Black Marrow


Balm of god or devil’s excrement? What is this black blood, pumping through the veins of our industrialised world? Which mythology inhabits it? How greatly will it irreversibly metamorphose us and our relationship with our surroundings? How addicted to it are we? How far will we go to satisfy our needs for it? Are we the oil of the future?

Erna Ómarsdóttir and Damien Jalet, co-choreographers of this piece for the Icelandic Dance Company, question the ancestral spiritual bond of man and nature, inventing a contemporary ritual, exploring with the dancers the energy of an archaic trance to depict a world where instincts have been industrialised, where the body mutates, and fights for its survival. Using rhythm, repetition and exhaustion to the haunting music of Ben Frost, the dancers take the shape of fossils, industrial machines, pagan gods and carefree golden youth. Black Marrow acts like a a shaded reflection of our contemporary relationship to the planet. A poetic attempt to save it... or to save ourselves.

2015 : Ben Frost, Best Original Music, Icelandic Performing Arts Awards 2015.
Running time : 60 mins


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Choreographers : Erna Ómarsdóttir et Damien Jalet
Choreographers’ assistant : Sara Black
Original music : Ben Frost
Other music : Danzel
Lighting : Björn Bergsteinn Guðmundsson
Costumes : Júlíanna Steingrímsdóttir
Set : Alexandra Mein, Erna Ómarsdóttir, Damien Jalet, Júlíanna Steingrímsdóttir et Rebekka Moran
Masks : Rebekka Moran et Heimir Sverrisson  inspired by the original masks by Alexandra Mein
Dancers : Cameron Corbett, Einar Nikkerud, Elín Signý Weywadt Ragnarsdóttir, Halla Þórðardóttir, Hjördís Lilja Örnólfsdóttir, Inga Maren Rúnarsdóttir, Sergio Parés Agea et Þyri Huld Árnadóttir

The original Black Marrow was commissioned by Chunky Move and created in cooperation with Sara Black, Paulo Castro, Julian Crotti, Alisdair Macindoe, Carlee Mellow et James Shannon. Black Marrow premiered at Melbourne arts festival in October 2009. Recreated in collaboration with IDC dancers, Einar Aas Nikkerud, Inga Maren Runarsdottir & Sergi Pares Agea. Special thanks to The Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Hillary Coyne, Chris Mercer & Chunky Move.