Artistic Directors of Copenhagen Dance Arts
Based on their diverse backgrounds as professional dancers, choreographers, and artistic directors Morten Innstrand and Lotte Sigh have developed a unique partnership.
The core of their artistic collaboration is built on mutual inspiration and sky high ambitions.
Since 2005 Lotte Sigh has, alongside her career as choreographer, been the artistic director of Copenhagen Contemporary Dance School and been affiliated with The Royal Danish Ballet as a teacher, censor and choreographer.
Lotte Sigh has been commissioned to choreograph for numerous international artistic collaborations and has choreographed for companies, theaters, festivals, museums, films, TV and operas. She has created works for amongst others the Royal Danish Ballet, Pantera Chamber Ballet in Russia, National Gallery of Denmark, The Dance Company of the Regional Theatre West in Sweden, Intradance in Russia, D-CAF in Cairo and Dies De Dansa in Barcelona, Campnorr in Copenhagen, KHIO in Oslo and has been commissioned to choreographed for the opera Aria composed by Paul Schwartz.
As a teacher and choreographic coach she has taught at The Royal Ballet Summer school, KHIO in Oslo, Dansehallerne in Copenhagen, University of Stavanger, Theater Region West in Sweden, PRODA in Oslo, The Bartholin Seminar at The Royal Danish Ballet, Ballet Academie in Lyon, Contemporary Dance Festival in Kazan in Russia and a number of company classes. She is regularly assigned as an external examiner to numerous examinations at other educational institutions.
Her works develop and play with a world of nuances of the art of dance working with precision and instinct luring around every corner. Her point of departure is often inspired by the traces the world leaves in human beings and the relationships that occur between us as individuals and between groups in society. Always in search of the different collective subconsciousness her works are all imaginatively illustrated and interpreted in close collaboration with other artists.
Several works has been created in collaboration with visual designer Lars Egegaard Sørensen who for 3 decades has developed original visual scenography, light- and 3D design. With a special sense for flow, dynamic and vivid images they have created riveting perspectives on the human body in the world of today. Together they have presented Transparency, Cast Eyes On, JOURNAL 753, the film Into the woods, Les Bohemians for the opening of the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition at The National Museum of Arts, sight specific performance for Dies De Dansa in Barcelona as well as the Good, the Bad and You for the Intradance Festival in Moscow.
Her works have been performed in venues such as The Royal Danish Theatre, Copenhagen Summer Dance by Danish Dance Theatre, Copenhagen Music Theatre, Bora Bora in Aarhus, Hatch and Dancespace in New York, Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Dansehallerne in Copenhagen, Femenko in Moscow, Unix in Kazan, The Aarhus Festival in Denmark, Spinnihalle in Switzerland, French Cultural Institute in Egypt, American University of Cairo, Aarhus Music Theatre and at a large number of museums and sight specific venues.
Lotte Sigh is educated at Rotterdamse Dansacademie, Hogeschool vor Muziek en Theater Rotterdam (NL), at Sport and Biomechanics at The University of Southern Denmark and through Scholarship at Jennifer Muller (New York). Further more she is certified in Gyrotonic® and Gyrokinesis® (New York) and has attended a long line of international workshops. In 2000 she was awarded a scholarship as a dancer and choreographer for the DanceWeb programme at Impulstanz in Vienna.
Her productions have achieved financial support from; The Danish Arts Council, Augustinus Foundation, Danish Actors Union, Toyota Foundation, Nordea Denmark Foundation, Culture Contact North, Danish National Bank, Tuborg Foundation, Konsul Georg Jorck og hustru Emma Jorcks Foundation and Wilhelm Hansen Foundation amongst others.
About Dancing With Anger – Forbrugermania, August 2015
“When Lotte Sighs Dancing with Anger entered the stage, I was taken by storm.”
About Dancing With Anger – Danstidningen, August 2015
“Another highlight of this year’s Copenhagen Summer Dance was Lotte Sighs well crafted work Dancing with Anger to music of Händel. The duet was performed by two impressive dancers from the Royal Danish Ballet.”
About Transparency – Arbejderen 2011
“This exceedingly concrete and physically raw dance piece, performed in a murderous pace, is a thought provoking innovation, a wordless comment on one of the most debilitating phenomena in our world.”
