The Listeners

Alma Söderberg

The collaboration between Cullberg and Swedish choreographer Alma Söderberg became a new adventure as Söderberg, after gathering experience in creating solos for herself and for a small number of dancers, made her first big scale creation with her first work for Cullberg, The Listeners in 2020.

Alma Söderberg continues her research on the relationship between dance and music. At the base of every creation are three building principles: rhythm, voice and movement, all simultaneously at work and a continuous repetition of the practice. Rhythm is not only the motor of her work but also the subject of her artistic research. Sound and movement are woven together in a composition that is rich in layers of perception.

Using voice, rhythm and movement the dancers explore the relation between listening and moving. In a performance that could be a concert in the sense that it invokes listening, the space and the bodies are played as instruments. The dance becomes a tool to describe the sound, and the sound becomes a tool to describe the dance. Sounds and movements create knots and entanglements that feedback off each other and that produces a situation where the skill of paying attention is practiced on all sides, on that of the performer-listener and on that of the audience-listener. In that sense the title does not only refer to the performers but also to the audience. The role of the performer is to notice and let notice, the skill is to listen and describe.

Alma Söderberg was associated artist with Cullberg 2019-2022.

Bio Alma Söderberg

Swedish choreographer Alma Söderberg was born and raised in Malmö. She studied at The Royal Swedish Ballet School before leaving for Sevilla and Escuela de Danza de Matilde Coral to study flamenco. She has since then studied in Stockholm, Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam and Brussels. Alma Söderberg studied choreography at SNDO in Amsterdam, and graduated in 2011. She has toured her works to venues and festivals all over Europe. Her work is characterized by connecting dance, music and voice. Sound and movement are always intertwined, and a research of these expressions is constantly an ongoing part of Alma Söderberg’s artistry. Alma is associated artist with Cullberg 2019-2022, together with Deborah Hay and Jefta van Dinther. In September 2020, Alma Söderberg was awarded “Björn Granaths gränslösa stipendium” by The Swedish Union for Performing Arts and Film. From the motivation: “She gives voice to the movement, she knows there is dance for the ear and music for the eye.”. In 2016 she was awarded the Thalia Prize and The Birgit Cullberg Grant by The Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

Choreography Alma Söderberg
Music Dehendrik Lechat Willekens
Costume design Behnaz Aram
Lighting design Pol Matthé
Dramaturge Igor Dobricic
Artistic advice Anja Röttgerkamp
Rehearsal director Thomas Zamolo
Duration: approx. 60 minutes
With 8-9 dancers.
World premiere 24 January, 2020, Norrlandsoperan Umeå, Sweden.
A co-production with Norrlandsoperan, Umeå, PACT Zollverein, Essen and Hellerau, Dresden.