 street dancer, 5000 liters of water, newly written music, Fredrik “Benke” Rydman himself plus a giant industrial robot. Rydman’s interpretation of the ballet classics Våroffer becomes a unique meeting between technology and art. Premiere September 7th on the Big Stage, Kulturhuset Stadsteatern.

Nature’s cycle – violent and beautiful, something has to die for the new one to live.

The autumn’s great dance performance is Våroffer in choreography by Fredrik “Benke” Rydman. In Rydman’s set, the balance between technology and nature is in focus, if it is disturbed nothing can live. And we people who stand there in the middle, how should we relate to these opposites?

– Now that I’ve grown older and my dance body does not do what I want anymore, I can relate to Våroffers themes about the cycle of nature and the cyclical of life. Today, we are talking a lot about how new technology is both an opportunity and a threat to humanity and nature. How should we behave to that robots are coming into our lives? This performance is an attempt to artificially examine how the interaction between robot and human looks, says Fredrik Rydman.

Throughout the first act, Fredrik Rydman is dancing alone with a three-meter high industrial robot. During the show, his body breaks down while the robot consists and helps the aging human body through it.

– I have tried to find movements of the robot that give it an identity and a development from a steel high to a human-like character. It has required an incredible amount of work and programming. It is clearly the hardest thing I have done. But also one of the most rewarding projects I have worked with. I am very glad that this crazy project has been implemented.

The first act’s music is newly written by Johan Liljedahl and Calle Rasmusson.

In the second act we hear Igor Stravinsky’s original music. And on stage, 20 street dancers plus 5000 liters of water.

– I want to create a powerful homage to life, both dark and bright.

– Stravinsky’s original music is incredibly complex in their rhythms, and here I believe that I and the street dancers can create something that no-one else has done. Namely to “show” the music to the audience. The musicality of this dance show is never found in, for example, a ballet company. Maybe that sounds strange, but just that point I think is the big difference between hip hop dancers and classical dancers.

Helena Olofsson, Culture & Music | Stockholm