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The Main Character is coming





A new Nordic collaborative dance project

The Main Character is the title of a new Nordic dance project, idea and concept developed by Rannvá Guðrunadóttir Niclasen (FO/DK) and Elias Bäckebjörk (NO). The first research takes place in the Faroe Islands and will be facilitated by RIVA The Faroese Dance Company.

Focusing on the initial creative research for The Main Character - a personified depiction of how we see ourselves as individuals and how we learn to navigate the world we live in. It delves into the idea of self-identity and how people learn to navigate their surroundings.


The creative team consists of 7 dance artists from the Faroe Islands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Germany who will be equally involved in the creative research and the development of choreographic material as well as deciding the course of the storyline of The Main Character. The aim is to be able to delve into the creative research over a longer period of time and be able to fully immerse ourselves into the creative process during various residency periods across the Nordic region working towards an evening length piece that will be shared with audiences on stages across the Nordics from 2025 and onwards. These sharings are also meant to give us an insight into how audiences from different areas in the Nordic region might respond to the shared work in different ways, and how this will affect the course of the work itself during the sharing - allowing it to be moulded and shaped by the audience.


Introducing: the themes and characters

The work will be centred around three major characters: The Main Character, The Hive Mind, and The Lightbulb. A protagonist, an antagonist, and the unknown higher power. Each physical performer on stage would at some point act out as the main character.


The Main Character

The Main Character starts as a fictional vessel inhabited, shaped, and brought to life by different performers, each contributing their own interpretation and personality to it. This initial state reflects the idea that human identity is multifaceted and influenced by external factors, as each performer brings their unique perspective and experiences to the character. With exploration The Main Character becomes a composite of different performers, portraying a vast range of perspectives to the story and situation.


The Hive Mind

The Hive Mind is a collective consciousness that goes both as a narrator of the story and an antagonist to the main character. Symbolising the surrounding factors that affect or are affected by The Main Character. The Hive Mind can represent an opposing force and also portray the stories/situations that The Main Character describes. Can be portrayed by the performers on stage, be influenced by the audience and even become the audience, whose decisions have direct consequences for The Main Character.


The Lightbulb
The Lightbulb (unknown higher power) is depicted as being one of the few constant and largely unchanging factors in The Main Character universe. Represented as a lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. Always present, although not always visible, an unavoidable part of The Main Characters universe. As a light that catches all the questions but leaves the answers in the dark, the Lightbulb symbolises humans' eternal strive for questioning the unknown and looking for answers from ungraspable and undefinable entities.


The work aims to research human identity and the surrounding factors that have an effect on the development of our identity and how these outside factors affect us. We are brought into The Main Character’s universe through a depiction of reality told through movement, monologues, acting and breaking the 4th wall by addressing and actively involving the audience in certain pivotal moments. Exploring all sides to the coin, switching between the comical, the surreal, the melancholic, the serious and the ordinary.


As the performance progresses, The Main Character begins to develop its own existence. Implying that The Main Character, initially an amalgamation of performers' interpretations, takes on a life of its own.


The Universe
Related to The Main Character universe we found a connection with a genre called magical realism, which is widely used in many different artistic formats. One theme for the criterias of a magical realism is that the narrative of the story is often placed in a realistic setting. Closely similar to the real world, however fantastical elements are considered normal in this world. From the viewer's point of view the magical elements are seamlessly woven into an everyday setting. Creating this surrealism in a realistic setting plays a big part in the portrayal of The Main Character and their storytelling.


The Main Character’s reality (the surrounding universe) is constantly shifting, changing, evolving in connection to The Main Character’s actions and decisions. As the Main Character recites monologues, interacts with the audience, or any action for that matter, the surrounding scenography changes, be it big or small, to show that the actions of one individual have an effect on their surroundings. This can be depicted through the performers’ actions and positions on stage, the stage props being moved or swapped out, changes in light and sound and so on.


