Elle Sofe Sara & Joar Nango - Carte Blanche
The Norwegian national company of contemporary dance
Journal

Elle Sofe Sara & Joar Nango

ELLE SOFE SARA

1. Tell us about yourself!

I am a wife, a mother, director and choreographer. I am born and live Gouvdageaidnu in Finnmark.
I chose to return to my hometown after i finished my education in the city. This is where i belong and feel at home.

2. What can you tell us about your artistic vision for BIRGET?

This is one of the most challenging projects i have ever worked on. The theme itself is incredibly complex. You never feel like you are «done»: theres always new perspectives popping up. I guess, in a sense, my vision is to let this be a work in progress for as long as possible, show myself in the process and accept that one will never be completely finished.
It is an ongoing journey.

3.What does the title “BIRGET” mean to you?

BIRGET is a common word for me and my everyday life. Directly translated it means «to be saved» I use the word actively as a freelance artist when planning ahead. So does my husband as a raindeerherder. You plan ahead as much as possible, and take what you get as you go along. There is a lot you do not have control over; both as a reindeerherder and freelance artist.

4. The process started with the dancers visiting Kautokeino for a residency. What did you want them and the Carte Blanche team to take away from this experience?

The goal was for the dancers to gain an experience they could feel and remember, and not at least to learn more about sami culture.
It was important for me that they got to see  me and where I belong. It was a special experience when they arrived at our cabin at Skàidi with the massive tourbus. We went for a hike up in the mountain and later we all squeezed inside and ate bidis. It was interesting listening to their reflections and perspectives on what for me seems so natural and given. It really reminded me about the huge differences between Bergen and sapmi.

5.How has it been collaborating with Joar, who is an architect and visual artist? How do you meet in this work?

The collaboration with Joar feels great. Vi think alike and do seem to have the same understanding of the process. I do not get too hung up about wether he is an architect and/or visual artist, but that we meet with all of ourselves and outline the journey together.

6. How has it been to work with Carte Blanche from different projects?

This is the first time i create something for a company, and it is different from what I have done before. It has taken me some time to get comfortable and used to the ways of an institution.
The dancers are amazing; they are open, curious and generous. Its a group I have grown to care for.