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Just Before After
”Just Before After” is a performance based on inspiration from myths and costume rituals. By using four performers and unrecognizable costumes, I intend to create a dynamic mix of strange mythology and bodies that are constantly in transformation. Pretty and ugly are mixed together and the daily life and concrete suddenly becomes misty and unreal. With different materials, hybrid figures are created and a world appears with warmth and rawness. By continuous transformations, lines are crossed between the human and the bestial, the real and the unreal. The human underneath disappears and then returns. Could this mysticism mixed with identification awake something amongst the viewers? And what is this? In ”Just Before After” lies the meaning of something that is between. Something that is between animal and human, between inside and outside, between body and room, between concrete and abstract. Together with a costume designer I create four costumes with inspiration from the history, yet from my own interpretations. The costumes create new forms on the bodies that give both possibilities and limitations to movements. These costumes make the starting point of the movement material that is shown. It has also been important to use “Kinetic empathy”, to feel through ones own body how it will feel to do the movement of the figures. It is about the personal, sensory and physical experience of the staged artwork. This way to an artwork gives the viewer the freedom to create its own experiences. Without co-work between the artist and the viewer, the stage art would not exist.

Production History:
Just Before After has been presented at Dansens Hus, Norway may 2015 and Kristiansand Theratre, Norway October 2015


Artistic Statement:
Choreographer, performer and dance artist. Heidi Jessen born in 1987 in Sandnes, Norway. She is educated at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (MA in choreography 2013-2015), Skolen for Samtidsdans (School of new dance, Oslo 2008-2010) and Spin Off Dance, Oslo 2006-2008. As a choreographer, Heidi is working both in collaboration with other choreographers and artists and with creating work on her own. Heidi works within the performing arts field, she also explores other media or other formats such as photography and video. Insistence on the visual, questions of kinesthesia, perception and thoughts of choreography as an extended practice have been crucial to most of her work.






Photo by: Jacob Johannes Buchard

This post is part of a series of profiles on performance and performance makers from this year’s book, Contemporary Performance Almanac 2016, an overview of contemporary performance presented during the 2014/2015 season available for touring now. If you would like to be apart of next year’s book, Contemporary Performance Almanac 2017, you can join the project here. 


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Caden Manson is Editor In Chief and Curator of Contemporary Performance Network and co-founder and artistic director of Big Art Group, a New York City performance company founded in 1999.

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