ABOUT

CHOREOGRAPHER, THEATRE DIRECTOR, PLAYWRIGHT

Born in Trondheim, Norway, 1970. Fulfilled the cliché of a Norwegian childhood with wild nature, social democracy values, and violent troll fairytales. Apart from a traditional background, he also spent several years in tropical areas due to the occupation of his parents. This early mix of local identity and globetrotter confusion has been relevant in his professional work, both in themes, variation of genres, and perhaps especially in the particular interest in different languages.

After graduation, he was drawn between two alternative studies – chemical engineering at a polytechnical college and Russian language with the Norwegian military. A stray application to the National College of Ballet in Oslo was however accepted. So he made an impulsive choice.

Due to skepticism towards academic methods and extreme absence, he never managed to graduate neither in classical ballet nor choreography. He nevertheless initiated a fruitful career as a dancer which later led him to choreography and theatre direction. Literary ambitions evolved and was soon to become a steady career also in playwriting. Although these three artforms are defined as his main occupations, he has also been developing a particular style in set design and lighting design. Involvement in film-making, both in front of and behind the camera, is also worth a mention. The multi-disciplinary character of his work is however to be seen as nothing more than a natural interest in the overall process of storytelling.

As an artistic director of Jo Strømgren Kompani, founded 1998, he has developed a significant personal style with a mix of theatre, dance, puppets, film, and live music – wrapped in a nonsensical language frame. Click JO STRØMGREN KOMPANI for more details.

As a choreographer he has been commissioned by a wide range of companies – from classical to contemporary. Click CHOREOGRAPHIES for a complete list. As a theatre director he has mostly been working with national and municipal theatres in Scandinavia, predominantly with plays by Henrik Ibsen. As a playwright he has written a long list of plays for theatre and scripts for film. He is a member of Writer’s Guild of Norway.

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Stressful rehearsal with Royal Danish Ballet © David Amzallaq