Cullberg -Guest performance premiere

10 November 2011 20 November 2011

Premiere of  Tilman O’Donells föreställning “The progression of things”

Created by : Tilman O’Donnell and the dancers
Light/projections: Thomas Zamolo
Dancers: Adam Schütt, Agnieszka Dlugoszewska, Daniel Sjökvist, Kristóf Várnagy, Luis Rodriguez, Patricia Vázquez, Shumpei Nemoto, Victoria Roberts, Fem Rosa

The progression of things challenges the widely held view of history as a linear phenomenon – and its inherent notions of progress, development and the supernatural through myth-making. States, cultures, societies and individuals are constantly searching for myths to live by, mainly based on our perception of time as something linear, moving forward while what actually seems to be happening is more like a constant cycle. That is: we move in a way that we see as linear, while each of us is experiencing the same problems as the people around us. We encounter existence through a series of identical pursuits, which are redefined by ever-changing circumstances.
The progress of things as constant cycles (or seemingly closed circles of experience) is reflected in the body’s strivings during the improvised piece. Here the dancer is constantly confronted with the same set of embodied circumstances in direct relation to the experience and reversal of time. The dancer strives to re-explore the constant state of life in what can be described as ‘the present’, and to make this visible through physical expression. A closed circle is formed with what has just happened and what might happen in the next moment.


By presenting in the performance a model of these constant cycles, I want to bring forward an alternative to history as a linear progression, with its necessary critical centering on what we see, its linguistic dominance and the tendency to always tell things linearly. If this neat and orderly progression of time and history did not exist, what other ways of telling would we have? Where is the limit to what kinds of storytelling the predetermined logic of our linguistic system can handle? Types of storytelling that can come and go in a completely different dimension? What’s left?

Tilman O’Donnell
Tilman O’Donnell was born in the USA and trained at the National Ballet School in Toronto (Canada) and started his career as a dancer in Gothenburg Opera’s ballet under the artistic direction of Anders Hellström. In 2002, Tilman danced at the Staatstheater Saarbrücken under the direction of Marguerite Donlon. In 2003 he joined the Cullberg Ballet led by Johan Inger. Here he was until 2007. Since 2007, Tilman has been dancing in The Forsythe Company in Frankfurt. Tilman O’Donnell debuted as a choreographer in 2002 and has been awarded first prize in two major international choreography competitions. In 2005 he was named both “dancer to watch” and “choreographer to watch” by Europe’s leading dance magazine Ballet Tanz. In 2010, Gothenburg Opera’s ballet commissioned a work by Tilman and he created the all-nighter This is there. In the spring of 2011, he made a site-specific work for the Cullberg Ballet in Marabouparken’s art gallery in Stockholm.