I continue my adventures as a dance producer this winter in Olso, Norway where I have been invited to attend the Nordic Dance Platform, ICEhot along with other U.S. based presenters and artists. The opening event tonight features Heine Avdal & Yukiko Shinozaki at the Dansens Hus, the hub for festival activities which is
conveniently located behind our very hip hotel the Scandic Vulkan and next to the fabulous Mathallen Market.
We are located in the once industrial Grunerlakke neighborhood which has been marvelously reworked as the home of arts design and all things hip and green. Amazing what can be done in a wealthy country with a great sense of design. Glossy steel and glass buildings weave in and out of restored warehouses, some decorated with fabulous wall art and graffiti.
The city feels small — like a series of connect neighborhoods. So far no skyscrapers have been sighted allowing the scale to feel friendly. Downtown is all lit up for the holidays with building facades sparkling and the Christmas Market is in full swing–a modest affair featuring typical Nordic items.
Its kind of fun to see the winter gear everyone is sporting although the temperature is a mild 39 degrees today. In the market every kind of knitted, fleece and leather garment is for sale.
So far the Akerselva River is my favorite place for strolling. It winds north to south through our neighborhood and seems a well worn pathway for the many parents with strollers. Lots of babies here all bundles up in their fancy carriages!
With only 6+ hours of daylight at this time of year one has plenty of chance to enjoy the night lights but the boats trips to the fjords are sadly not running. This is a place i would revisit in the summer. There are so much natural beauty to explore. Flying in I was amazed by the integrity of the landscape–just miles and miles of thickly forested, mountainous terrain with tall Nordic conifers and roads winding through but no houses at all.
Tomorrow begins the dance watching marathon and thus I will be introduced to a whole new dance aesthetic and community. The festival has set up a variety of venues where we can munch, meet and greet. They are very organized which we all appreciate.