As previously mentioned, the audience plays an important role in the narrative and shaping of The Main Characters reality - whether they are aware of this or not. We will explore various ways to involve the audience in the performance, be it through active participation, based on their reactions, decisions affected by situational circumstances and so on. An implementing factor to the performance is to involve the audience by breaking the 4th wall. This can be done by taking inspiration from crowd participating events such as auction sales, cockfights, hand voting and quiz games. By encouraging the audience into problem solving and brainstorming we can make them feel more ownership and engagement in the situation. The relatable topics and credibility fuels the individual experience for the audience members, and have pivotal turns that blur the lines between reality and imagination.


Creative research

The goal is for the artistic team to be able to fully commit and delve into the creative research of The Main Character over a longer period of time, and co-create a to-be evening length work that will be shared with audiences in 2025 as a work-in-progress.


In order to do this it is important that the collaborating artists have the necessary time and resources to immerse themselves in the process. The artistic team will play an active role in the development of all aspects of the work in collaboration with each other. This involves the themes, narrative, choreographic material, music, monologues, stage design, and so on. The starting point is clear and concise in order to get the creative process going, but in what direction the work goes once the process has begun, is undecided, and crucial in order for the collaboration to be as equal and open as possible.

The project’s focus is on collaboration, creative research and sharing artistic practices. During the residency period local artists and creatives are invited to join in however they see fit, through observation, sharing experiences or contributing with their own artistry. In relation to this the target group expands from not only being a target audience for the first sharing but more so the collaborations and small connections made along the way during the creative research itself. Creating small sparks that can ignite into possible future collaborations by introducing artists working in different artistic fields and sharing our artistic practices and processes.


Sharing and research on audience involvement

The work will centre around audience participation. The aim is to create a framework that requires the audience to make decisions that will determine the trajectory of the Main Character’s journey. Therefore we will have a focused research week at the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands where we test the staging and our approach to audience participation. 


Community involvement
We want to utilise the fact that we are bringing professional dance artists to the Faroe Islands, as the opportunities to experience contemporary dance is limited. Therefore, during the first research period, we will facilitate creative dance workshops for children and youth, so they can participate in dance classes as well as observe rehearsals and provide valuable feedback that will shape the trajectory of The Main Character narrative. During the sharing week, we will invite them back as an audience to experience the work on stage. Thus allowing them to experience first hand how a choreographic work develops from an idea to the stage and having an important role in the work both through their participation in the creative process as well as an actively participating audience. We hope this will give them a lasting insight into creative processes and inspire their own creativity.


Research period: November 24th-December 21st 2024
4 weeks of creative research and choreographic development

Arrival day: Sunday, November 24th 2024

First working day begins on Monday, November 25th

Monday-Friday daily schedule, 9:00-17:00
9-10:30 warm-up (rotating classes by participating artists)
11-13 rehearsal
13-14 lunch
14-17 rehearsal (Wednesdays 14-15:30 workshops with school kids - observing rehearsal process, provide feedback through creative activities as well as Q&As + dance class)

Evenings will be for artists to reflect and discuss the process, share ideas etc.

Departure day: Saturday, December 21st


Sharing week: January 12th-19th 2025
1 week for get-in and preparations prior to sharing

Arrival day: Sunday, January 12th 2025

Get-in and preparations: Monday, January 13th-Thursday 16rd
Sharing day: Friday, January 17th (The Nordic House, Faroe Islands)
Clean-up, debriefing, reflections, future plans: Saturday, January 18th


Departure day: Sunday, January 19th


Idea and concept development

Rannvá Guðrunardóttir Niclasen (FO/DK)

Elias Bäckebjörk (NO)



Rannvá Guðrunardóttir Niclasen (FO/DK)

Vár Bech Árting (FO)


Assistant organiser

Búi Rouch (FO)


Artistic team

Rannvá Guðrunardóttir Niclasen (FO/DK)

Elias Bäckebjörk (NO)

Vár Bech Árting (FO)

Búi Rouch (FO)

Torill Kolsrud (NO)

Elias Kraft (SE)

Johannes Blattner (DE)



RIVA The Faroese Dance Company, facilitators (FO)

The Nordic House, venue (FO)

Mie Meyle, producer at The Nordic House (FO)

Dansifrøi, rehearsal space (FO)

Villiam Soo Joensen, light designer (FO)

Cecilie Lindeman Steen, advisor (NO)

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