We spoke to Hilde I. Sandvold, who will be performing her expressive solo Dans, for Satan (Dance, dammit) as part of SPLAYED FESTIVAL on Fri 6 Jun.
What is your dancing background?
I started dancing at the age of 12 in the small town where I am from in Norway. Very soon I realized that everything I was excited about in my life could exist and be challenged through the world of dance. I immediately fell in love with moving my body. The fullness of the practice, the way it requires physical, emotional and intellectual presence, was what made me stay and decide to live my life with dancing as my main partner.
I did my professional education at The Danish National School of Performing Arts graduating in 2013 and have since worked with a vast number of national and international companies/choreographers. On paper, I am a contemporary dancer.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Dans, for Satan (Dance, dammit)?
Dans, for Satan, was made in a period where I was thinking quite a bit about how I was relating to my body and how the sexual liberation has given new challenges. How do you find your value and your own boundaries in a system where everything is seemingly allowed? The piece was a way for me to reflect upon a culture where capitalism is also colouring personal relations. Furthermore, I was wondering how far this so called ‘freedom’ could actually go. I would still be called a slut in a patronizing way more often than a man. I also realized that my body is what it is, and my emotional response to living life in certain ways did not always match the idea of freedom. The ambiguity and complexity of the subject caught my attention.
What are you most excited about being a part of SPLAYED FESTIVAL at The Place?
I am excited for the opportunity to expand my knowledge about dancing, feminism and performing. I feel that I will enter into a world where my knowledge is limited. I believe that, through being invited to share what I know, it will become clearer, and meeting the audience, the other artists and their work will give me important information and inspiration. It will also be interesting to perform my piece for the first time on only one and a half legs (due to a recent knee-injury).
How do you think the moving body can challenge our view of gender?
To this question there are many answers.
The moving body is for me the living body, the body that is awake. The awake body is sensing and relating to its surroundings without words. It does not say girl or boy, it simply feels, smells and takes on information in all its complexity. When the body stops moving the three dimensional movie that life can be gets reduced to a post-card, where you see a black man and a white woman. I believe that the body that is awake can help us understand that reality goes further than that.
When I am moving my body, I am moving me.
And not to forget, the body is an anarchist. It is full of beings, squatters if you like, that have a life of their own. Fungi and bacteria to regulate your mood and help decide who you are. In the body there are so many wonders and moving it and allowing it to express its wisdom can help us learn that ideas of women wearing skirts and men wearing pants, are simply quite uninteresting.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
I think I would just give me a very big hug.
Find out more about SPLAYED FESTIVAL and the subversive, unruly and experimental artists who will upend your views on feminity. 6 - 9 Jun