Dagens Nyheter 02.05.04
Childish and a little ingenious.
The scenic playroom of the Norwegian Baktruppen is a downright reflection of our social coexistence.
How funny are seven fully grown Norwegians in glarish tights who do cartwheels, somersaults, loaf around on stage when not planlessly playing untuned, one-stringed violins?
Actually very, very funny. And incomparably good.
Norwegian Baktruppen, Scandinavia's and one of Europe's leading performance companies, pay a short visit to Moderna Dansteatern on their way home from a guest stay in Portugal. Baktruppen show their latest, still titleless work, which attaches to last year's celebrated «Do&Undo».
The starting point seems to be something like a gym class with compulsory dance exercises for six-year-old children. The absurd comedy builds on a simple, brilliantly accomplished displacement effect: grown ups trying to act like children trying to act like grown ups. The seven artists of Baktruppen devoted embody all three roles at the same time. One laughs at the artist, laughs with the child and laughs at the child who wants to be a grown up.
It might sound too childish and simple. Absoloutly childish, absoloutly not simple, rather a little ingenious. This pure, naivistic idea has a broad range. Like in all good performance one gets peppered by possible ways of interpretation between smiles, grins and roars of laughter.
The most obvious is that this scenic playroom neither is nonesensical in general, nor a metaphor of something else, but straight and downright a reflection of our social coexistence. Aren't we all children who with various success try to act grown up? Maybe just you are an exception. Always childish.