Enter the twilight zone between showmanship and science
In Thunderstruck, Stina Nyberg returns to a time when art and science harnessed natural energy for crafting magical devices. In a wonderful act of science and hubris, mixing intimate storytelling with electronic drones from the deep and a singing Tesla coil, she welcomes us to the twilight zone between showmanship and science.
Modern science says: The sun is the past, the earth is the present, the moon is the future. From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom. (…)
Meanwhile the cheering lights of science and art, ever increasing in intensity, illuminate our path, and the marvels they disclose, and the enjoyments they offer, make us measurably forgetful of the gloomy future.
—Nikola Tesla “The Problem of Increasing Human Energy”, 1900
The story begins with the tale of Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor who in the end of the 19th century brought us several of our century’s most important innovations in electricity and wirelessness. One of his magical machines was the Tesla coil, an electrical resonant transformer circuit used to produce high-voltage, low- current, high frequency alternating-current electricity. Basically, a machine that shoots lightning bolts.
In Thunderstruck, the figure of the genius artist-inventor reemerges in Stina Nyberg’s Goddess of electricity. She mixes intimate storytelling with growling dances and death-defying encounters with the singing Tesla coil on stage, piercing melodies across the metal drones composed by Maria W Horn. In the intersection between art, science and political utopia, this performance makes guts vibrate and wonders appear.
There is a lack of public fascination for electricity, and Stina Nyberg is here to cure that.
Post-show Q&A with Stina Nyberg on Thursday, April 25
Post-show reception with the Consulate General of Sweden on Friday, April 26
Stina Nyberg is a choreographer and dancer from Sweden who for many years have been trying to blur the divides between science, art and belief. She has, amongst other things, choreographed the Shaking the Habitual tour with The Knife, created works for the Cullberg ballet as well as a string of independent works in Europe. She is currently spending time in New York to continue her investigations through dance.
Choreography and performance: Stina Nyberg
Composition and sound design: Maria W Horn
Light design and operator: Josefin Hinders
Sound and coil operator: Katti Alm
Choreographic assistance: Andros Zins-Browne
Producers: Frida Tiger and Magnus Nordberg/Nordberg Movement
Residency and co-production: MDT Stockholm, Station Belgrade, and the National Touring Theatre of Sweden.
Supported by: The Swedish Arts Council, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Kulturbryggan, Stockholms stad, Stockholm County Council and [DNA] Departures and Arrivals network which is co-financed by the Creative Europe program of the European Commission.
This guest performance is made possible with special support from the Swedish Arts Council, The Consulate General of Sweden in San Francisco, The Swedish Embassy, the Pro Suecia Foundation, FACT/SF, and Mica Sigourney/OX
Cover photo by Casper Hedberg