Helena Franzén

Few Swedish choreographers are so generous, stimulatingly inventive and physically  intelligent as Helena Franzén.” Dagens Nyheter

2019 Helena Franzén is celebrating 30 years of ongoing artistic work. A great exhibition, Helena Franzén – My Dancing Life, will be presented at The Dance Museum in Stockholm beginning in December 2019 and ends with the premiere of the piece Here-Us-Now.

Over the years she has choreographed more than 80 pieces. Helena has been commissioned to create works for Göteborgsoperans Danskompani, Skånes Dansteater, Norrdans, Danish Dance Theater in Copenhagen, the Royal Opera in Copenhagen and The Edge at the Place in London. She also teaches technique classes in contemporary dance and repertoire in Sweden and abroad. In 2019 she has been commissioned to make a new work, Terra to Stockholm 59 North at the Royal Opera in Stockholm.

Helena Franzén is a choreographer devoted to the boundless variety of movement. A choreographer whose work is characterized by the precise in movement quality and expression. Her work is often described with words such as “physical intelligence”, “movement-poetry with nerve and presence”, “the articulated body’s poetry” – descriptions that clarify her place in the Swedish dance landscape.

In her work, Helena Franzén focuses on the dancing, musical body. Anatomical structures, dynamic progression and physical functions are recurrent themes in her artistic pursuits. She has developed a personal movement vocabulary, charged with intricate, physical challenges and explosiveness.

Franzén has developed a close collaboration with the musician Jukka Rintamäki and they have created over 15 works together. The music and the dance challenge each other, creating a nerve and density.

The last years she is collaborating with the photographer Håkan Jelk and their short films have been presented in several dance film festivals like Loikka Dance film festival Helsinki, Stockholm Dancefilmfestival, Screendance Festival, Stockholm among others.

In 2007 Helena Franzén obtained a 10-year grant from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee. In 2014 she was awarded The Gunnevik prize, the Swedish Art Grant Committee “A choreographer who´s artistic work appeared as mature and detailed already from the beginning. She is uncompromisingly and consistently investigating in the eternal possibilities of the movements in her dance. She is a dance artist that together with her dancers create the poetry of the articulated body.

AVAILABLE WORKS 2019-2020

Extended 
A solo where memories of past and present are mixed together and interpreted. Motion fragments emerge and remind themselves, traces that have gone astray take place again and create new physical sensations. The music also has a retrospective entrance. Remixes and covers arise through Jukka Rintamäki’s various synthesizers, pedal organs and cello.

Together with Håkan Jelk’s projections and the composer Jukka Rintamäki’s melancholy soundscape, various meditative states are created, where man, choreography and nature exist under the same conditions.

Helena is framed by Håkan Jelk’s projections. Projections that reflect vulnerable, barren landscapes, fragments from Franzéns and Jelk’s trips to Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Here, the artificial world of technology interacts with the human body and what belongs to nature.

The work Extended gives the viewer the opportunity to approach the dance, sharpen their senses and physically experience, the various delicate alterations and atmospheres that are built up by music and image.

Premiere Oct 21 2017. Watch a trailer here.

“Helena Franzén is so strong and musically present that she creates shimmering creases in time”. “Extended is a mental journey that moves beyond the contemporary noise. – a beautiful picture of change and transience ” / SvD

“Helena Franzén is now returning to her own source during a close and beautiful hour. An extra dimension is added when the person who created the movements also performs them. ” “Helena Franzén dances with precision and detail sharpness, the movement looks to follow its own logic.” “The movements are developed with Franzén’s unyielding distinction. ” / Gothenburg Post

Trace Element
The third part of Helena Franzén’s trilogy of human memory and of what is left behind. Helena continues to explore the imprints of her work, how far can memories be stretched and formulated to fit in with the life we ​​live today?

What do we do with our memories, can we choose what we want to remember and control over our forgetfulness?

In Trace Element, the dancers carry physical memories from earlier works by Franzén. It leads on to reinterpretations, fragments and retrospects – new movements arise and something new takes place. Trace Element is a reflection of the passage of time, of memories, of the great and the strange little, of the seemingly insignificant, which can prove decisive later in life.

Premiere Nov 7-8 2018. Watch a trailer here.

”Helena Franzén picks up the modest movement and lets it grow into something bigger. There is something both brittle and strong in these fragments that make up the tracks of dance and life”. “Trace Element, which in its entirety reminds us of the beauty of thought – a shortage of our contemporary”. /SvD

“Consistency is obvious, an elegant composition, a perfection throughout the performance that is impressive. ” / Sydsvenskan.

Meeting You
A duo with Helena Franzén and Ori Flomin. Helena and Ori met in New York already in the 90s and since then have continuously met in different contexts in the dance world. 2010 was the first time they worked together, then Ori participated as a dancer in Helena’s work Trigger Point.

The original theme in Meeting You is about friendship and affinity. How does friendship arise? What kind of attractive force is significant when we build our understanding of another person?

The music in Meeting You is created by Jukka Rintamäki who has an ongoing collaboration with Helena Franzén with more than fifteen works.

Meeting You has toured in Sweden and internationally; Tanzwerkstatt Europe / Munich, La Mama Theater New York and La Kalamata Dance festival, Greece.

Premiere Nov 27 2014.

”Dangerously physical, Meeting You would seem impossible without a rock solid foundation of mutual trust and respect, the same qualities that keep a friendship intact. They hold nothing back.” / The New York Times

”Helena Franzén and Ori Flomin depict no love relationship but a series of meetings where friendship and togetherness develop – artistic as well as private. The Duet Meeting you is a superbly responsive study of what bodies can convey; a wordless communication between two experienced artists with strong integrity. ” / SvD

“It’s never simple with relationships, and here are two dancers old enough to portray it straight, fine, sincere and beautiful to Jukka Rintamäki’s light music.” / Expressen

UPCOMING WORKS

Helena Franzén – My Dancing Life – a retrospective exhibition at the Dance Museum Dec 2018 – Feb 2019.

2019 Helena celebrates 30 years as a choreographer. Helena presents an exhibition of collected material from 30 years as a choreographer in collaboration with the Dance Museum. The exhibition will consist of seven zones that include Helena’s artistry with almost 80 works: scenic objects, music from performances, photos, costumes, film documentation from performances, dance films, texts and, interviews of expertise in dance history and in the dance field in general. The audience will get close contact with herself and with her work which is also shown live during the time in the exhibition.

Helena Franzén – My Dancing Life ends with the performance Here-Us-Now.

Here-Us-Now

Helena shares her solid archive of movement art and give her audience a new experience. In the work Here-Us-Now she looks backwards and interprets several of her older works, from her first solo Kantra (1996) to her latest work Trace Element (2018).

Here-Us-Now becomes an exploration of inner and outer landscapes where she seeks, reconsiders, rejects and affirms, measures, repeats and reloads. A new work takes shape from 30 years of intense creation – then and now becomes one.

Terra

Terra – a comissioned work with Stockholm 59 North. A duet with two female dancers with strong integrity. The piece is a tribute to the inner physical instincts that we all carry within us. Terra is filled with physical contrasts, moments of playfulness and musicality – with the very personal movement poetry that is characteristic of the choreographer Helena Franzén.