Three young women romping about on an otherwise bare stage, shouting, screaming, groaning. Their presentation is anything but cute and pretty. In Soil girl Berstad/Helgebostad/Wigdel confront the darker side of human existence. It is a humorous interpretation of what femininity might mean today.
Soil girl is based on the eponymous poem by playwright Maria Tryti Vennerød (Norwegian: Jordjenta). In it, a young man looks for something earthy, eternal. He finds it in the earth girl, whom he keeps hidden under the leaves of a compost heap and visits at night. Berstad/Helgebostad/Wigdel wondered what they have in common with the protagonists of this poem. The performance is based on an bewildering inward examination: Where lie the dark sides of the soul? What secret spaces are hidden within?
This comes to the stage in a humorous way. The most important prop is a cheek retractor, that thing that the dentist pushes into his patients’ mouths to expose the teeth. The device turns young, attractive dancers into fearsome creatures in the blink of an eyelid. Teeth bared, breathing loud, throaty and inarticulate screams are spat out. Shapeless outfits complete the picture: these earth girls aren’t just dumb objects of adoration, but wild creatures, whose rampage cannot be stopped – unless they choose to do so themselves. A loud antithesis to any conventional images of femininity.
CONCEPT, CHOREOGRAPHY, PERFORMANCE Kristin Helgebostad, Ida Wigdel, Ingeleiv Berstad COMPOSER Siri Schippers Skaar SET DESIGN Silje Linge Haaland COSTUME Berstad/Helgebostad/Wigdel, Chrisander Brun LIGHT-DESIGN Chrisander Brun DRAMATURGE Huy Le Vo POEM Maria Tryti Vennerød PRODUCER Anne Cecilie Bodin Larsen VIDEO-DOCUMENTATION Vibeke Heide
Funded by the Norwegian Art Counsil and Funds For Performing Artists, co-produced by Black Box Theatre Oslo and Dramatikkens Hus, Norwegian Center For New Playwriting.