Dancing to the heart beats

Three dancers and a DJ act out the moves, but really it’s the teenagers present in the audience who are the prime shakers in Hjertebanken, choreographer Tali Rázga’s performance piece about youth in love. Entitled ‘Heartbeat’ in English, this dance event looks at the experience of being young and in love with all the senses, going beyond intangible feelings into the realms of taste and smell. Teens are invited to have a drink with an aphrodisiac during the performance while seated at a makeshift bar on the stage.

“I want to create a dance performance that speaks directly to the teen’s own universe,” explains Rázga, herself a dancer and educator. “Where they are right now is the beginning of their adult lives, with feelings about love’s universe and all that comes with it – the thrill of bloody knees, raging jealousy, and happiness that can travel right up to the roots of the hair. And I have chosen to do this by having the teenagers themselves sitting on the stage.”

This is the second incarnation of Heartbeat. The initial phase took place inside Thorvaldsen’s Museum, where teenagers talked, ate and interacted with the performers and created the final piece among some statues of Eros and Aphrodite. The observations about love that came out of this experiment were then culled into this performance. In January the choreographer also worked with five classes of teenagers to learn about how love works for them and their codes of body language. These stories and movements have been incorporated into the choreography.

Rázga has been working as a choreographer since 2002, and she is known for her sense of play inside dance and using styles ranging from capoeira to MTV. She enjoys looking at common issues of modern life with a sense of humour and taking them as inspiration for expression in movement. Past subjects have included World Cup football and Middle Eastern politics.

With this piece, Rázga is interested in dissolving the performance/audience boundaries, and invites the audience members in their teens to join the performers on stage without any obligations to join in. The performance will go on around them, and their reactions will be visible. “It will be a presentation for the young in which they have the right to react to it as they like,” explains Rázga.

Only 35 audience members can attend each intimate performance, set up in a small space to emphasise the feeling of romantic relationships and close connections. The dancers meet each other at the bar set up on stage and create duets, trios and other drama-filled group dynamics in dance.

“The feelings and language of love are the same as they have always been, and yet there are both small and large steps from generation to generation,” says Rázga.

“Love is not something new and you can follow the steps backwards and get a deeper layer of reflexion that is truly good. But in Heartbeat I am looking for the presence and perception of senses.”

Dansehallerne, Lille Carl, Pasteursvej 20, 1799 Cph V;

From Mar 10 – Mar 24, Mon-Fri 11:00 & 19:00, Sat 17:00;

Tickets: 35-120kr; 3329 1029, www.teaterbilletter.dk; www.dansehallerne.dk