Stina Nyberg
Thunderstruck

Part of the program POPDEATHPOWER by Dansehallerne x Betty.

Modern science says: The sun is the past, the earth is the present, the moon is the future. From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom. (…) Meanwhile the cheering lights of science and art, ever increasing in intensity, illuminate our path, and the marvels they disclose, and the enjoyments they offer, make us measurably forgetful of the gloomy future. (Nikola Tesla, The problem of increasing human energy, 1900)

Dressed in full protective gear Stina Nyberg enters the stage, sends a bolt of lightning from her middle finger and creates a feminist electricity show. Thunderstruck walks in the footsteps of the genius and madman Nikola Tesla. In the end of the 19th century, the Serbian-American inventor brought us several of our century’s most important innovations in electricity and communication. He also invented the Tesla coil, an electrical resonant transformer circuit used to produce high-voltage, low-current, high frequency alternating-current electricity. Basically, a device that produces lightning bolts and now can be used for entertainment in live electricity shows.

Thunderstruck departs from the 19th century phenomena of touring electricity shows. At a time when electricity was still a scientific novelty it was displayed in public performances as acts of magic. Today, a contemporary heir to the electricity magic show is the Tesla coil performance, making use of the spectacular sound and light effects the coil produces, but often performed in hyper-masculinized, technique-masturbatory and rock’n’roll-fetishistic shows.

In Thunderstruck, Stina Nyberg returns to a time when the artist and scientist believed in transforming the forces of nature into the forces that propel society, harnessing natural energy for crafting nearly magical devices.

Creating an alternative to the existing macho-spectacular Tesla coil shows, Thunderstruck pairs effective technical innovations with a long-term research on science and magic.

Stina Nyberg lives in Stockholm and works as a dancer and choreographer. In her practice, she uses conviction and illusion in order to create new systems of logic which constructs the world differently and make bodies act accordingly. At moments she calls this performative force magic, sometimes a craft, and occasionally a practice. Her departure point is always a feminist approach to the body; its social and political construction and ability to move. She has developed a series of independent works in collaboration with choreographers, musicians, visual artists, technicians and magicians. The Tesla Project, created between the years 2016-2018, involves a solo performance with a Tesla coil (Thunderstruck, 2017), a lecture performance (The woman who lit the world, 2018) and a live concert with musician Maria W Horn (Alternating Currents, 2018) as well as a collaboration with Andros Zins-Browne and Diederik Peeters entitled Spectrophilia (2019). Since 2013 she is part of the group Samlingen (with Amanda Apetrea, Nadja Hjorton, Halla Ólafsdóttir and Zoë Poluch) who in site, time and context-specific works tackles dance history from a feminist perspective. In 2020 she developed the choreographed city walk Skvallret performed from the perspectiv of a dog, on commission from the Public Art Agency Sweden (Statens konstråd). The same year she also started developing and performing the ongoing dance work Make Hay While the Sun Shines in New York and Stockholm. The work has created further iterations in the forms of a short film and a publication of interviews and was most recently performed at festival Brådjupa in Karlshamn (August 2021). Her latest work Lucky Numbers, a commission for Riksteatern, recently opened at Vitlycke Center for Performing Arts.  In collaboration with Sofia Wiberg she is currently organizing a symposium addressing questions of collective processes for learning in relation to asymmetric power relations, listening, desire, not-knowing and filth. After that, she starts the creation of a new work for Norrdans in Härnösand, entitled The Dawn Chorus.

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Artist

Stina Nyberg

Title

Thunderstruck

Type

Performance

Date

4.1–2.2022

Duration

1 hour 5 minutes

Venue

Edison-scenen, Edisonsvej 10, 1856 Frederiksberg

Credits

Choreography and performance: Stina Nyberg Choreographic support: Andros Zins-Browne Composition and sound design: Maria W Horn  Technical supervisor and Tesla coil operator: Katti Alm Light design and operation: Josefin Hinders Tesla coil: Finn Hammer High voltage consultant: Roya Nikjoo Light assistance: Axel Norén Research: Sandra Linnell, Stina Nyberg, Zoë Poluch Producers: Terry Johnson, Magnus Nordberg/Nordberg Movement, Frida Tiger Co-production and residencies: MDT in Stockholm, Station in Belgrade, The National Touring Theatre of Sweden and residency support by C.off. Administration: The artist co-operative Interim kultur Supported by: The Swedish Arts Council, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Kulturbryggan, City of Stockholm, Stockholm County Council and [DNA] Departures and Arrivals network which is co-financed by the Creative Europe program of the European Commission.  Thanks to: David Choi at makerspace Fat Cat Fat Lab NYC, Miroslav Kosanic and Nikola Milenic at makerspace PRAKSA Belgrade, Erik Gabrielsson at KTH Stockholm, Niklas Ren for assistance, Jan Ohlsson for Tesla coil storage and all the coilers along the way.

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Photo credit: Jens Sethzman
Photo credit: Jens Sethzman
Photo credit: Jens Sethzman
Photo credit: Jens Sethzman
Photo credit: Casper Hedberg
Photo credit: Casper Hedberg
Photo credit: Casper Hedberg
Photo credit: Casper Hedberg
Photo credit: Casper Hedberg
Photo credit: Casper Hedberg
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