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Foto: Tale Hendnes
Foto: Tale Hendnes

Midterm assessment: PhD fellow Solveig Styve Holte

Solveig Styve Holte presents her PhD research project: Singularities and the shared Commons, explorations of authorship in dance and choreography.

In my PhD, I am exploring and developing choreographic methods and processes with focus on the use of archives in dance. The concept ‘singularity’ stands for two axes of my research. In the first place, it tackles intersubjectivity at work in a choreographic process, i.e. a productive learning situation, exchange and shared authorship between the choreographer and the performer. The second axis addresses intertextuality as the site of references, influences and archives of any artwork, which I specifically delve into through centralizing the already existing material and dance-historical archives as collective cultural memory and a shared commons. Instead of genesis of new material ‘from scratch’, I devise choreography as a tool for developing, composing and organizing the already existing materials through embodiment and storytelling, and in dialogue with the collaborating performers, which takes me to an exploration of the digital, fragmentary and personal movement archives.

The conversation will take as its point of departure the performance Frå form til famling presented at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter 2.-5th of November, Solveig Styve Holte’s new choreographic work which starts from the material traces in the archive of Høvik ballet, the first independent professional dance company in Norway in recent years. The company existed from 1969 to 1989 in Henie Onstad Art Center at Høvikodden outside Oslo as its permanent location. Compared to music, theater, visual art and literature from the same period, the early art of dance is poorly documented, but some material exists. The project has worked with photo and film material from the first period from 1969 to 1975, and the title is a reversal of the NRK program Frå famling til form from 1969, the first film documenting the work of Høvik ballet. The choreography has been developed over several years in close collaboration with Ilse Ghekiere, Terje Tjøme Mossige, Magdalene Solli and Per Roar. These dancers and performance artists meet the traces of the original material in our time, and wonder which bodies and events were present and absent in the storytelling of Høvik ballet. The performance extends through the whole space of the Hennie Onstad art center including the surrounding park and fjord. In this resonant space, a multi-voiced web of new connections grows, together with newly composed and performed music by Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen, Jan Martin Smørdal and Kristine Tjøgersen, costumes and visuals by Solveig Fagermo and lighting design by Elisabeth Kjeldahl Nilsson.

Opponent: Elisabeth Ward
Supervisors: Bojana Cvejić and Goran Sergej Pristaš


17.00–17.15: Welcome
17.15–18: PhD fellow Solveig Styve Holte presents her work and talks about her doctorial project.
18.00–18.15: Break
18.15–19.30: Conversation between choreographer and dancer Elizabeth Ward and Solveig Styve Holte (moderated by Bojana Cvejić)

Elizabeth Ward

Elizabeth Ward (b. Detroit 1977) is a choreographer and performer currently living in Vienna. Previously she has lived and worked in New York City, Athens, Brussels, and Portland, Oregon. Her work explores the collective histories of dance lineages accumulated in a dancer’s muscle memory as a living archaeology. Recent projects include Hedera helix (2023 ImPulsTanz; 2022 TQW) Dancing’s Demons (2020, TQW), Un-dedication (2019, steirischer herbst), Anti Fascist Ballet School (2017, Wiener Festwochen; 2016 WIEN WOCHE), and Corps de Ballet (2016, brut). Previously her work has been shown through the Kitchen (NYC), Danspace Projects (NYC), Movement Research at the Judson Church (NYC), Disjecta (Portland), La Poderosa (Barcelona), ANA (Copenhagen), Pieter PASD (LA), and Trinosophes (Detroit). As a performer, she has participated in the works of Cathy Weis, Yvonne Meier, DD Dorvillier, Michikazu Matsune, Manuel Pelmus, Frédéric Gies, Philipp Gehmacher, and Anne Juren, among others. Elizabeth received her BA from Bennington College in Vermont, where she studied Dance and Ecology.

Solveig Styve Holte

Solveig Styve Holte is a dancer, choreographer, and research fellow at department of Dance at Oslo National Academy of the Arts from 2019-2025. In her choreographic practice all existing material and dance historical archive is given new bodies, corporeality, and different futures. Her research aims to broaden and challenge the understanding of authorship, history writing and intertextuality in dance and choreography. She works extensively in collaborations and creates performances for museum, gallery, theater, outdoor spaces, as well as writings. Recent works are HORDE created together with choreographer Ingri Fiksdal and 10 teenagers. HORDE address and questions who participates in artistic work today and premiered at the CODA dance festival at the opening of the new Munch Museum in Bjørvika in October 2021 and were further developed with Kilden teater and Ravndedans in Kristiansand in 2022 and for Moving in November in Helsinki in 2023. In November 2023 she will premiere Frå form til famling at Henie Onstad Art Centre. In this work she speculates on the potential embedded in the legacy of the first independent contemporary dance company in Norway. Other recent work is “Undying- a handwork” (2022) Nationalmuseum, ViSir (2020) Parken Kulturhus, Flakkande røynd (2019) Gallery Golsa/ Black box teater with Grenne/ Holte/Lauvdal/ Johannesdottir/ HAiKw and Lightness: Fleire (2017) at Dansens Hus Oslo. Together with Venke Sortland and Ann-Christin Kongsness she initiated and is the in editorial team for the anthology KOREOGRAFI/ CHOREOGRAPHY(2016 and 2018 and 2021) Holte shares her time between Oslo and Folkestad, where she is working towards developing YKS, a choreographic center at her farm.