About Dancing With Anger – Dagbladet Roskilde, August 2015
“And a little later I was impressed by the two dancers Jonathan Chmelensky and Eliabe Vieira d’Abadia from the Royal Danish Ballet in a powerful duet by Lotte Sigh with many lifts and refractions, as Deer in a duel in “Dyrehaven”. Beautiful dancing!”
About Dancing With Anger – Teater1, August 2015
“Lotte Sighs Dancing With Anger with music from the Rinaldo Aria disseminated reference to the cruelty of Antichrist and made everyday anger to a dance object, that was a closer look worth.”
About Transparency – Terpsichore 2011
“Despite the entirely unsympathetic theme of the performance: the nature of corruption, this turned out to be one of the most beautiful pieces I have seen in a long time.”
“Personally I was blown away by the overall aesthetic expression of the performance, which was powerful, beautiful, up-tempo and interesting. Even though I have made an attempt, my experiences on this sunny autumn day cannot be captured on paper.”
JOURNAL 753 – Danstidningen, Sweden 2011
“The performance displays an array of great solos, duets and ensemble work reflecting the inner battles and survival instincts of a trapped human being and Lotte Sigh is a choreographer who never runs out of movement material.
“Journal 753, like Transparency and The Good, the Bad and You, is an inspirational and refreshing breath of fresh air on the Danish contemporary dance scene. ”
About JOURNAL 753 – Terpsichore 2011
“The adrenalin is pumping all around the space and sounds are guiding us into a state of trance where the dancers are creating energy and an accelerating flow. Like a foot stamping the floor to the rhythm of music and you cannot stop. Determination is superseded by powerlessness and movements catch the audience in a universe filled with creatures of willpower.”
About The Good, the Bad and You – Terpsichore 2010
“The Good, The Bad and You is a performance that dares to seek and to insist upon the meeting as the most important. The meeting in its most literal sense as a meeting between opposing traditions and cultures. In this case between the choreographer and the Russian dance company, but also the concept of meeting in a more abstract form.
Lotte Sigh’s choreography was extremely physical and overwhelming, like those moments in which the existential search amalgamates with those boundaries that keep us all in place – history, culture, background etc.
On stage in Petr Fomenko Theatre the dancers moved in and out of various relations. They stood on their heads, breakdance style, were thrown around like dolls and one couple’s duet was quickly followed suit by another couple. The perspectives were twisted and turned in all directions, also quite literally. At one point two of the dancers were filmed from above while they lay on the stage floor in varying positions. This was projected onto a screen, so the dancers were seen simultaneously moving on the floor and on the screen, where they appeared to be climbing upwards.
The choreography somehow resembled a fireworks, in one big explosion of physical energy. One rocket after another was launched across the stage as the many coloured lights illuminated the dancers’ bodies from different angles. It was a breathtaking journey as each tableau took root in the body allowing the performance to manifest itself physically amongst the audience.”
About The Good, the Bad and You, Dance Russia, 2010
“Gradually the dancers involve you in their world, share their emotions through the motion of their bodies, so you wish to look closely at the image they create.”
“There is a strange feeling of unity in the piece, happening in a burst of inspiration. One of the original ideas of the piece is the usage of a screen, which lets you see the dancers from above and from the side simultaneously and observe them creating the images. You can even hear their breath, feel their inner excitement and emotions, compressed and given to the audience step by step, sip by sip.”
About Remind Me, The city calling, 2008.
“In a tremendous pace the audience is witness to a Virginia Woolf-like showdown for dance.”
“In the black box space of Dansescenen and accompanied by Bjørn Svin’s electronic soundscape Lotte Sigh has created a breathtaking duet for the two eminent dancers Matilde Wendelboe Dresler and Phillip Benjamin Jenkins. The balance of a relationship has thus been portrayed with elements of tenderness, rebellion and confrontation”
About Remind Me, Berlingske Tidende, 2008
“In this highly explosive duet about the controversies of love, Phillip Benjamin Jenkins and Mathilde Wendelboe Dresler are wonderfully agile and dynamic in their powerful, spinning and rolling dance to the music of Bjørn Svin with its whispering voices, crackling sounds and pulsating rhythms.
