Choreography: Bengt Jorgen
(taken from an interview with Bengt Jorgen)
Swedish Songs is definitely a personal work. I didn’t create it so much to present to an audience as much as I did it for myself. I was born in Sweden, but I haven’t lived there for a very, very long time. I grew up in an opera house in Stockholm where I was constantly surrounded not only by ballet, but by opera and singing. This is a work with six Swedish songs and it recaptures a time period in Sweden that no longer exists. It seemed appropriate for me because having become an expatriate, looking back I have the same sense of gap to what’s going on there. It captures a particular time period. It’s very romantic, very symphonic and very much about love and a feeling about nature and how love works itself into that. It’s about how you love a place and a time that you came from; one that you can’t really return to, but it’s always locked away in your own heart.
When I set out to do this work, I had completed a number of big works and I just wanted to do a work for myself. It turned out to be a work that works well on the stage. People have been able to capture the same feeling. Most of us have somewhere in our hearts, some place and some feeling that we’ve locked away, that we return to in a pure sense, because memory will move away all the bad things, so all that’s left is a comfortable, loving, warm feeling. All I set out to do with this work was create that feeling.
Swedish Songs has a folk tone to it, but it also has a concert feeling to it. The inspiration comes from nature, but it has been taken to symphonic level and is used like pure concert music.
My works are abstract with a strong purpose. Now I’m moving into more narrative works, that have a very clear thematic line. I always want to communicate a strong emotion. My works hover between abstraction and narration. In the middle, you find the world where they meet. I treat my dance more as poetry. It starts with the music, but evolves beyond it.