PONTUS LIDBERG

WRITTEN ON WATER

2021

OVERVIEW:

Choreographer, filmmaker, dancer and recipient of a 2019 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, Pontus Lidberg has firmly established himself as a creative and visionary artist, merging dance and film.

As a choreographer for the stage, Lidberg has created works for dance companies including Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Semperoper Ballet Dresden, Royal Swedish Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Le Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Acosta Danza, Balletboyz and Beijing Dance Theatre, as well as for his own concert group, Pontus Lidberg Dance. Pontus Lidberg Dance has been presented by New York City Center's Fall For Dance Festival, the Havana International Ballet Festival, the Spoleto Festival, The Joyce Theater and the National Arts Center of Canada. His work Siren received a Villanueva Award from UNEAC, The National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, as one of the best performances presented in Cuba in 2018.

His film, The Rain received numerous awards. The New York Times wrote “memorably, The Rain illustrates what filmed dance can say that staged dance cannot.” His film Labyrinth Within won Best Picture at the Dance on Camera Festival in 2012. He was nominated for a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) in Outstanding Visual Design, for his dance and film evening WITHIN (Labyrinth Within)—created during his 2012 tenure as Resident Artistic Director of Morphoses. The New York Times applauded this contemporary ballet story, “told without mime and driven by emotional and psychological textures… [Lidberg] sublimates the academic language of ballet, dissolving it into knotty partnering that manages, by and large, to avoid the churning clichés of much contemporary movement in the form. It is refreshing to see a ballet embracing the virtues of restraint.” Raised in Stockholm, Sweden, Lidberg trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School. He holds an MFA in Contemporary Performing Arts from the University of Gothenburg, Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts. He is the Artistic Director of Danish Dance Theater in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“In this frenzied and invigorating race, Lidberg makes you feel all the harmony that can exist between two beings... one would almost believe that love stories never end badly. Gorgeous."
François Delétraz, LE FIGARO MAGAZINE, February 22, 2019

“Siren has all the features of a masterpiece... A work both delicate and dense with a feeling of truth, sustained by a rare expressive clarity”
Anna Bandettini, LA REPUBBLICA, September 2, 2018

“No trite conclusions, just a world of layered emotion made inexplicably potent.”
Judith Mackrell, THE GUARDIAN, April 21, 2016

“Rabbit, Swedish choreographer and filmmaker Pontus Lidberg's ode to childhood, is so wonderfully precise, so cleverly comedic that it's akin to watching a dozen wind-up toys set off at the same time.”
Vanessa Keys, THE TELEGRAPH, April 21, 2016

“Pontus Lidberg has an aura of a refined creator and a state of grace, his work breathes the same.”
Roger Salas, EL PAIS, July 18, 2015

“Pontus Lidberg's eponymous New York-based company brought an elegant Nordic aesthetic and seamless movement to intense choreography in which groups shift and change in an exploration of the psyche. Underpinning his work are a subtle theatricality and a taste for the unexpected”
Gerald Dowler, THE FINANCIAL TIMES, November 4, 2014

SYNOPSIS:

A choreographer must face an unresolved romantic encounter from her past as she creates a new dance work. Directed by Filmmaker/Choreographer Pontus Lidberg and featuring étoile dancer and Paris Opera Ballet director Aurélie Dupont, with Alexander Jones, Pontus Lidberg, Stina Ekblad and Leslie Caron.

Happily married but still haunted by an unresolved love affair from her past, choreographer Alicia (Aurélie Dupont) searches through the depths of her memories to create Siren, a new dance piece about unfulfilled desire. Against the backdrop of an aging theater by the sea, Alicia builds a sensual and naked ensemble work that is delicately held together by the threads connecting her dancers with each other and with her. She soon finds herself fallen down the rabbit hole of her own creation, in love with the male lead dancer, Giovanni (Alexander Jones), as the siren of her fictional work slowly becomes the siren of her life. When Alicia recounts this story to Karl (Pontus Lidberg), his own story brings a new dimension to this exploration of desire and artistic creation. Written on Water is a sensual and philosophical interrogation of the permeable boundaries between fiction and reality, muse and siren and and the changeable roles we play—Odysseus, sailor, siren—in our lifelong quests for connection, love, and inspiration.