Prior to his career as a choreographer and director Morten has worked as a dancer for 22 years with choreographers such as Mats Ek, Christina Caprioli, Per Jonsson, Philip Blanchard, Jiri Killian, Vlado Juras, Sabina Dahrendorf , Alfonso Ordónez and danced at the Dance Theatre Thalia and Østgøta Baletten, New Danish Dance Theatre, Granhøj Dance, Dance Kreutzmann, Lix, Living Creatures and Micado Dance Company with choreographer such as Tim Rusthon and Gudio Toveri. He danced Gurn in “La Sylphide” by Alexander Kølpin and one leading role in “Triumph of Death” by Flemming Flindt and Vivi Flindt. He has also worked at the Royal Danish Theatre in the opera “Turandot” and danced in music videos and movies.
Morten Innstrand has choreographed a number of success performances amongst others Verdens Historien og Elsk Mig i Nat at Østre Gasværk Theatre in Copenhagen.
Elsk Mig i Nat played at Østre Gasværk Theatre and in Tivoli Gardens. The performance was then transfered into Love Me Tonight as a Christmas version which followed up on the great success and played in Tivoli Gardens again and later at Musikhuset Aarhus. The performance has filled seats and sold more tickets that any Danish musical has achieved in years.
In the beginning of 2013 Morten Innstrand was back at Østre Gasværk Theatre. This time choreographing the musical HAIR.
In addition Morten Innstrand has choreographed Leva Livet in Stockholm – Sweden. He directed the opera ARIA composed by Paul Schwartz from the U.S., coached The Marriage of Figaro, La Boheme, Hansel and Gretel, Monster Opera and choreographed Carmen and for the television program So you think you can dance?.
Morten Innstrand works at The Royal Danish Ballet and The Royal Danish Ballet School as an examiner, guidance counselor and has the responsobility for the modern training for students from 12 to 18 years. He has taught professional dancers at The House of Dance and has for years taught at dance institutions, folk high schools, company classes and at Dansevæksthuset. Morten Innstrand has also taught at the Bartholin Seminar at The Royal Danish Theatre. From 2000 – 2004 he worked at The Danish National School of Performing Arts as a teacher, repetiteur and coordinator.
Morten Innstrand is educated at The Ballet Academy of Gothenborg in Sweden.
About Love Me Tonight, XQ28, 2011
“Love Me Tonight… and you get 5 stars”
“Then we once again go through a Love Me Tonight X-mas with the loverly Szhirley as Sui. And ask me if we are sick of it? The answer to that is a simple and clear NO, I loved it at least, and you have to say that the rest of the audience did as well. They sang a long and were right there from start to finish.”
“We have lately heard in the media that there was a search for a “pole-dancer”. The competition ran on TV – looking for the best pole-dancer. Out of the best three Ewa Otulak was chosen for the role of Natasha, a role written especially for this performance. And she was a fantastic choice and hello there was really something to see and Ewa really knows her stuff.”
“But of course it requires some Christmas music since it is a X-mas version. And here it is Do they know it’s Christmas and Last Christmas.”
“We are here to hear them sing, and they can.”
“Can you be more enchanted when you see this “Jesper Winge Leisner-univers”. I remember that I was just as gaping when I saw it for the first time two years ago. Not that much new has happened, it is the same sad universe with death following. But the music is there, beautiful sets that chance with a wupti and then we are a completely different place. And lots of great guys in very little clothes is definitely also worth mentioning.”
Om Hansel and Gretel, 2011
Stardust on Hansel and Gretel
The reviewers join in choir of celebration after Opera in the Middle’s successful performance.
The best Christmas gift. That’s the message from Herning Folkeblad’s reviewer Dorte Kolding, who goes on to give Hansel and Gretel all the six stars that are to give.
Gregers Dirckinck-Holmfeld and Nordjyske’s reviewer Jens Henneberg each hand out four stars to the performance with the call feel good, thoughtful and colorful. Dorte Kolding writes of “a wonderful dream of a Christmas cake made with the best ingredients”, and she rejoices that the many children in the audience were captivated. “They sat there with big eyes and mouths open”.
Jens Henneberg is also exited about the family friendly performance which he feels is suitable to catch children’s interest for opera.
All three reviewers praise the soloist. Dorte Kolding calls Hansel and Gretel’s (Liv Oddveig Midtmageli and Denise Beck) sleep duet for truffle cream for the ears, while Gregers Dirckinck-Holmfeld enjoys the witch’s (Jens Krogsgaard) bold audacity. Jens Henneberg is struck at the heart by Mr. Sandman and the Dew Fairy (Camilla Illeborg).
It is also Dorte Kolding, who encourages Opera in the Middle to save the recipe for success.