Focus on Creation

Jul 23, 2022

Orsolina28 Art Foundation's summer festival dedicated to emerging talents in contemporary dance returns to the Open Air Stage.
Young international artists will bring to the stage notes of their new choreographic works to share with the audience of Focus on Creation in absolute preview.

Free admission | Performances begin at 19:30

Icarus - Pontus Lidberg

Icarus - Pontus Lidberg

In Icarus, choreographer Pontus Lidberg daringly inserts a queer heart into classic Greek myths. It is the last part of a trilogy, inspired by liminal beings in Greek mythology who are caught in the paradox of being both human and not human, but also neither. Too human to be animals, but not human enough to be accepted as such, they live outside the bounds of society. The first two parts of the Trilogy, multi award-winning Siren (2018) and Centaur (2020), were based on definitional liminal beings who were born with the physical traits of their hybridity. Icarus, on the other hand, is inspired by a boy who was not born as a liminal being, but died as one.

Many people know Icarus as the youth who flew too high and so plunged to his death. In other words, he failed. In this third part of his Liminal Beings Trilogy, Lidberg draws on the stories of Daedelus, the master craftsman who sought to escape Crete with his son, Icarus, by building wings and flying away. Lidberg queers this arche- typal father-son relationship by imagining them as lovers. As such, the aesthetic center of Icarus—like in much of Lidberg’s work—is the relationship of two men, where the farewell is embedded in the first encounter.

Choreographer & Dancer: Pontus Lidberg
Dancer: Paulo Arrais
Coach & Choreographic Assistant: Gamal Gouda
Costume Designer: Rachel Quarmby-Spadaccini

Choreographer & Dancers

Choreographer, filmmaker, dancer, and recipient of a 2019 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, Pontus Lidberg has firmly established himself as a creative and visionary artist, merging dance and film. As a choreographer for the stage, Lidberg has created works for dance companies including Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Vienna Staatsoper Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Semperoper Ballet Dresden, Royal Swedish Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Le Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Acosta Danza, Balletboyz, and Beijing Dance Theatre, as well as for his own concert group, Pontus Lidberg Dance. Pontus Lidberg Dance has been presented by New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, the Havana International Ballet Festival, the Spoleto Festival, The Joyce Theater, and the National Arts Center of Canada.

His work Siren received a Villanueva Award from UNEAC, The National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, as one of the best performances presented in Cuba in 2018. His film The Rain, received numerous awards. The New York Times wrote “memorably, The Rain illustrates what filmed dance can say that staged dance cannot.” His film Labyrinth Within won Best Picture at the Dance on Camera Festival in 2012. He was nominated for a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) in Outstanding Visual Design, for his dance and film evening WITHIN Labyrinth Within - created during his 2012 tenure as Resident Artistic Director of Morphoses. The New York Times applauded this contemporary story ballet, “told without mime and driven by emotional and psychological textures... [Lidberg] sublimates the academic language of ballet, dissolving it into knotty partnering that manages, by and large, to avoid the churning clichés of much contemporary movement in the form. It is refreshing to see a ballet embracing the virtues of restraint.”

Raised in Stockholm, Sweden, Lidberg trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School. He holds an MFA in Contemporary Performing Arts from the University of Gothenburg, Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts. He is the Artistic Director of Danish Dance Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1998, Paulo Arrais started his ballet training at age eleven in Goiânia Brazil with Simone Malta. At the age of fifteen, after reaching the finals at the Youth American Grand Prix, the Nureyev Foundation awarded him a scholarship to attend the Paris Opera Ballet School. After one year he joined The Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden where he graduated.

Arrais joined The Norwegian National Ballet. There, he danced the lead roles in major classical ballets and worked with the finest contemporary masters, such as Jiri Kylian, Jorma Elo, William Forsythe, Glen Tedley, John Neumeier, Paul Lightfoot & Sol Leon, Liam Scarlett, and Alexander Ekman.

In 2009, his search for finding his inner voice drew him to join Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco. There, Arrais developed an acute sense of creativity expressed through movement.

In 2010, wanting to return to classicism, he joined the Boston Ballet. His proficiency in classical ballet technique coupled with his unique artistic voice elevated him to the title of principal dancer in just two seasons. Arrais has appeared as a guest artist with Teatro Dell’Opera di Roma, Den Norske Opera & Ballett, StattsBallett Berlin, National Ballet of China, and Pontus Lidberg Dance.