I grew up in Oslo and studied dance at Oslo National Academy of the Arts. After I completed my education in 2011 I became a trainee with Carte Blanche. I was later hired as a dancer with the company and have lived in Bergen ever since. The opportunity to be part of an ensemble over time motivates me to stay here. I have become more confident in my capacity to contribute to the company as a whole. I have become more engaged in what Carte Blanche is, can be and should be. I am involved in something bigger than me: a community. This is an important influence that is also a substantial part of my work as an artist.
Working in an ensemble on a regular basis, over time, creates continuity – continuity in each and every artist project, but also in the space between our various projects. This is vital to me. The social aspect of dance, meeting different people, inspires me – both the meeting with others and the meeting with ‘the other’. I experience this on stage and in the studio with other dancers, as well as in the space and time we share with the audience. But it also extends further into the external world, into society, and the lives we lead now and may come to lead in the future.
I am interested in how the singular quality we develop as an ensemble, and that I develop as a performer, is affected and altered through the encounter with new choreographers and artists. I enjoy being a part of this encounter and contributing to the realization of others’ ideas and visions, but also taking the initiative and proposing challenges within this context.
When presented with an artistic idea and context I experience a great freedom in making choices within the given frame. By discovering this freedom I can always influence the process, and by understanding the context and the role of the dancer within its particular time and space my work will gain clarity. At the same time, every process is colored by the fact that we, the company of Carte Blanche, are the ones taking part.
Dance is a collective art form in which one always can find new modes of collaboration, thereby challenging hierarchic systems. Dance creates a space for that which defies logic, for which there is no answer, that which does not fit in. Dance can represent alternatives. This is a force I believe it, and it excites me.
Dance has a tremendous potential because it is at once both concrete and abstract – something I do not view as contradictory. Dance is concrete in its extreme physicality and embodiment, while the abstract expression of dance opens a wealth of interpretative possibilities. I am fascinated by the simplicity of using the body – something we all have and can relate to – to express something. It is simple and straightforward.
Mathias Stoltenberg (1989) is from Oslo. He graduated from the Academy of Dance at Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He first joined Carte Blanche in 2011 as a trainee, and has worked as a dancer with the company ever since.