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About the company – Absence

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The Absence adventure started way back in 1999, when a bunch of young lads tried to take over the dance floor at their local youth club. More than 10 years later, the group had developed into what had become one of Norway’s coolest entertainment teams. Absence is also the reigning Norwegian champion in breaking. What makes Absence different from other artists is that they always produce a customised performance for the occasion. With specially composed music, humour, acting, big smiles, daredevil world-class acrobatics, and not least incredible dance, they win the heart of the audience every time.

Absence has been among the finalists on both Dansefeber and Norske Talenter. They were awarded the Rampeløkten 2011by the Bergen Theatre Association, and have won the Youth Culture Award in Bergen and Fjell municipalities, as well as winning break dance competitions in Norway and abroad. In 2015, Absence won the TV programme Mitt Dansecrew on TV2 with Thomas Fingern Gullestad. One of the group’s members, Daniel Grindeland, is on its way to becoming one of the world’s best breakers, and is competing in competitions including Unbreakable and Redbull BC One. Since they started over 15 years ago, they have made hundreds of performances at venues ranging from senior centres to schools and hospitals, concerts and major international events. A large part of Absence’s work is also workshops and teaching in dance and acrobatics.

In 2009, Absence made its first serious foray onto the theatre stage, and since then they have been involved as actors and dancers in productions like som Jungle Book, Dyrehagen Hardanger, Boble, Bakgårdsskatter, The Heart of Robin Hoodog Swan Lake Reloaded. In 2011, they presented their first self-produced piece, Askeladden På Nye Eventyrin collaboration with their co-producer Den Nationale Scene (DNS). Despite the fact that the boys have never been in the military, they have travelled to Afghanistan several times to stage the theatre production Burnt Wishes at the National Theatre in Kabul, in collaboration with DNS. The Kabul project is a charitable project by DNS which aims to rebuild the bombed-out theatre in the capital of the war-torn country.

The Askeladden production became a huge success, and since its premiere on 8 October 2011, it has toured in 17 of Norway’s 19 counties, played almost 800 performances to around 300,000 spectators as part of the Cultural Schoolbag, theatre festivals, etc. In 2013, the production was awarded the Gold Bag for Production of the Year by the Cultural Schoolbag. After two years on the road with Askeladden, and the NS title under their belt, Absence wanted to continue developing, and started planning what would later become Norr - Da gudene breaket, a physical theatre production about Norse mythology which follows Thor, Odin, Loke and the rest of the gods in Åsgard from the creation of the world until Ragnarok. Oldschool - En battle mot alderdommen, co-produced by the Bergen International Festival, is the group’s latest addition to its theatre repertoire. A production in which one day Absence wakes up in an old people’s home and has to stand face-to-face with the hard realities of old age.

If you have to describe Absence in one word, it would have to be versatile. No matter whether their task is to work with a symphony orchestra or dance a pram ballet with young mums, the challenge is never too great. Absence has the ability to convey energy, joy, message and a vision in a popular and not least funny way. They have an amazing enthusiasm for what they do, which shines through everything that they do. Allow yourself to be carried away by the dance, and join in with turning the world upside down!

Circus Absence, 13.–16. June

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