The year is 1983, three disfigured bodies are discovered in Moscow’s biggest amusement park. Hardly anyone today remembers the details of the Hollywood thriller “Gorky Park”. Nevertheless, this film created images that, in their simplified form, are iconographic of the Cold War – sables leaping around wildly in confined wire cages or the icy breath of fur hat wearers in Gorky Park embodying the yearning to escape the regime’s iron fist. For Gunilla Heilborn this is fertile ground upon which to stage “Gorkij Park 2” with the aid of these set pieces of memory. Although she picks up a few threads of the plot, she subjects seemingly insignificant details to closer scrutiny so as to set in motion a totally different story.
The distinctive way in which Gunilla Heilborn (a native of Stockholm, where parts of the original film were shot) wryly weaves text, dance, video and images together into cinematic choreographies has gained her the reputation of being one of Sweden’s most interesting performance and film artists. In “Gorkij Park 2”, four performers are at the centre of a pastiche on the genre that plays with the social realism that once featured in the literary works of Maxim Gorky, after whom the park was named. Another focus is a mining town in Spitsbergen, a former Soviet colony in Norway, now a deserted place where the erstwhile utopian aspect echoes on only as a memory.
Gunilla Heilborn listens to this echo – does a common yearning for utopian dreams, the burning desire for a better world still exist today? Or is there a reason why the winter, the snow and the cold represent a deadly threat in “Gorkij Park 2”?
Produced by MDT & Loco World Co-produced by steirischer herbst, Göteborgs Dans- och Teaterfestival & MDT With support of Arts Council Sweden, Stockholm City Council & Swedish Arts Grants Committee Co-presented by NXTSTP, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union
Dates and Facts
Première in the German-speaking region Fri 03/10, Sat 04/10 &
Sun 05/10, 19.30
Concept Gunilla Heilborn Choreography and text Gunilla Heilborn & Performer With Pia Hierzegger, Johan Thelander, Kristiina Viiala, Henrik Vikman Sound design and composition Franz Edvard Cedrins Set design and costumes Katarina Wiklund Light Miriam Helleday