Enter, if you dare, the abyss of the Spiderwomen

For most of us, the concept of aerial dance is rather unknown. A combination of acrobatics and dance with rigging and abseiling equipment thrown in, aerial dance is rather a shock for the untrained eye. It also makes the traditional concept of dance look like it’s from the dark ages.   

So a new, revolutionary way of movement is exactly what you can expect to see in the new production of The Room. 

Two ‘spider-women’, Danish/Israeli dancer Esther Wrobel and French circus artist Emilie Loger run, dive, climb and throw themselves around their confines. They bring new meaning to Lionel Richie’s song ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’. 

Anyone going to see this piece should prepare for the extraordinary − if you think it can’t be done, it probably can. It’s as if Wrobel and Loger are part of some surreal game where the laws of gravity don’t apply. 

While it takes a lot of courage to throw oneself from a roof or be hoisted high by a crane, Wrobel considers the extreme moves in The Room to be a crucial element of their message. 

“I am trying to challenge how far it’s possible within a very clean framework to push the boundaries of how we perceive gravity and space,” she says. 

The concept of The Room is Wrobel’s own. While there isn’t a linear storyline as such, the name reflects the aim of the piece – to showcase the absolute limits of what one can do with aerial dance within a room. 

The Room is inspired by the surrealist ideas of French poet André Breton whose aim was to unite a person’s inner reality with their external reality. The piece pushes audiences to ponder the question of how solid their external view of reality actually is. 

Wrobel says that while questions are posed, there are no clear conclusions reached. 

“We won’t give people the answers … the most important thing is to raise the questions, and if we can do that then I feel like I’ve achieved what I wanted to.”

At this point, one may wonder how all these questions can be portrayed through dance – but this is the beauty of aerial dance – a multi-faceted, multi-layered style of movement that represents far more than just flying limbs. 

“This is why I started working with it because I feel it has a lot to offer to normal stage dancing and I wanted to find out just how much,” Wrobel adds. 

For those of you unfamiliar with Denmark’s uncrowned queen of aerial dance, it would seem she has the perfect background to make this style of dance a natural extension of herself. 

After eight years of gymnastics in her youth, she made a bold transition into dance, forcefully trying to suppress her inner gymnast. But in 2006 she found a way to integrate both the dancer and gymnast inside her. 

“I started working with a Canadian company that mixed dance, circus and theatre,” she recalls. 

“That’s where I received my first training in aerial dance and where I fell in love with it. It was suddenly a meeting point between my background in gymnastics and dancing and where I could finally enjoy the acrobatic element engraved in my body.”

Like Wrobel, you may also be quickly seduced by this style of dance, but one thing is for sure − your expectations of what can be achieved through dance will literally be turned upside-down.  

“I hope people sense that all things are possible … that change can happen and things can go further than we think they can,” enthuses Wrobel. 

Because that’s certainly what she and Loger have achieved with The Room. 

The Room
Republique, Lille Scene, Østerfælled Torv 37, Cph Ø; starts Thu Jan 24, ends Jan 30, performances Tue-Fri 20:00, Sat 17:00; tickets 40-200kr; www.republique.dk