Poetry in Motion
Poetry in Motion is a Swedish circus and dance company headed by artists Olle Strandberg and Erik Linghede. In the circus world their breakout hit was Undermän, a touching, funny, straight-talking piece, later produced by Cirkus Cirkör, which was shaped by the life experiences of its three performers, the bases/porters Peter Åberg, Mattias Andersson and Matias Salmenaho, who teamed up to make the show when they all lost their acrobatic (/romantic) partners. Poetry in Motion's most recent work is the juggling and street dance synthesis Ballroom House.
'In Finland we did the very, very first show and we had these Finnish lumberjack guys crying afterwards because it connected to them as 50 year-old lumberjacks; one guy came to me after and he was crying and saying, ‘This is something that... that really wants to say something’. It’s amazing, to have a circus show that connects to men who are like 50+ lumberjacks. How do you get beneath the surface of that person, the shell of that person, and touch him?'
John Ellingsworth talks to Olle Strandberg, director of the runaway success Undermän, about autobiography, circus texts, the affinities of circus and street dance, working for Cirkus Cirkör, and having to start over after you've lost everything.
Sideshow travels to Stockholm for the CASCAS tour – a headlong, six-day race through Swedish circus and street arts – visiting the incredible Subtopia facility in Botkyrka, hearing from students training for work with Clowns Without Borders and from teachers at the University of Dance and Circus, watching circus artists and punks and fakirs at Subcase, and taking many long walks through the snow and ice of the winter city.