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We are all Marlene Dietrich FOR

10.11.2006 |

By Erna Ómarsdóttir and Janez Janša

We are all Marlene Dietrich FOR is the performance which reflects different approaches and genres to the army entertainment – from music concert, dance spectacle, media event and talk show to intimate and hidden modes of soldiers’ entertainment. Performance is proposed to soldiers in international peace keeping missions as well as to the general audience, artistic community, art lovers and those who live in the rhythm of breaking news. It is an invitation to reconsider position of artist, entertainer, soldier and spectator in an act of uncompromising imagination. It questions position of the artist in society and his social and political engagement and criticism in the form of witty, lucid and lifting entertainment as well as with overidentified physical, visual and conceptual language. The performance is an outburst of the group of artist (dancers, musicians, performance artists) brought together to construct a piece which would offer a challenge and a set of questions on the war, army, entertainment and art. We are all Marlene Dietrich FOR is not interested in the artist’s critique of the war and soldiers but in a direct situation in which artist is asked to communicate with soldiers. Performance is done FOR the FORces and not against them. The performers deliberately throw themselves in a battlefield of use, abuse, misuse, misunderstanding and manipulation, knowing that they can never choose their audience.

That's why at the core of the idea stands the figure of Marlene Dietrich. Beside being a superstar, Marlene Dietrich is also known as probably the most famous troops entertainer in 20th century. She was liked both from US Gis (for whom she really performed) and nazi soldiers (who adored her song Lili Marleen). For her, entertaining the troops was a moral question for the artist and her way of fighting.

We are all Marlene Dietrich FOR is conceptualised and directed by Icelandic performer and choreographer Erna Omarsdottir and Slovenian theatre director, performance artist and writer Emil Hrvatin. Their first collaboration in the piece which they created together with 10 performers from Iceland, Belgium, Holland and France has been immediately acclaimed by international audience and critiques.

This powerful and poetical performance which leaves no spectator indifferent has been produced by Maska Productions from Ljubljana and Iceland Dance Company from Reykjavik, within the Trans Dance Europe network.


We are all Marlene Dietrich FOR is a co production of Iceland Dance Company and Maska Productions in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in collaboration with Reykjavik Arts Festival. The project received a grant from the EU as a part of Trans Danse Europe 2003-2003. The piece will be performed in at least seven cities in Europe in 2005-2006.

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